Report: University’s massive ‘diversity-training’ outreach soars

BY KAT SHEPHERD / DECEMBER 4, 2017 /

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A series called “Conversations on Diversity and Equity” (CODE) at Northern Illinois University (NIU) offered 70 workshops to train students about oppression and privilege, as more people attended the diversity training program than usual.

Run by the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI), CODE workshops were conducted for 191 student organizations, where “opportunities for coalition building for social justice causes” were discussed, according to NIU Today.

As described by the Washington Free Beacon, CODE workshops included:

“Situating the Self,” which defines diversity lingo; “Power Dynamics of Difference,” where students are taught “critical thinking skills and knowledge regarding how privilege and oppression shape their experiences and perspectives in relationship and communities”; and “Engaging Systems of Oppressions,” which “immerses dedicated individuals with the lifelong dedication necessary for social justice work.”

According to the CODE website, “The ultimate outcome of providing these experiences for students is to work towards an inclusive campus community where everyone respects the value and dignity of all of its members.”

In the Fall, 900 people, including faculty and staff members as well as students, participated in the diversity workshops. The number participating is up from last year when NIU Today reports only 782 individuals participated such training in the entire year. NIU’s population is approximately 22,000.

A two-day CODE Facilitator Training program will be presented by ADEI in January, which will teach participants about the various dimensions of social identity, help them understand and negotiate their own network of identities and how those forces influence their approach to social justice, and learn conflict intervention, according to the Beacon.

An NIU spokesperson says each CODE session costs the school $30.