Developing Diversity Consciousness

Developing Diversity Consciousness to Foster Antiracist Practices, Cultures, and Communities

The Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) is committed to advancing antiracism to address racial inequities and injustices with an expansive coalition of University and community partners. This work requires institutional commitment at all levels. Across the University, individuals must be invested in personal and organizational development to assure transformational communal growth.

We recognize the opportunity to foster institutional and systemic advancement for racial equity does not happen without appropriate and consistent deliberation. At its foundation, it entails a commitment to developing one’s diversity consciousness: the understanding, awareness, and skills that empower us to contemplate and value our human differences. Diversity consciousness development is a wholistic and lifelong practice rooted in humility, intentionality, and persistence.

To that end, OEDI is offering a new education and dialogue series—Developing Diversity Consciousness to Foster Antiracist Practices, Cultures, and Communities—that will kick off this Spring and is free and open to all University students, staff, and faculty.

This virtual, learner-oriented series, facilitated over seven interactive 2-hour sessions, takes an introspective approach to engaging topics on race and racism—focally, anti-Black racism—and provides participants referential resources and a constructive framework to analyze the complexity and pervasiveness of structural racism and reflect on what they can do, individually and collectively, to advance antiracism.

Through the series, participants explore and engage the six key areas of diversity consciousness development to expand capacity to seek, consider, and adopt different perspectives, promote personal growth and empowerment, enhance cultural competence and cultural humility, and ultimately, embody the mindset to foster antiracist practices, cultures, and communities.

Registration is now open for the first cohort for the series. The maximum capacity for the cohort is 200 participants and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to University students and employees.

Session Schedule 
(2-hour sessions, 3pm - 5pm)

March 30, 2021 – Understanding Racism and Antiracism

Session objectives:

  • Understand structural racism and its impacts
  • Understand antiracism and its aims
  • Understand the concept, importance, and benefits of diversity consciousness

April 6, 2021 – Examining Ourselves and Our Worlds

Session objectives:

  • Understand how our socialization informs our biases and the way we view ourselves and others.
  • Understand the barriers that inhibit us from expanding our race consciousness and fully embracing different cultures, perspectives, and people
  • Reflect on our social identity development as it relates to race.

April 13, 2021 – Expanding Our Knowledge of Others and Their Worlds

Session objectives:

  • Analyze the gaps in our knowledge regarding diverse communities and cultures
  • Understand how the histories, perspectives, and contributions of different cultures are interconnected
  • Reflect on the benefits of diversity in our lives

April 20, 2021 – Stepping Outside of Ourselves

Session objectives:

  • Understand the importance of perspective shifting in diversity consciousness development
  • Gain a deeper understanding of empathy and how to put it into practice
  • Reflect on the effects of empathetic listening

April 27, 2021 – Gauging the Level of the Playing Field

Session objectives:

  • Examine the intersections of social inequality and social identity
  • Understand the social barriers that affect communities of color
  • Reflect on the concept of unearned privileges

May 4, 2021 – Checking Up on Ourselves

Session objectives:

  • Embrace critical self-analysis and environmental assessment as drivers of our diversity conscious development
  • Reflect on our own awareness level when engaging matters of race and racism

May 11, 2021 – Following Through

Session objectives:

  • Reflect on the role of intentionality in antiracism
  • Establish norms and learn strategies for continued diversity conscious development
  • Consider practices and traditions to employ that aim to generate racial equity

 Questions? Contact diversity@pitt.edu