With the creation of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, SMWC dedicated itself this fall to building a culture of inclusion at The Woods – in and outside of the classroom. Programming is centered around creating a shared dialogue between students, faculty and staff as part of a series of events designed to meet the needs of a growing diverse campus. From faculty sessions to learn about “brave spaces” to hosting book discussions and performances, the College has been intentional to invite dialogue, inspire reflection and promote understanding in a proactive and positive environment.
Virtual book discussions helped create honest and respectful conversations about race and diversity. A grant from Indiana Humanities with funds from Lilly Endowment Inc. allowed the College to purchase media materials for students, staff and faculty to utilize as part of the Rooney Library Collection.
Spaces for safe, honest conversations were designated on campus and identified by a new WoodsTalk emblem. Having open and authentic conversations is important now more than ever. WoodsTalk was established to offer students an environment in which they can have respectful dialogues aimed at inclusivity.
Reggie Harris was welcomed as a Visiting Fellow virtually in October. He shared his knowledge of songs of freedom and justice, his upbringing as a black man in Philadelphia and stories of slavery from his family tree.
The College hosted a law enforcement panel to discuss the subject of police brutality and race relations this fall.