The Women & Gender Collaborative continues its Collaborative Conversations series this spring with a new schedule of panelist presentations. The series was launched last fall in an effort to encourage open conversation and awareness of issues related to diversity and inclusion, as well as model the “how” of engaging in unscripted, open-ended conversation to learn from and with one another across our differences.
This spring’s series focuses on Practices of Faith and Belief for Gender Equity at CSU. It will explore questions about how faith, belief and spirituality inform gender equity on campus, and how those frames impact engagement on gender-related issues.
“Religion, spirituality and faith are often important parts of a person’s life that greatly influence how we see each other and the world,” said Cori Wong, director of the Women & Gender Collaborative.
“Yet, for many of us, talking about spirituality and belief can be intimidating and difficult, particularly when we’re coming from different traditions and the conversation includes reflections on how faith and gender intersect. The purpose of this series is to provide a relatively comfortable platform for such a conversation to take place, and explore the potential for share practices to support gender equity at CSU.”
The series will feature four panelists who will share perspectives. The panelists are:
- Laura Nelson, former director of the Geller Center for Spiritual Development
- Alex Amchislavskiy, campus director of Hillel
- Alicia Sprague, training coordinator with the Vice President for Diversity office
- Zubaida Bai, a CSU alum, founder and CEO of Ayzh, Inc.
The conversations schedule is:
- Tuesday, March 20, noon-1 p.m., Cherokee Park Ballroom, Lory Student Center (register here)
- Tuesday, April 10, noon-1 p.m., Cherokee Park Ballroom, Lory Student Center (register here)
- Tuesday, April 24, noon-1p.m., Cherokee Park Ballroom, Lory Student Center (register here)
The objective of Collaborative Conversations and the panelists participating in the series is to create a consistent, responsive space where discussions concerning the campus community can be featured, while giving a voice to a variety of experiences.
Those who attend the conversations will have an opportunity to participate in the discussion by temporarily joining the panel, as well as participate in informal discussion with each other for an hour after the panel.
True dialogue on difficult concepts
The dialogue process focuses on giving a voice to underrepresented perspectives without asking individuals to educate others on their experiences. Wong says it may serve to help people process concepts and topics that can be difficult to tackle alone, especially if one seeks to understand another’s experience that differs from their own. An emphasis will be placed on open-endedness and a commitment to learn from and with others about their process of understanding the role of gender in their lives.
“There is inherent value in listening to others in order to learn and better understand how we can support one another,” says Wong. “It is difficult at times, but we all have the responsibility to continuously increase our critical consciousness around power and privilege. When we do, everyone benefits.”
The series, which began last fall with conversation about the politics of gender, is a collaborative effort. It will be video recorded and made publicly available on Canvas in the near future so that all faculty, staff, students, and community members can use the recordings as resources to supplement continued education around gender-related issues. The series is offered in partnership with The Institute for Teaching and Learning and CSU Online.