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DEI Reading Discussions

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Jane Lewandoski
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DEI Reading Discussions

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office Reading Discussions

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office reading series discussion initiative aims for students, staff, faculty, and the community to have an honest and open dialogue on their perspective lens and connect with the subject in a comprehensive way to promote respect and empathy in others; by creating a safe space to share discussion and transparency about the issues surrounding the select topics.

To register, please contact: 


SC4 students and staff have access to the ebooks through their SC4 portal username and password. 

White Fragility Discussion Group

DEI Reading Discussion - White FragilityWhy It's So  Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

The first group discussion will be on Friday, September 25, 2020. The book being discussed will be White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Our facilitators will be Dr. Leah Howell and Dr. Portia Watkins.

Dr. Howell currently serves as the Director of Health, Wellness, and Accountability for Alpha Phi International Fraternity, transitioning to this role after nearly two decades of direct experience in post-secondary education. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Studies, with a focus in Developmental and Learning Sciences, at the University of Cincinnati where her research focused on the intersection of identity development and high-risk alcohol use. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Studies & Psychology from Central Michigan University. Her functional experience includes work in the Ombud’s Office, Student Conduct, Title IX, Disability Support Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life. Her curriculum development and facilitation experience are diverse, covering topics including academic success, leadership development, sexual violence prevention, harm reduction, and cultural competence. As a proud first-generation college student, she has an affinity for opportunities which allow her to impact the expansion of inclusion and access practices for post-secondary communities.

Dr. Watkins is an equity and inclusion minded higher education professional with over 8 years of experience. She is a Level 1 trainer of the Kingian NonViolence Conflict Reconciliation program which is based on the life and readings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her research interests include: Black Women Professors and Staff in higher education, Othermothering, Black Feminist thought, Critical Race theory, group dynamics, access in higher education, social justice, supervision and assessment. Dr. Watkins is currently serving as the Director of New Student Orientation at Michigan State University.