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Workshops will tackle issues of bias, difficult conversations and more

Monday, February 05, 2018

UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry KangLAWRENCE — The Office of Diversity & Equity this semester is offering a distinctive series of professional development opportunities for University of Kansas graduate students, faculty and staff that focus on mindfulness, strategies for handling difficult moments and understanding biases.

Mindfulness, or how to care for oneself in the workplace, and how to effectively have difficult conversations will be the focus of four different sessions. Each of these sessions will include a panel discussion where the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the topic.  

“This series is about how we create a more humane work and professional environment in every arena of our campus community — from developing 'Diversity in Hiring' guidelines and Diversity and Equity Support Pathway to Success, to conducting difficult conversations in the classroom and offices, to balancing our work lives and responsibilities,” said Jennifer Hamer, vice provost for diversity & equity “Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just about who is present and participating in the KU community but includes the quality of life that we are all able to create together.”

The highlight of this semester’s professional development sessions for all audiences is “Keeping Implicit Bias in Mind” with guest speaker Jerry Kang. Kang is the vice chancellor for equity, diversity & inclusion and professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Kang’s free talk will offer an easygoing and informative discussion of implicit bias.

Graduate students will be able to attend one of two sessions of “Leading Difficult Conversations and Handling Hot Moments,” which will focus on teaching strategies to lead difficult conversations in the classroom. The featured panelists are Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, associate professor of social welfare; Dorothy Elizabeth Hines, assistant professor of curriculum & teaching; Robert Warrior, Hall Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture; Darren Canady, associate professor of English, and Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor of English and director of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

Faculty members will be able to attend “Teaching in Tough Times.” The panelists and faculty will be able to discuss establishing classroom climates and developing course content to foster students’ academic and personal growth. Panelists for this session are Stephanie Fitzgerald, associate professor of English and director of the Indigenous Studies Program; Santa Arias, professor and chair of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese; Lindsey Ward Lyles, assistant professor of urban planning; Clarence Lang, chair and professor of African and African-American studies and interim director of the Hall Center for the Humanities, and Jennifer Ng, associate professor of educational leadership & policy studies.

KU staff have the opportunity to discuss ways to ensure one’s well-being and self-care strategies in the workplace during one of two sessions titled “Wellbeing and Self Care at Work.” Panelists are Tami Albin, associate librarian in KU Libraries; Sharon Riley, organizational development coordinator in KU Libraries; Precious Porras, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Linda Luckey, chief of staff for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

RSVP is required for all sessions with the exception of “Keeping Implicit Bias in Mind” with Jerry Kang, which is free and open to the public. Space is limited for each session and sessions will not be livestreamed or recorded.

The dates, times and locations for each discussion are:

“Keeping Implicit Bias in Mind” (All audiences)

  • Feb. 22, 7-8 p.m., Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St.

“Leading Difficult Conversations and Handling Hot Moments” (for graduate students)

  • Feb. 15, 3:30-5 p.m., Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union
  • April 3, 3:30-5p.m., Kansas Room, Kansas Union

Register here.

“Wellbeing and Self Care at Work” (for staff)

  • Feb. 6, 1-2:30 p.m., Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union
  • Feb. 7, 10:30 a.m.- noon, The Jay, Kansas Union

Registration has closed. Both sessions are currently full, and a waitlist is being maintained. A third session may be added at a later time to accommodate the high demand.

 “Teaching in Tough Times” (for faculty)

  • Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Malott Room, Kansas Union
  • Feb. 15, 1-2:30 p.m., Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union

Register here


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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