November 18th, 2011
First off we would like to thank all y’all for putting on the Diversity Summit; this was an awesome opportunity for us to hear from Helen Zia about real world activism and how we all can be activists in our own unique and important ways. We are a group of students in a women’s studies class and we were encouraged to find events on campus that may relate to our women’s study class.
This Diversity Summit was a great place to discover concepts relating to our class as we learn about our own identities and how those identities relate and intertwine with others. We would like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of the conversation and discussions. It means a lot that students and faculty were able to come together to encourage unity and communication. It is refreshing that those in a position of power are willing to listen to student and community members opinions.
We would like to hear more about everyone else’s opinions and experiences from the Diversity Summit!
Ann Chu, Cody, Maddy, and Sarah
Students in Women Studies Class
Oregon State University
If you were a participant and have something to share, feel free to post it as a comment below or submit your own blog post by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
October 26th, 2011
On Wednesday November 2, Joaquin Zihuatanejo, a poet, spoken word artist and award-winning teacher, will perform his famous spoken word. Nancy Giles, best known for her work as a comedian, actress and CBS Morning contributor, will also speak at the event and allow time for Q&A.
Zihuatanejo’s performance begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by Giles at 7 p.m. Both segments will be in the Austin Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.
The event is free and open to the public as part of the OSU Diversity Summit being hosted by the Division of Student Affairs.
October 24th, 2011
That is, hands-down, the toughest question to ask a person who really doesn’t like being the center of attention, even if it’s through written word. Still, it’s an important one. The best I can muster is explaining what matters to me and why.
So, what matters to me? Family. Friends. Humor. Good food. This moment. Why? Because each item contributes to my happiness.
I know. There’s nothing in there about social justice or diversity. I sound disgustingly selfish and fickle. It’s those things, however, that drives my commitment to be involved in this initiative and many more like it. When something matters to me, it matters. It becomes part of my core purpose. When something matters to me, I strive to ensure its prosperity. Let’s take what is probably to be the most fickle of my values: this moment. This value is all about living in the present. A broom can exist in the present, but it takes real effort for this moment to be the most it can be. What am I choosing to do? Is it productive or destructive? Does it have a purpose? I’ll be the first to say that if you enjoyed wasting time, then it wasn’t really wasted, but we all have the capacity to go deeper than that.
The same theme carries through with my family and friends. I want the best for them in the long run. In my family, my generation has some fairly young children. I want nothing more than for them to be able to experience the joys in life and to never hurt. Again, to be able to accomplish this takes work. Read the rest of this entry »
October 13th, 2011
Sometimes it feels like just that: talking about. “Diversity” is a kind of buzz word I hear, especially considering institutional mission statements. In class the other day, we were told to always ask about diversity. If the word is in a mission statement, ask why and how the institution is fulfilling its commitment to diversity. If it’s missing, ask why.
But the thing it seems we overlook is the why behind the why. Perhaps it’s that reason that sometimes people seem jaded when we do talk about diversity and multiculturalism.
Growing up in eastern Washington, my worldview of diversity was fairly limited. In elementary school, the message was “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an outstanding man who stood up against racism towards Blacks in the United States.” It was hard to internalize the significance of that when my school consisted of a primarily 50/50 split between White children and Latino/a children. Read the rest of this entry »
October 5th, 2011
Hi! My name is Nicolas K. (Nick) Daily and I’m a first-year graduate student in the College Student Services Administration program here at OSU. I am the GTA for Men’s Support Programs working out of Student Affairs. Some people are wowed by the idea that we are finally showing a commitment to trying to help support men on this campus; others are shocked by the idea that men need “support” and will have none of the idea; others still are interested in hearing more about the topic before they make a decision about the program. I’d like to try to help people understand the place where I come from when I say that men need support on college campuses.
It may first be helpful to let my audience know that I have a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from University of Redlands. As such, I believe that we can do men’s work alongside women’s work and still be working toward the same goals. Next, I want to acknowledge that men have privilege and that some would argue that the world, the nation or the university itself all have and continue to be designed as men’s support programs. This may be true in one sense but I’d like to challenge it in another. Institutionally and systematically men are privileged; this is a fact that virtually all people agree with. Alternately, few or no men feel privileged on an individual level. Some may have lost their jobs due to downsizing, had huge losses in this recession, some may even have jobs that pay less than their partner. These all are quite relevant to why I’m doing this work.
