Profiling the Mosaic Center's Diversity Educator Interns
Q: What is your year and major at UMBC?
A: I am a junior and I am a psychology, sociology, gender studies student.
Q: How is your major
applicable to diversity education?
A: My majors assess the ways in which power and privilege, as well as subordination and oppression, functions within society. Understanding that diversity and the intersections of the status positions we occupy impact our everyday experiences is a valued factor in my studies.
Q: Why did you decide to apply for the Diversity Educator Internship?
A: I applied because I believed in the different components the position had to offer: providing knowledge and vocalization for various groups, being an advocate for social justice in appreciating difference, and finally recognizing what about my personal skills could be utilized to educate others (and myself) about diversity.
Q: How would you define diversity?
A: Diversity is the acknowledgment that difference exists. These differences are across ethnicity, gender, sexuality, sex, religion, class, ability… Anything that makes us who we are. Ultimately, the statues we perform influence our perspective, our opportunities and our recognition.
Q:How does UMBC foster an appreciation for diversity?
A: UMBC’s Office of Student Life offers students the abilities to actively get involved with diversity. There are multiple opportunities for students to engage with different cultural and faith based groups, or just about any organization composed of people working towards a common goal. By becoming involved with these organizations, students are able to get an enriched experience in diversity.
Q: What are ways that students can participate in advocacy for diversity?
A: Advocacy begins with knowledge and continues with action. Students have the ability to get involved with organizations and events to learn more about the types of diversity on campus; afterwards, they can pursue their passions. Advocacy takes the form of appreciating that diversity is good, as well as dispelling negative attributions. Instead of just accepting that a statement is racist, sexist, etc., advocacy is asking why it is wrong, for whom it is wrong and in what ways can it be addressed properly.
Q:After graduating how will you continue to be an advocate for diversity?
A: Personally, working towards change has been a goal of my research on negative constructions of masculinity and depictions of queer identities. I’m sure that this will not change after graduation: I will take the knowledge and skills I’ve gained at UMBC that have allowed me to engage diversity in a meaningful and productive way in my professional field. Acts of advocacy do not need to be large scale; they can be every day acts of kindness that spread a message of acceptance rather than disregard.
Posted: February 27, 2012, 10:58 AM