Pluralism & Inclusion

I am fortunate enough to have worked with students from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds in the past few years as a student affairs professional and graduate student. Through my experience working at York St John, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to contribute towards implementing the Widening Participation agenda as led by Professor Stuart Billingham, which focused on improving access and support to people from underrepresented and low socio-economic backgrounds.  Having grown up in Oldham, a culturally diverse city with a large Asian community, I have grown up with young people from a wide range of backgrounds and was given the opportunity to work with them when I began working at The Oldham College.

My experience at The Oldham College allowed me to seek out opportunities to expand my cultural knowledge as it related to the cultural issues surrounding Asian students in further education.  I took part in a day-long cultural awareness training session that educated me on the historical background and critical issues related to the diverse Asian population, which was made up of people who originated from a wide range of Southern Asian countries.  I have included these training materials as an artifact for this competency.

Due to the highly segregated nature of Oldham and the college itself combined with the racial tension that remained following the 2001 race riots in the area, I was sure to be proactive to facilitate intergroup dialogue between students at the college.  To do this, I created a collaborative partnership with an organization called Peacemaker, formed in the late 90s in Oldham to create opportunities for young people to meet and befriend other people from different communities and ethnicities.  I have also included the link to Peacemaker’s website as an artifact.

At York St John, I worked closely with the LGBT community on a number of campaigns and helped the LGBT society create working partnerships with the Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity that campaigns on issues related to AIDS and HIV.  This experience allowed me to involve myself in activities surrounding issues of which I had little knowledge and challenge my own assumptions about AIDS, HIV, and the LGBT community.

Through interacting with a culturally and demographically diverse range of students at BGSU, I have addressed my own multicultural awareness on many different occasions, both in and outside of the classroom setting through participating in programs facilitated by the multi-cultural center and through my own interactions with students.  I plan to attend safe-zone training in the near future and have included an advertisement for the presentation “35 dumb things well-intended people say that widen the diversity gap”, an interesting session I attended as part of Greek House Director training.