Imagine you are at a college party in an apartment or fraternity house on a Saturday night. The alcohol is flowing from a seemingly never emptying refrigerator, and everyone is having a good time. Read the rest of this entry »
September 21st, 2011
As an avid reader, reflecting on what [c.a.r.e] means got me thinking of one of the novels I read this summer. I had read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in high school, but since that was many years ago, I decided that it was time to reread it. The Finch family and their quiet respectful dedication stood out for me as I thought about how to define [c.a.r.e].
My definition of [c.a.r.e] includes:
The first part, community, means extending one’s sense of self to include the whole community. American culture can be viewed as very individualistic, and so being part of this society means we all have to put extra effort into creating that deep sense of unity within a community. An example is when Scout Finch observed the whole community in order to understand herself and her family.
Awareness is extremely important for social justice work. As a white person, I had to cultivate my awareness of what it means to be white in a society that places privilege towards white people. It’s impossible to be a part of a movement to end something that one does not know exists. This was the same with Scout and Jem Finch as they were pushed into being aware of the racists ways of their town. Read the rest of this entry »
September 16th, 2011
I am a white woman, and I know why I [c.a.r.e]. This will be my third year at Oregon State but I grew up in Portland, OR, going to a middle school that had a very high percentage of students on free or reduced lunch, and an even split between students who were white and students who were African-American. As a young, shy white girl, I had one teacher who was white, in particular, who struggled to connect with students in my class. Why did she become frustrated more quickly when the African-American girls would speak out of turn? Why was it always the students who were African-American boys who got referrals for being too rambunctious when the white kids were full of energy, too? My friends and I in that class collectively saw that she did not know how to work with students who were not white. When I would speak to the teacher about the concerns that I was having with her teaching and classroom management, the teacher would tell me I was seeing things that were not there. Plus, I was supposed to be that innocent white girl, I was just another white person, and not the one in her eyes who should be noticing such things.
I wish that I had known about the theories that explain the role in which privilege, particularly white privilege, plays with how white people see race issues when I would address my concerns with that teacher. Why did this part of my education have to wait until I entered higher education and took classes in philosophy? It is not like my classmates and I were oblivious to the whole race issue in our middle school. Though everyone experiences it from one angle or another, it was just my classmates and I who did not keep mum about what we were seeing with each other.
Read the rest of this entry »
August 22nd, 2011
I got a tattoo yesterday.
A really big one.
I have been thinking about this tattoo for close to a year. I have been interviewing artists and asking friends who they go to. I found this woman who tattoos out of her home in Yachats, Oregon and has been working on one of my friends for years. I started chatting with her and I realized that she was the one. I liked her style. I liked her energy. I liked her. Her specialty is flowers. This is important because the tattoo is a bunch of flowers that are important to my family and to me. They represent important women in my life, important personal values, and memories that sum up my childhood and have shaped my adulthood. This tattoo is also about my heritage.
Let me explain. At the top there is a rhododendron, the flower that reminds me of my great-grandmother. Next is a hydrangea, colored like the bush in front of my mother’s house, a sweet memory from my childhood. Then there is a bright red poppy flower to symbolize imagination, one of the values I hold close to my soul. At the bottom there are small flax flowers, to tell the story of my family’s immigration from Ireland. Read the rest of this entry »
August 17th, 2011
Oregon State University has been my home for the past three years. I’m not sure I would have considered it my home when I first arrived, though now I gladly and comfortably say this. When I first transferred to OSU, like many transfer students, I felt disconnected. It was when I began taking classes for my major, Ethnic Studies, and joined the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) that I began to come into my own, make connections, and find a home. Because I felt so connected here, I decided to stay for graduate school and the CSSA program.
My meaning of [c.a.r.e.] is based on my experiences here at OSU, and today I would define [c.a.r.e.] as claim, achieve, relationship, and explore.
I have learned that I need to CLAIM my identities, even though for me as a mixed-race person, my identities can and do change from day to day and sometimes more. There is an empowerment that I have found by being able to claim who I am in all of my identities. Read the rest of this entry »