Stevenson University’s Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) will launch a new program during the spring 2021 semester. The Community Read Program, created by the university’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, is a virtual opportunity that is open to all Stevenson students, faculty and staff.
Cristina Garcia, director of CDI, explained that a book related to diversity, equity and inclusion will be selected each semester, and community members will be encouraged to read along and participate in discussions. The book chosen for the spring 2021 semester is “So You Want to Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo. According to Garcia, “The format of the program includes two small group discussions spaced a month apart and one culminating event towards the end of the semester.”
The program’s first small group discussion will take place the week of Feb. 22, and the second discussion will be held the week of March 22. According to Garcia, the goal is for participants to read and discuss the first half of the book in February and the second half in March. “The culminating event in April will be open to all Stevenson community members, regardless of participation in the program,” said Garcia.
In an email sent out to all Stevenson students on Jan. 28, the Diversity & Inclusion committee stated, “Our goal with this first book is to spark meaningful conversations on our campus that bring people together over a topic that is often difficult to discuss, but also lays the groundwork for even deeper reflection and conversations to come.”
“The committee decided our community needed a consistent program that could be offered year after year without becoming stale or outdated,” said Garcia. “Both the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the CDI hope that participation in this program leads to awareness, understanding and a comfortability discussing differences, particularly racial, on our campus.”
The Community Read Program will remain virtual for the duration of the semester. Online registration is now closed; however, students who still wish to sign up should email Cristina Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.