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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Students of Diverse Affiliations to sponsor anti-bias training

In an effort to address campus cultural barriers, the Students of Diverse Affiliations are sponsoring anti-bias training in an all-day event Saturday titled “Lost in Colors.” The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Hart Hall.

Students of Diverse Affiliationscoordinator Hanh Le said the program is a series of workshops to teach students how to properly communicate with all cultures and identities.

The Women’s Resources and Research Center, Student Recruitment and Retention Center, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center, Cross Cultural Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services will make presentations during the event. UC Davis chemistry lecturer Bryan Enderle, the keynote speaker, will discuss how to communicate inclusively.

Though many students might perceive the event as just another cultural sensitivity training program, Le said “Lost in Colors” will have a practical emphasis which caters to all students. Specifically, students who complete anti-bias training will be better prepared for interaction at work, she said.

“We hope that students would realize that common language is offensive to some people – especially in interviews, because when you say something that offends somebody, that pretty much ruins the interview,” said Le, a community and regional development major.

Housed in the Cross Cultural Center, Students of Diverse Affiliations aims to promote dialogue between different cultural communities. It is “that channel of communication across identities and groups that don’t normally interact with each other,” Le said.

As a faculty advisor to the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Enderle said he has experience training and taking students overseas and to inner cities. He said he will talk about “how to functionally interact within a diverse society and workplace.”

“Similar people tend to interact with each other,” Enderle said. “When groups are forced to mix in class or the workplace, it’s easy to have miscommunication and misunderstanding.”

One of the central themes of the event will be privilege of all types, Le said.

“There are different dimensions of privilege,” Le said. “We’re not [only] talking black, white, or Asian, if they’re heterosexual or homosexual, rich or poor. Everyone has privilege in some areas and not others.”

The LGBT Resource Center will present “That’s So Gay,” a workshop to discuss “how words contribute to a climate that supports hate,” said Sheri Atkinson, the unit’s director.

“This is an interactive program that encourages audience members to participate in this important discussion. It also goes beyond homophobia and addresses all issues of oppression,” she said in an e-mail interview.

Le said the event also aims to introduce students to the offerings of the attending organizations.

“Whatever students need are provided at one of these centers,” she said. “We’re hoping to make a personal connection to these people.”

PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.XXX

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