On February 20, 2015, UWT will be hosting its fourth annual Diversity Summit entitled Oppression kNOw More in William Phillip Hall from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. The event is open to students, faculty and the greater campus community, but registration is required. For UWT participants, the event is free but for non UWT participants a fee of $40 will be charged at registration. Non UWT participants who register after February 6 will be charged $50.
Check-in will begin at 11:30 a.m. followed by a welcome lunch from 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Keynote speaker Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity and Chief Diversity
Officer at Bellevue College, will be conducting a series of interactive activities that will give people a chance to share as well as learn about the different ways people have been affected by discrimination.
The theme of ‘microaggressions’ for this years summit stems from racially charged events that have taken place on a national level over the past year. While it is important to acknowledge that as a nation, the United States has come a long way in terms of race relations, it is equally as important to recognize that we still have a long way to go. Rather than delving into the effects of blatant racism, this Diversity Summit will take a closer look at the harmful nature of microaggressions. Microaggressions are unconscious or unintended acts or remarks that carry prejudice or racial undertones. For example statements like “ your English is really good” or “you’re pretty for a (insert minority group here) girl” on the surface may seem harmless but Program Coordinator of the Diversity Resource Center Jane Schrader said “the intent doesn’t match the reality.”
The reality that this year’s Diversity Summit hopes to uncover is that microaggressions, prejudice, and racism are things that students may unfortunately have to face now as well as when they transition into the workforce. Schrader said that “There will be grouping and pairing during the event which will give people an opportunity to learn from each other in a safe space so people can come out and talk about things they are uncomfortable about.”