Diversity Series celebrated at Shawnee State University

Staff report

PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State University’s offices of Diversity & Inclusion, Title IX, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion partnered this semester to bring to campus a Diversity Series. The goal of the series was to bring the campus community together to discuss uncomfortable questions and issues in a way that is delicate and offers a direct form of participation.

Monique Harmon, SSU Title IX Coordinator and EEO Officer, worked with Marlita Cadogan, Coordinator of Student Life, Diversity & Inclusion, to create the series for campus after attending several Cultivating Liberation Workshops offered by the Ohio Department of Higher Education on preventing racial injustice and sexual violence.

“After attending the Cultivating Liberation Workshops, Marlita and I decided to create a series that could discuss discrimination, trauma, and violence here at our own university,” said Harmon. “We did not want to limit the issues students and staff could speak about.”

Throughout the semester, SSU students and staff were provided with several prompts to reflect, respond, and submit thoughts. The process was designed to teach individuals how to listen and take time to respond in a way that is healthy when it comes to difficult situations or discussions.

SSU aims to provide the proper resources for all students and staff to feel supported, safe, and understood when it comes to difficult topics to speak on. Harmon hopes the Diversity Series was a way to provide an extra form of support to the campus community.

“My advice is to approach issues in a way that is comfortable for you,” she said. “Find resources and somebody to talk to so you have the proper support in times of need. Our offices’ goals are to guide you and lead you in directions that will only help you, not harm you. I would encourage students and employees to seek help whether they are currently going through something or trying to heal from something.”

The Diversity Series commenced with a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Celebration sponsored by the Ohio Department of Higher Education Cultivating Liberation Grant and the SSU Development Foundation at the end of the autumn semester. The event brought together those who had participated in the series throughout the semester to reflect on the topics discussed and to thank participants for helping to make the series a success.

To view the submissions and responses in this year’s Diversity Series at Shawnee State University, visit www.shawnee.edu/diversity-series-submissions.


Staff report