Fall 2018 Workshop Descriptions

A sampling of workshops being offered at the Fall 2018 Diversity Summit.



Doing Intersectionality: Decolonizing Your Personal and Professional Spaces

Jameta Nicole Barlow, PhD, MPH

Workshop participants will interrogate their ways of knowing (ontologies) and ways of doing (epistemologies) as we explore the role of implicit and explicit bias in their everyday lives. Participants will be introduced to intersectional feminisms and learn how to implement them as a way of decolonizing their personal and professional spaces. This includes their social relationships with family, friends, students, colleagues, professors and strangers. . Participants will be prepared to apply intersectionality frameworks and theories for application in their daily lives. Considerations for research and praxis will also be highlighted.


Decolonizing School Spirit: A Dialogue About the GW Colonial

Hayley Margolis, Rose Collins, Amy Martin, Irma Soriano Diaz, Shelby Singleton

The Hippos Make Waves session will focus on a conversation about how school spirit rallied around the colonials hinders diverse inclusion on campus and how a more inclusive school spirit identity - such as the hippo - would improve the community on campus. The conversation will be led and moderated by GW Student Association members advocating for this institutional change, but the objective of the session is to gain insight and feedback from the student body and individuals who struggle to identify positively with colonials.


Confronting Bias in Healthcare

Sandra Davis, Karen Kesten, Esther Emard, Adriana Glenn, Sydnae Law, Cynthia Allen, Malinda Whitlow

This dynamic and interactive session will feature a video of GW School of Nursing (SON) students talking about their experiences with bias in the healthcare
system. Keeping in line with the aim of this year’s 4 th  Annual Diversity Summit, the video will be followed by a panel of GW SON faculty who will engage in critical, thoughtful and challenging dialogue with the audience to address opportunities, challenges and lessons learned in addressing this issue. The panel will discuss the science of heuristics and understanding how bias can impact any professionals.


Pregnant On Campus: Inclusion In and Out of the Classroom

India Daniels

Today's inclusion as it relates to gender identity or expression, sexuality, and gender bias often overlook pregnant women on campus. But as of 2014, the vast majority women who received abortions were in their 20s. Oftentimes, these women will feel that obtaining an abortion was their best option when deciding to attend college or have a baby. And women who decide to continue their pregnancy while in college report feeling singled out or treated differently because of their pregnancy or childbirth. This presentation will explore the stories of current students who have continued childbirth, and the obstacles they faced while obtaining an education. It will also discuss legal and compliance issues in order to foster a more inclusive culture related to pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and childbirth while obtaining a college degree.


What Biases Do Support Staff Experience?

Najiyah Williams, Emprisia Lee, Naeemah Raqib

Through discussion, we will examine the importance of management recognizing and respecting the diverse characteristics of support (administrative) staff and examine what, if any, biases support staff experience at GWU. We want to examine how these biases differ due to gender, race (ethnicities), and age while reviewing the effect they have on work performance and interactions. As a result we hope to assist the university leadership or management and faculty understand the importance of supporting all professional staff at GWU regardless of title or outward appearance.


Indigenous Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning, Decolonizing

Elizabeth Rule

This discussion session, “Indigenous Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning, Decolonizing,” will provide an overview of teaching strategies, learning approaches, and research methods rooted in decolonization theory and Indigenous cultural relevance. Topics for discussion include: microaggressions toward indigenous students/cultures; rethinking the colonial roots of research, community engagement, reciprocity and respect, cultural competency, and more. Students, researchers, and educators alike will benefit from this discussion on how to incorporate these tools and perspectives into their living-learning experience.

Diversity M&M: Microaggressions & Marginalization

Victor Lee

This session is an interactive exercise tailored to assist in giving participates an opportunity to self-reflect on their interactions within diverse groups. Session participants will discuss microaggressions, building inclusive groups, and using inclusive language. Session participants will also discuss marginalized groups and learn about a framework for moving from tolerance to acceptance.


Standing in the Intersection: How Intersectional Identities Impact Our Decision to Ask for Help in the Aftermath of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence

Asha Reynolds and Christina Franzino

This presentation will begin with an examination of popular culture’s promotion of sex stereotypes in its depiction of communities of color and in the LGBTQIA community. Participants will brainstorm the ways that these stereotypes contribute to increased levels of sexual violence within these communities. We will next examine statistics showing the prevalence of sexual violence among communities of color and the LGBTQIA community and will discuss how intersectionality influences victims’ decision to seek resources and/or report to school administrators and law enforcement. Finally, the presentation will discuss strategies for challenging barriers preventing victims from seeking help within the GW community. The presenters will also share culturally relevant community resources at GW, in Washington DC, and nationally.


