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Diversity Committee

Lunch and Learn Discussion Series

lunch and learn logoThe UT Libraries Diversity Committee is hosting a series of facilitated lunchtime discussions on how to comfortably dialogue about diversity and inclusion. The discussions are open to all.

Fall 2017 Series

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Oppression vs. Privilege
Tuesday, September 26 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Conversation facilitated by Michelle Christian and Jioni Lewis

Michelle Christian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee. She has been at the University of Tennessee since fall 2013. She teaches and conducts research on race, racism and global inequalities. Most recently, she co-created the curriculum for the Department of Sociology’s new concentration are in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

Dr. Jioni A. Lewis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research is focused on the influence of subtle forms of racism and sexism on the mental and physical health of women of color. Dr. Lewis teaches courses on topics including: African American psychology, multicultural psychology, and social justice theory and practice. Dr. Lewis’s university service includes serving on the Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Interculturalism and the Commission for Blacks. Dr. Lewis and Dr. Christian co-founded the Critical Race Collective in Fall 2013, which is an interdisciplinary research group focused on critical race studies in research, teaching, and service to the university.

Lunch and Learn: Having Difficult Conversations on Stress Management
Thursday, October 26 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Mary Greer Room @ Hodges Library (2nd floor)
Conversation facilitated by Bilqis Amatus-Salaam and Clay Culp

Bilqis Amatus-Salaam is the Wellness Coordinator for General Wellness Promotion at the Center for Health Education and Wellness. She completed her Master in Public Health in 2015 with a focus on sexual health and college student health. In her role at UT she focuses on cold and flu prevention, stress reduction, sleep promotion, nutrition, and sexual health.

Clay Culp is a clinical social worker and therapist at the Student Counseling Center. He earned his master’s in social work at UT and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Social Work degree at UT. His doctoral research is about suicide prevention.

Spring 2017 Series

Lunch and Learn:Intersectionality: A Workshop on Theory and Practice
1 – 3 p.m., Monday, April 24, 605 Hodges Library

Nora Berenstain
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Affiliated Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program

Patrick Grzanka
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Core Faculty, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program
Associate Editor, Journal of Counseling Psychology

In this two-hour, interactive workshop, Intersectionality Community of Scholars Co-Directors Nora Berenstain (Philosophy) and Patrick Grzanka (Psychology) will introduce key tenets of intersectionality theory and guide participants through exercises that illustrate the insights of this important framework for studying and challenging intersecting systems of inequality — such as racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, ableism, and heterosexism. The workshop will focus on applying intersectionality responsibly and in a variety of practices, including teaching, scholarship, activism, and community partnerships.

Fall 2016 Series

Intersectionality: From Scholarship to Action – October 19, 2016 (12:00-1:00 pm in Hodges Library, Room 605)

Patrick Grzanka, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Nora Berenstain, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

The directors of the Intersectionality Community of Scholars at UT will facilitate a conversation about the origins of intersectionality theory in U.S. Black feminism, current directions in the field, and the relationship between interdisciplinary scholarship, activism, and social justice.

Practical Tips for “Keeping Calm and Carrying On” Difficult Conversations – November 9, 2016 (12:00-1:00 pm in Hodges Library, Room 605)

Becky Jacobs, Waller Lansden Distinguished Professor of Law, UT College of Law

Most of us probably have struggled at one time or another with sensitive or difficult conversations, i.e., raising workplace concerns; confronting an unreliable partner or co-worker; or apologizing, or seeking an apology for, inappropriate behavior. This session will focus on practical tips for preparing for, initiating, and handling potentially unpleasant exchanges in a way that hopefully will minimize negative consequences, improve understanding, and strengthen relationships.

The spring topics and facilitators are yet to be determined but will align with the Lunch and Learn’s theme of encouraging inclusivity and respect during difficult conversations. Because of the thematic focus of the “Lunch and Learn” series, the Libraries Diversity Committee will address inclusivity, diversity, dialogue, collegiality, respect, knowledge, learning, awareness, and response—nine of the university’s ten principles for civility and community. To make these conversations more inclusive we will identify campus faculty members with the specific expertise and interest in our topical areas to facilitate the discussion. Should the success of the Lunch and Learn program series continue, we would consider expanding our program to include community leaders to facilitate future discussions.

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