Cultivating an Inclusive Culture

Wilmington University joined forces recently with the Proud Professionals Network (PPN) to offer the 2018 Leadership and Diversity Academy, a three-part training series centered on inclusion, management and LGBTQ issues.

Seated, from left: Dr. Elena Keith, Edgard Izaguirre, Dr. Silvia Long-Tolbert, Dr. Lemar White

The curriculum, offered at a low cost to anyone interested in enhancing his or her knowledge of diversity issues within the workplace, allowed for an open discussion facilitated by seven guest speakers via three trainings. The workshops shed light on common issues and offered tips on countering inappropriate remarks and behaviors. Other discussion involved addressing individuals by the correct pronouns. Advanced training included leadership strategies and improving team effectiveness. Trainings were offered in-person and online, and seminars were live-streamed to overflow participants.

Nearly all of the in-person seats were filled, giving the guest speakers a large and captive audience. Online participants watched and engaged in the group discussions via a web conferencing tool.

 WilmU’s Administrative Technology Assistant Pam Huxtable interviewed Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and they discussed equal rights in their communities. (The video of the interview is available on WilmUTube.)

The College of Online and Experiential Learning and AVP of Administrative Affairs Dr. Sallie Reissman initiated WilmU’s partnership with PPN. “I’m happy that our society is growing to become tolerant of all people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation,” she says.

The academy received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Said one participant: “The speakers provided facts and data to support the topic that was presented and left room for open and thoughtful conversations about diversity.”

 Multiculturalism is one of the University’s core educational values, stressing sensitivity to diversity and respect for a pluralistic society. By cultivating awareness and providing additional training options about diversity outside the classroom, WilmU is helping society to evolve into one that is more accepting, empathetic and inclusive.

—Adam Voyton

To learn more about this program, visit wilmu.edu/DiversityAcademy