Friday, August 31, 2018

Diversity Dialogues workshops take aim at prejudices and racism

Microaggressions and cultural misunderstandings are among the topics tackled this fall when Cuyamaca College launches its latest series of Diversity Dialogues with a Sept. 13 workshop focusing on latent biases.

The fall season of Diversity Dialogues begins less than two months after Cuyamaca became the first community college in San Diego County to earn the prestigious John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award from the California Community Colleges system. Cuyamaca was honored for an accelerated pathways program that is eradicating achievement gaps and significantly boosting the numbers of students completing required math and English courses.

“Cuyamaca College prides itself on being a welcoming campus where different cultures are celebrated, not condemned, where different languages are treasured, not buried, and programs such as Diversity Dialogues continue to enlighten and educate our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes.

All workshops, which are free and open to the public, take place in Room I-207 of the Student Center.

On tap this fall:
  • Developing a Positive Multicultural Orientation toward Diversity; Self-Reflection about Our Diverse Identities and Cultural Orientation is set for Sept. 13, from 3 to 4 p.m. This session will be presented by Mayumi Y. Douglass, a lecturer at San Diego State University and a clinical supervisor at the Cuyamaca College Health and Wellness Center. The workshop will explore biases and awareness about cultural prejudices, while also encouraging engagement with others who are culturally diverse. 
  • “The Border Corrido: Music of Resistance” is set for Sept. 26 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and will be led by John Escobedo, Cuyamaca College’s Title V activities director in the Department of Institutional Effectiveness, Success and Equity. The workshop will focus on the story of Gregorio Cortez, a Mexican-American tenant farmer who became a folk hero to Mexicans living in South Texas, and how his odyssey impacted the corrido movement.
  • “Aversive Racism and Microaggressions” is set for Oct. 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. Led by Douglass, this workshop will explore assumptions people can make based on an individual’s cultural background. Students will be able to identify and share their personal experiences.
  • “Sino Tayo: Miseducation and Misrepresentation in the Filipino Community” is set for October 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. and will be led by James Diokno, executive director at the Barangay Arts & Cultural Movement. This session, in conjunction with Filipino American History Month, will include a discussion about what it means to be Filipino and how Filipinos and Filipinas struggle with miseducation about ethnic identity and cultural representation.
  • Model Minority or Minority Model? Filipinos and Perceptions of Asian Status” is set for Oct. 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. Diokno will focus on whether Filipinos and Filipinas should be included as part of the generalized Asian experience in the United States and how Filipinos and Filipinas contribute to or dispel perceptions about the model minority myth.
  • Share the Dream: UndocuAlly Training” is set for Nov. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. Presented by Cuyamaca College Counselor Mary Garcia, this workshop is a training session on learning how to support Cuyamaca College’s undocumented student population, which includes numerous scholars who were brought to the United States as infants or small children and have been living and contributing to our community for almost all of their lives.
  • Diversity Dialogues concludes this fall with “Developing Cultural Humility” on Nov. 15 from 3 to 4 p.m. when Douglass returns for a session intended to increase one’s sensitivity to the importance of diversity and respect for cultural differences.
Diversity Dialogues was developed by Lauren Vaknin, Cuyamaca College’s dean of student affairs, in the spring of 2011 with a handful of workshops that drew just a few dozen students. Several hundred people are expected to attend this year’s workshops.
Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego. For further information about the Diversity Dialogues program, please contact Vaknin in the Student Affairs Office at (619) 660-4295.