Diversity and Inclusion Education Matters

Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

 

On Oct. 29 earlier this year, a Diversity and Inclusion Workshop was hosted in the Trimpe building for free to the public as well as Lewis and Clark students to attend and obtain a better understanding of important topics. The event included discussions of the Trans umbrella, Gender Identity and Transition in the Workplace, Gender Discrimination Laws and Workplace Policies, Managing Diversity in the Workplace, and also held an open forum to answer questions anyone had.

The event featured many different speakers, including Professor Jen Cline, who began the event with an exercise where everyone had to describe themselves in ten words, and then five, and eventually one. It was also required that for when people described themselves with the one word, everyone had to not be accepting of that word and try to argue about it. This exercise was explained later to show an example of how people are more complex than being able to come down to only one word, and how affirmations are better for understanding one another rather than being cruel.

Madeline Runyon then spoke next, quickly bringing up the issue of starvation in America and how hard it can be for quite a large amount of people to be able to find their next meal, these results stemming from both statistics and as the result of a survey taken last year by Lewis and Clark students when the idea of a snack pantry for the school had started to take initiative.

Afterward, two members of the Trans community who work for Walmart took to the stage. Both discussed what being Trans means, the different gender identities a person may have and how it may relate or not relate to other areas of their life, how being trans affects the workplace, as well as multiple policies both for and against transgender rights from all over the country. They both shed some enlightenment to everyone as well when answering other’s questions, and helped others become better educated. With any hope, Lewis and Clark will continue to host more diversity and inclusion workshops in the future.

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