Gerard Roberson, majoring in Urban and Regional studies

By Craig Henderson

Student Life Editor

On Thursday, Oct. 9, as part of Cultural Diversity Week, a Cultural Sensitivity Workshop was hosted by the OSE Coordinator of Diversity Programs, Tasha Williams, and University of Michigan-Dearborn Senior, Gerard Roberson.

Williams said that the workshop was developed to assist students in addressing aspects of inclusion and diversity, and to discuss similarities and differences amongst cultures.

In order to get students to discover other cultures, she says, “I would encourage them seek opportunities to attend events, and engage in dialogue with individuals that represent different aspects of identity.”

Audience members participated in an activity called ‘Unpacking the Backpack,’ which helped others relate their experiences to individual cultures. The worksheet handed out had over a dozen situations, in which audience members were asked to write their initials if they agreed with the statement that reflected their culture.

Roberson points out that the problem with diversity is the discrimination factor. He says, “There are not enough productive approaches to diversity of inclusion when people are discriminated against. That is when the issues start to arise with diversity.”

Roberson, a student majoring in Urban Studies, also thinks this workshop would influence students in senior and junior high schools. It would, “prepare them for college and professional life.”

Audience Member, Uzma Anwar, thinks the workshop was not only educational but also an opportunity that students should take advantage of. She says, “The Cultural Sensitivity Workshop provided a great opportunity for students to understand what inclusion and diversity means, and hear about the perspectives and experiences of other individuals.”

The last event for Latin Heritage Month will be Latin Caribbean Music and Latino Culture: An Interactive Exhibition on Oct. 15.

Contact the Office for Student Engagement at student_engagement@umd.umich.edu for more information on upcoming events.