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Faculty, staff, students sought for new team to facilitate University’s DEI, antiracism education model

University News | 09.13.23

The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is seeking approximately 50 individuals — faculty, staff, and students — across the Adler University campuses to join a new team dedicated to supporting the University’s DEI and antiracism initiatives. The group will serve as the inaugural Adler University National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Campus Affiliate Team, and they will be trained to utilize the NCBI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Model. The NCBI is a nonprofit leadership training organization based outside Washington, D.C.

Adler community members are encouraged to nominate themselves — or recommend others — to join. Nominations forms are due Sept. 22. Those interested in joining are invited to sign up for one of four informational meetings at https://forms.office.com/r/fjK9YbmiZH.

“The NCBI model has been a cherished tool in my DEI training repertoire,” said Kahan Sablo, D.Ed., vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “At times, the higher education community is so focused on grounded theory and the intellectualization of racism, heterosexism, antisemitism, etc., we often neglect to acknowledge the pain experienced by historically marginalized communities. A cornerstone of the NCBI model is intentionally hearing the stories of those who have been harmed, not from a lens of pity or deficit, but as an intrinsic prompt for action.”

Those joining the team will participate in a three-day NCBI Train-the-Trainer Seminar, which will prepare participants to facilitate two DEI-related programs: the Controversial Issue Process and the Welcoming Diversity Workshop. The former advances a hotly contested issue by teaching people to hear heartfelt concerns and reframe the debate to support bridge-building.

The workshop is a series of facilitated activities that are designed to celebrate similarities and differences; recognize the misinformation learned about various groups, including your own; reevaluate personal attitudes and behaviors rooted in prejudice and discrimination; and claim pride in group identity. The workshop will also help others understand the personal impact of discrimination through the telling of stories and learning hands-on tools for effectively dealing with offensive remarks and behaviors.

Expectations in becoming a trained facilitator include:

  • The ability to remain calm during emotionally charged learning experiences.
  • A willingness to be vulnerable in your own learning and development.
  • The passion to serve as a resource for the vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The availability to attend ongoing practice sessions to maintain skill proficiency.
  • Attendance at a three-day Train-the-Trainer Seminar. This training will be scheduled at the convenience of those selected to be facilitators.

Adler University students may be recommended. However, the sustainability of the inaugural team is rooted in the continued availability of those trained. Priority will be given to those with multi-year availability for service. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion will contact everyone who has been nominated and invite them to several informational meetings: Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. CDT, at the Chicago Center for Diversity and Inclusion (Room 15-100); Oct. 5 at noon PDT at the Vancouver Campus’ Community Hall; and two virtual meetings on Oct. 2 at noon CST/10 a.m. PDT and Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. CDT/noon PDT.

“The sustainability of the program and its content are enhanced through the careful selection and training of Adler-based workshop leaders. The more we are empowered to facilitate sessions internally, the greater the level of ownership Adler University feels for this work,” said Dr. Sablo. “It is my hope that this training is adopted by academic and administrative departments as an essential component of socially responsible practitioner preparation.”

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