Mercy Summit on Equity and Inclusion
Friday, April 28
Intercultural Understanding Starts With You
One of the signature events sponsored by the Salve Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, the annual Mercy Summit on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion offers the Salve Regina community an opportunity to listen, to engage and to understand more fully the scope of issues related to diversity and inclusion on college campuses.
- Utilize a common framework for cross-cultural understanding at Salve Regina.
- Intentionally engage in cross-cultural interactions at Salve Regina.
- Develop a personal strategy that directly advances diversity, equity or inclusion work on campus.
- Engage with others to exchange ideas in a nonjudgmental way.
Please note: When registering for the summit, participants should also register for two of the educational sessions listed below.
Unless noted otherwise, all events take place in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.
- 8:30-9 a.m. – Optional continental breakfast
- 9 a.m. – Invocation by Dr. Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, vice president for mission, planning and innovation
- 9:10 a.m. – Welcome and goals by Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president
- 9:20 a.m. – Keynote address by Minal Bopaiah: "Intercultural Understanding Starts With You"
- 10:30 a.m. – Breakout discussions on measurable personal commitments in O'Hare classrooms
- 11:15 a.m. – Report on measurable personal commitments
- 11:45 a.m. – Intercultural competence development program presentation and award ceremony
- 12:45 p.m. – Lunch in the O'Hare lobby (lunch provided)
- 1:30 p.m. – Transition break
- 1:40 p.m. – Educational concurrent sessions in O'Hare classrooms
- 2:30 p.m. – Transition break
- 2:40 p.m. – Educational concurrent sessions in O'Hare classrooms
- 3:30 p.m. - Reflection and closing remarks by President Armstrong in O'Hare 260
Educational Concurrent Sessions
Session 1: Achieving Cross-Cultural Harmony Through Critical Self-Reflection
Presenter: Dr. Dionne Wright Poulton, health care executive, author, educator and consultant
Location: O'Hare 109 | Suggested audience: Faculty
Based on her timely and acclaimed book, "It's Not Always Racist … But Sometimes It Is," Poulton will discuss the difference between racism and racial bias, what we can do to dismantle systemic racism, how to manage and mitigate our biases, beliefs and assumptions about others, and what we should do as individuals and especially leaders to achieve cross-cultural harmony when we make mistakes.
Session 2: Inclusive Strategies for Teaching at Salve (Panel Discussion)
Moderator: Dr. Patrick Campbell, director, Center for Teaching and Learning
Panelists: Dr. Lindsay A. Green-Gavrielidis, assistant professor, Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Victoria Gonzalez, assistant professor, Department of Cultural, Environmental and Global Studies; and Dr. Amanda Minor, associate professor, Department of Counseling, Leadership and Expressive Arts
Location: O'Hare 110 | Suggested audience: Faculty
How do we build inclusive classroom communities at Salve Regina? This panel discussion will explore the meaning and implementation of inclusive teaching. Panelists will present their experiences and tips for building inclusive communities on campus and engage with the audience in discussion. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences in fostering supportive classrooms and have ample opportunities to ask questions or otherwise engage with the panelists. This session aims to foster dialogue, present diverse teaching approaches and provide practical, actionable tips for faculty to enhance inclusion in their classrooms.
Session 3: Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community: What to Know and How to Create Safe Spaces
Presenter: Vin Testa '11
Location: O'Hare 117 | Suggested audience: Faculty
This workshop will explore and define language, terms, challenges and supports that youth service providers should know and use when working with young people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and/or additional identities) community.
Session 4: How Can I Help? A Collaborative Approach to Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Presenters: Dr. Judith L. Drew, assistant professor, Department of Counseling, Leadership and Expressive Arts, and Stephanie Cantin, graduate student, rehabilitation counseling
Location: O'Hare 118 | Suggested audience: Faculty
"Just by the nature of it, it is not fun to do … but I cannot help it. It takes courage to ask." (Jack, a graduate student with cerebral palsy on requesting accommodations.) Asking for and receiving accommodations are some of the most challenging experiences for college students with disabilities. Research shows they fear discrimination and feel ill-equipped to explain their disability and negotiate for what they need. This session will explore these issues and include a student’s perspective to help faculty learn how they can partner with students in this process.
Session 5: Discover the Roots of Trees: What Can We Learn From Salve's Arboretum?
Presenters: Mike Chester, superintendent of grounds, and Mary Beth Pelletier, program manager, Office of Mission Integration
Location: O'Hare 205 | Suggested audience: Staff
The roots of a tree, how and where it's planted, the care and maintenance performed throughout a tree's life, and its environmental elements all determine the life, the strength, the success of a tree. But have you considered the lessons of mercy we can learn from our Salve trees? In celebration of the Mercy Summit and Arbor Day, engage with Salve Regina's Level II arboretum to learn planting techniques and maintenance, the symbolism of the University's trees, followed by a reflective discussion and story sharing on the metaphors for inclusion, equity, justice, implicit bias, power, privilege and mercy found in the trees.
Session 6: Cross Cultural Communication Skills
Presenter: Dr. Sami Nassim, assistant vice president for diversity initiatives and student success
Location: O'Hare 206 | Suggested audience: Staff
This session will provide community members with avenues to enhance their cross-cultural competencies and awareness of other cultures. Participants will have intentional opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and dialogue. Participants will explore the ways in which culture affects the lives, experiences and decision making of Salve Regina community members and those beyond.
Session 7: How to be an Effective Ally
Presenter: Rose Albert, associate director, Office of Multicultural Programs and Retention
Location: O'Hare 210 | Suggested audience: Staff
This session will provide tools to support marginalized populations at personal and systemic levels. Attendees will learn to identify specific strategies to become more effective allies.
Session 8: A Rainbow Among the Clouds: Exploring What Makes You, You
Presenter: Emily Haggett, student engagement and LGBTQ+ resource coordinator
Location: O'Hare 217 | Suggested audience: Students
Through conversation and multiple hands-on activities, participants will explore different aspects of what makes them unique, with an emphasis on gender and sexual orientation. Even if participants are not in the LGBTQIA+ community, they are strongly encouraged to attend and think about how gender roles and toxic masculinity may affect their view of themselves. In this space, there are no wrong answers and no judgement – just an opportunity to reflect and explore.
Session 9: Self Care: How to Prioritize Our Well-being as a Need
Presenter: Gessie Belizaire, development associate, YWCA USA
Location: O'Hare 218 | Suggested audience: Students
Start your afternoon with a dynamic workshop featuring author Gessie Belizaire as she shares her practice for prioritizing self-care through daily living. Students will learn the importance of prioritizing wellness, their personal definition of self-care, tips and tools to encourage self-exploration and how to enhance their self-awareness.