A workshop focused on diversity and creating a deeper understanding of racism, sexism and affirmative action was given in the Ballroom on Monday. Sponsored by Duluth-Human Resources and brought to UMD by the UMD Finance and Operations Unit Change Team, the “Walking in Two Worlds” event presented by UWS assistant professor Chip Beal is labeled “diversity/sensitivity training with a twist” and was meant to enable students to “thrive as lifelong learners and globally encouraged citizens,” according to the event description.
Beal covered many topics relating to what he referred to as the “isms” such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism and others. According to Beal, everyone is affected and infected by the “isms” in one way or another.
Beal, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, used personal examples of how he has been affected and infected by the “isms.” When he was growing up, he was in a relationship with an African-American woman and his mother did not approve of his decision. Later, when Beal’s daughter wanted to marry an Ethiopian man, he thought back on how his mother had reacted to his relationship and how one’s upbringing can have lasting effects on one’s life.
BreAnn Graber, a member of UMD’s Finance and Operations Unit Change Team said that Beal’s perspective on how people should treat one another is beneficial to have on campus.
“I think bringing different people on with different perspectives can make people learn something about themselves that will help them grow,” Graber said, “especially staff and faculty with goal two of the strategic plan. Basically we are trying to focus on a more inclusive campus to better people’s perspectives on things.”
BY SAM STROM