Inclusive Sexual Health Education

Ty Miranda

Heteronormative sexual health education continues to be a challenge for students who identify as LGBTQ or as non-binary. These students, who already have barriers to information, tend to be excluded from conversations about healthy sex because most programming centers around contraception and hetero relationships. Sexual health programming needs to expand beyond contraception and include topics like healthy relationships and conflict resolution strategies. This session explores the challenges that LGBTQ students face and how to best include them in sexual health programming in the university settings.


Developing Substantive Antiracist Practices in University Settings

Rachel Tache

This workshop aims to challenge university students to consider how systemic oppression impacts student access to institutions of higher learning (e.g. admission, matriculation) and outcomes within them (e.g., academic performance, well-being), as well as diversity and inclusion programming development and implementation. Positioned in a unique political moment, it is crucial that we explore and center institutional and systemic barriers to educational access and outcomes within university settings. To maximize the effectiveness of contemporary diversity and inclusion initiatives, a thorough analysis of the structural roots of racial inequities in higher education is pertinent. A primary focus on representation (e.g., racial composition) alone limits the scope of universities’ understandings of systemic barriers faced by students, and minimizes the potential for programming that meaningfully targets these obstacles at their root. Black feminist scholars have implemented initiatives within their institutions to create spaces that foster mentorship, debate, and research among women scholars of color (Brown-Glaude, 2010). Accordingly, critiques of neoliberal multiculturalist diversity efforts in the university emphasize the role of career professionals. Largely missing from this conversation are the voices of students and attention to their function in reimagining diversity at their universities. Thus, the proposed workshop endeavors to engage participants around students’ role in rethinking the Western model of the university (Hong, 2008) in support of a framework that centers antiracist practices and policies. Participants will be encouraged to consider 1) how systemic oppression impacts student access and outcomes; 2) the role of students in confronting universities, including examination of potential risks associated with student-led antiracist social action in institutions of higher learning; and 3) the goals and implications of reimagined conceptions of diversity in university settings for the global community of oppressed peoples.


Bienvenidos a GW: Creating a Welcoming Space for Latinx Students

Trey Johnston

This session will look at Latinx student experience on selective college campuses and how we can takes steps at GW to make our campus more of a home for Latinx students. We will bring together latest research that the Cisneros Institute uses to inform its programs and GW Latinx students' own experiences to build awareness and suggest best practices for faculty and staff.


From Religious Tolerance to Embrace of Religious Diversity: A GW Program’s Efforts to Evolve

Hannah Navarro, Dr. Richard Ruth Phd,  Dr. Katherine Marshall Woods, Psy.D., Shereen Ayoubi 

This panel discussion and experiential workshop will focus on ways our university community can evolve from a climate of religious tolerance to a more proactive value of embrace of community members’ religious identities, beliefs, and practices. We want to help GW become recognized as a community where the diverse religious identities, beliefs, and practices of students faculty, and staff are actively welcomed and supported. We want to be seen, and experienced, as a community where religious/spiritual diversity is visible, understood, and a prized aspect of our intersectional diversity.


He Said What? Tools for Navigating Triggering Events

Marcus Ware 

Many students face triggering events in and out of the classroom but often lack to tools necessary to successfully navigate conversations around impact. Without the proper skills to engage faculty, staff, and fellow students, these conversations often result in broken relationships and conflict that influences the academic environment and student success. The session will give you the tools to successfully engage others across difference.


Inclusion and Exclusion Between the Lines: How Codes of Conduct Can Promote or Inhibit Equity and Inclusion

Christy Anthony and Marquita Morgan-Jones

GW is currently in a process of reviewing our Code of Student Conduct. In this session, we will examine how Codes of Conduct may be written in ways that marginalize or advantage particular populations. This will include an examination of GW’s Code and how policies may include language with once-intended disparate impact. We will conclude the session with time for participants to share their own feedback and ideas on how GW’s Code can be revised to increase inclusion.


Increasing Diversity in Undergraduate Programs

Alexander van der Horst, Evangeline Downie, Trey Johnston, Antonio Lopez and Joshua Paiz

Diversity and inclusion are key to the education experience of the student population and involves all participants and stakeholders in the education process: students, staff, faculty, employers; just to name a few. Diversity has many different axes, including gender, sexuality, class, origin, race, ethnicity and religion. Within the academic community, different fields of study present engage with levels of diversity and/or inclusion issues along one or several of these axes. This session is a panel discussion on current and planned efforts towards increasing diversity and improving inclusion in our student population. We will focus on seeking and discussing best practices within departments and classes. The panelists include faculty and diversity experts from areas within the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The aim is a discussion with a broad and diverse audience that will engage students, faculty and staff.


