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Seminar will teach instructors ‘inclusivity and multiculturalism’
A public university in Virginia is offering instructors $250 to undergo training in order to become more “inclusive.”
The program at James Madison University, offered by the school’s Center for Faculty Innovation, is a semester-long “institute” that will allegedly help professors “hone their skills for appreciating, leveraging, and responding to diversity within their classrooms.”
“Participants will gain knowledge in areas associated with inclusivity and multiculturalism (e.g., race/ethnicity, nationality, ability status, etc.),” the description reads. As well, attendees will be instructed in “managing group processes and difficult dialogues, addressing inflammatory and prejudicial comments, becoming aware of microaggressions and how to prevent them, and fostering more inclusive, equitable learning environments.”
The program will offer participants a $250 stipend for attending, funded by “an IDEA Grant from the Office of Access & Inclusion.”
“Participation will enhance agency and confidence in making classroom environments more multiculturally minded,” the description states, “and will create a community around issues of inclusive excellence.”
The program’s goals include “Bringing together a community of faculty committed to teaching for diversity and inclusivity, reviewing literature, research, and best practices on inclusive pedagogy, developing specific teaching strategies for inclusion and diversity, and increas[ing] awareness and confidence related to issues of diversity.”
According to the application, instructors need to attend all seven workshops in order to receive the $250 stipend.
James Madison University’s diversity community is quite active: its diversity umbrella covers nearly twenty different organizations, including a “Feminist Collective,” an “LGBT & Ally Education Program,” and a “Black Student Alliance.”