A virtual space to listen and be heard
Fresno Pacific University offers its students, staff, faculty and alumni a space to express their thoughts about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through a blog called SHARE (Seeing, Hearing, And Respecting Everyone): https://blogs.fresno.edu/share/
We have all heard these terms. For many of us, they may sound interchangeable, but in fact they each cover something different. Diversity includes race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, status, education, gender and so many other possible groups. Equity is about guaranteeing fair treatment to all regardless of which groups they belong to. Inclusion is about bringing people that are typically excluded from the process or conversation into it; it is making sure they have a seat at the table.
Our current social climate has fueled feelings of loneliness and fear. SHARE offers a virtual space for individuals to communicate, learn and help each other. Interim Chief Diversity Officer Patty Salinas explained that “The blog was created as part of our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to create a space where our FPU community could stay involved and up to date in the work that was happening in these areas.”
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, many have voiced their desire to educate themselves on the issues it is involved with. Reading the SHARE blog is one way to do just that. They offer articles like “Challenged and Encouraged in Thinking About Racial Reconciliation” by Melinda Gunning, Director of Disability Access and Education. This example reveals Gunning’s encounters with African American works. She says they “challenged and encouraged” her thoughts about race.
Or are you seeking understanding and community during the pandemic? “Reflecting Back on 2020” by Elida Vargas, FPU Student and Junior Class Psychology Major, offers such insight, but also a call to action. She writes that “This issue directly affects members of Fresno Pacific University’s community. At the start of the Black Student Union Club, there was a racist incident that occurred online.” We often don’t realize these instances of hate can happen in our own backyard. Fresno Pacific is not exempt.
Is there an issue on SHARE that you feel isn’t being covered? Is there an opinion related to DEI that you want to express or, dare I say it, SHARE? (Insert winky face here). Well, you have the ability to do so. Anyone that is a part of the FPU community can write a blog for SHARE. It can be a personal reflection, a book/article review, an opinion piece, etc. The main requirement is that it must fall under the topic of DEI. Once an individual has submitted their draft, the SHARE team will edit it with an eye for spelling and grammar. Salinas then will post them weekly, usually on Tuesdays.
Contact one of SHARE’s representatives listed below, and they will send you some more information about general guidelines:
Patty Salinas (Interim Chief Diversity Officer): firstname.lastname@example.org
Miguel Montoya (ALAS Student Assistant): email@example.com
Breanne Wyse (Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Spiritual Formation): Breanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Fregoso (UDC Co-Chair): email@example.com
Dr. Melanie Howard (UDC Co-Chair): firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Emily Bogdanov | Staff Writer