Overlapping Inclusions: Disabilities, Identities, and Student Lives at The George Washington University

Alisa Major, Susan McMenamin, and Leila Kramer 

This panel will offer a series of interrelated presentations from members of the DSS Student Speakers Bureau, broaching core questions about disability inclusion.  In doing so, these students will speak to the embodied experience of being disabled at GW while also examining how disability overlaps with other identity categories--race, class, and gender--in ways that can productively complicate traditional understandings of inclusion.  What are the politics of requiring students to “self-identify” as disabled in the classroom? How can professors adequately create accessible curricula when disability is not plainly visible to them (or even known to them prior to the start of the semester)? How does GW as a whole need to understand the contingency of student health in the broadest of ways when working to create an inclusive campus environment?  These questions will be variously addressed by the panelists.


Pipeline Programs: A Path to Equity and Inclusion

Jinny Jang

Organizations, programs, and even entire industries will blame their relative homogeneity on a lack of interested diverse talent, hiding a lack of access for people from marginalized backgrounds. How can we stop blaming and start making change? One path is to invest in the pipeline of students and young professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. Session participants will learn about the pressing need for pipeline development as a tool for achieving equity; hear best practices for building a pipeline program, particularly focused on youth; and consider the individual and organizational changes necessary for meaningful investment in pipelines.


Breaking the Stereotypes of Diversity and Inclusion in Fraternity and Sorority Life

Hannah Blandon, Natalie Danett, Ruchika Sharma, Ali Akbar, Emma Montag, Henry Jaensch, Frederic Ryle, Robin Rodolfo, Caroline Friesen

The goal of this panel is not to expose or paint FSL in a negative light, but to highlight the accomplishments that it has been made and will continue to be made—to show a unified front from IFC, Panhellenic, and MGC. The structure of the panel will be an hour-long with approximately 6 panelists from different chapters with a fixed number of questions ranging from “what steps has your chapter taken?” to “what is the future you see of D&I in your chapter and in GW?”. These questions will be asked by the moderators (whom, preferably, would be a student and an administrator), later opening up to a question-and-answer from the audience. Questions from the moderators would be given beforehand to the panelists, and questions from the audience will be filtered through the use of an app. Questions from the audience can only be submitted through the app to avoid aggressive-sounding/contentious questions in which the moderators can re-word. The moderators would begin the panel by reminding the audience to provide critical, yet constructive questions to the panelists. The learning outcomes that we, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of Pi Beta Phi, wish to see are the engaging in a self-reflective process, building personal capacity to engage in healthy dialogues, and the identifying of at least one GW or local initiative or organization where session participants may contribute to promote equity and inclusion. We believe that through this panel, the aforementioned learning outcomes will become a reality.


Beyond the Binary: Building Gender and Sexuality Inclusive Classrooms

Sarah Haueisen

This session will serve to educate faculty and students on creating an environment that is truly inclusive for everyone. While cultural awareness and diversity trainings have increased the general knowledge base of professors regarding the variety of identifiers their students may use, many professors still struggle with integrating inclusive practices into their curriculum, classroom lessons, and personal interactions with students. This workshop will use experiential learning, thoughtful discussion, review of relevant data, and sharing of local anecdotes to leave attendees with strategies they can use to routinely bring inclusivity into the classroom. The session will address pronoun usage, confrontation of microaggression, nongendered academic language, reducing heternormativity, and more topics that will give attendees tangible ways to break the binary.


Fighting Mental Health Stigma and Embracing Neurodiversity in Learning Communities

Joseph Rose

This session will explore mental health stigma and how we can transform the GW learning community into an environment that embraces neurodiversity. Through a presentation of personal experience followed by a guided discussion, we will learn relevant terminology, examine our own biases, and discover how we might support our classmates who live with mental illness.


The Importance of Religious Diversity in Higher Education

Victoria Lewis

While higher education has stepped forward to do the hard work of engaging diversity issues related to race, gender expression etc., religious and worldview identities has too frequently been dismissed or treated with derison. This workshop aims to provide participants with the tools and idea examples for new changes and priorities to support religious and spiritual students.




Designing the Core Curriculum with Health Equity in Mind

Making Thinking Visible after DEAI Training

Ethnocultural Empathy as a Measurable Outcome of an Online Health

Betting on a Dream: Providing Academic and Financial Support at the Graduate Level for Undocumented/ DACAmented students

Pilot Evaluation of the Girl Rising Gender-sensitization Curriculum in India

Defining Incivility and Its Impact on Universities

Improving the Campus Climate for LGBTQIA+ Students Using the Pride Index