Campus-wide diversity training for St. Mary’s College of Maryland was initiated earlier this summer, bringing the campus community one step closer to building a more inclusive, diverse and equitable institution.
St. Mary’s College’s commitment to diversity is an integral part of the College’s fundamental mission to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that nurtures learning and personal growth for the entire campus community. DiversityEdu is a campus-wide online training program created to accomplish that goal.
Kortet Mensah, the College’s associate vice president of diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer, said that in addition to the hour-long training, there are several in-person group conversations taking place on campus that aim to reinforce the lessons in the online training.
The conversation portion of the training, she said, is a “collaborative community-building conversation,” that allows participants to work toward applying the online information into their different walks of life.
“We’re using it to build our community on the values that this institution holds dear, which are inclusion, diversity, building a sense of respect and dignity, and integrity among us,” Mensah said.
Joanne Goldwater, associate dean for retention and student success, said the training and discussion puts everyone on the same page. “Once we all have a common base of knowledge, concepts, historical issues, and language, we can better engage with each other and build understanding which will hopefully improve our sense of community and humanity. From here, we will be able to better identify and share our values,” she said.
The College is committed to providing learning opportunities that enhance each member’s ability to positively interact with diverse individuals.
“The goal is that when we leave the room, we leave with our dignity intact and a better understanding of what our campus has planned for a diverse, inclusive and equitable community,” Mensah said.
St. Mary’s College President Tuajuanda C. Jordan said that we are providing the members of our campus community the skills to be productive and engaged global citizens. “This requires an understanding of, and appreciation for, at first glance, the differences between individuals. More importantly, this educational endeavor enlightens us regarding the similarities that exist across humanity and better prepares us to address the world’s challenges in a collaborative, productive, and respectful manner. The concept of inclusive diversity is a central component of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland mission. It is a core value and part of our ethos.”
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through 2024-2025. St. Mary’s College, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Approximately 1,700 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland.