University hosts inclusion training

Clarion, Pa.- Clarion University held a session on March 29 entitled “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training for Faculty and Staff.”

Kathy Obear led the event and delivered extensive information about the capabilities of a workplace to properly introduce and maintain effective methods of encouraging equity, diversity and inclusion.

The event was well-attended by faculty and staff employed by the university, with Hart Chapel almost filled to capacity. Obear covered issues and effective methods used to prevent workplace discrimination.

Obear emphasized the use and conformation to the MCOD (Multicultural Organization Development) model, which was the basis for all the methods covered during the session. The MCOD Model, according to online source pdx.edu, is a model that achieves social justice and social diversity through a variety of effective, inclusive methods.

MCOD organizations are said to value all employees and its contributions, including all members in decisions involving the organization and are committed to eliminating all forms of oppression in an organization from racism to ableism. Ableism is discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

Obear’s session focused on educating university faculty and staff as to how to address and change the climate on campus to be more inclusive and equal, meeting inclusion standards set by the program and university.

This program also sought to eliminate stereotypes and aggressions towards all minority groups, one key example being Obear’s commentary on ableism, stating that she has seen her own biases and aggressions towards this group change and improve over the years as she began to recognize her attitudes and work toward changing it.

Obear emphasized that it is important for individuals to recognize biases and ensure active work on them. She also presented many different methods to encourage discussion of social justice in the work place, stating that many different activities can help employees understand how best to change their attitudes or understand their privileges in a way they could not before.

She also mentioned that respectful and appropriate language among different groups is fluid and can change very quickly, emphasizing that it is important to keep up with respect and appropriate language in order not to offend or trigger faculty, students or staff.

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