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Community encouraged to attend free diversity training

September 19, 2016

KOKOMO, Ind. — Learn more about successfully living and working in a global society, with a free diversity series at Indiana University Kokomo.

The six-session Agency Action Advocacy (AAA) Diversity Training Series kicks off Monday, September 19, with author Chris Crass, and continues monthly through the school year.

Maria Ahmad, coordinator of student life and campus diversity, began the AAA program in 2015, for faculty and staff, and expanded it to include community members this year. The program goal is to create openness to the ideas and opinions of others, to develop ability to think critically and empower others, and to encourage people to work through their differences to find common ground.

“There’s not really anything happening in the community to fill this void,” she said. “Our community looks to IU Kokomo as a place for education and leadership on this topic. We hope people don’t just learn about diversity, but will take action and be an advocate for diversity and diverse people.”

Diversity is not just about skin color, she noted – it’s also about religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical ability or disability, political beliefs, and other factors. It has been a hot topic lately, with the Black Lives Matter movement and discussions of gay marriage and religious freedom.

“People are already having these conversations, but perhaps not always in the most educated way,” she said. “Not everyone takes the time to go beyond the 30 second video on social media to see what it’s really about, not just the propaganda. We’re providing an opportunity to become educated.”

First semester programs include:

• Monday, September 19: Chris Crass, author of Towards the “Other America:” Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter.

• Monday, October 24: Eric Love, director of diversity and inclusion at University of Notre Dame, “Safe Spaces, Microagressions- What’s It All About?”

• Monday, November 28: Deepa Iyer, author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future

Those interested may attend any or all of the free sessions, which are from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Kelley Student Center, Room 130 B. Second semester dates will be announced at a later time. Free parking is available on campus. The IU Kokomo campus diversity committee sponsors the programs.

To register, contact beanring@iuk.edu or call 765-455-9203. For more information go to iuk/edu/diversity

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 09/19/2016