Upcoming Diversity Seminars

This fall semester, the CALS Office for Diversity Programs is continuing a series of discussions begun a year ago to examine the dynamics of race, bias, inclusivity and privilege in higher education through the lens of cultural competency. Three seminars are scheduled, on Sept. 14, Oct. 7 and Nov. 11. RSVPs are requested for each seminar, as lunches will be provided at no cost. Email questions to Theressa Cooper (
See information below on topics and facilitators for each seminar and deadlines for RSVPs:
Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Supporting International Students and Scholars and Addressing Xenophobia and Nativism
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Center for Crops Utilization Research Technology Transfer Theatre, Room 1951 Food Sciences Building
Facilitator: Mark Grey, professor of anthropology and director of the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration, University of Northern Iowa.
Cultural differences are only one of several challenges facing members of the university community as more international students and faculty arrive on campuses. The increase has been significant over the past several years. With all this diversity, what challenges do faculty, staff and students face when dealing with international students in their classrooms, navigating shared spaces on campus and interacting in groups and teams? These and related questions will be addressed during this interactive seminar.
To register:

Friday, Oct. 7 - Creating Inclusive Classrooms
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Center for Crops Utilization Research Technology Transfer Theatre, Room 1951 Food Sciences Building
Facilitator: Fred Bonner II, professor and Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Prairie View A&M University.
During this interactive workshop, faculty and staff will participate in individual, small group and large group activities to explore the concept of the inclusive classroom, barriers to effective inclusion and strategies to overcome them. “Even though some of us might wish to conceptualize our classrooms as culturally neutral or might choose to ignore the cultural dimensions, students cannot check their sociocultural identities at the door, nor can they instantly transcend their current level of development . . . Therefore, it is important that the pedagogical strategies we employ in the classroom reflect an understanding of social identity development so that we can anticipate the tensions that might occur in the classroom and be proactive about them.” (Ambrose et. al., 2010, How Learning Works: Seven Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching, p. 169-170).
To register:
Friday, Nov. 11 - Reading Circle for “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do”
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Facilitator: Theressa Cooper, Assistant Dean For Diversity, CALS
Location: Iowa Crop Improvement Association Dean’s Conference Room, Room 142, Curtiss Hall
“Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do,” written by Claude Steele, is a first-person account published in 2010 as part of publisher W.W. Norton’s “Issues of Our Time” book series by leading thinkers exploring ideas that matter in the new millennium. Participants need to read the book beforehand; the book is 219 pages and reads very easily. CALS will have 25 copies of the book available Sept. 9; pick up a copy in Room 138, Curtiss Hall. “Whistling Vivaldi” is a summary of Steele’s groundbreaking research on group identity and the ways in which stereotypes can undermine the performance of the people they target. It is about the experience of living under the cloud of the stereotype threat and the role such threats play in shaping individuals’ lives and society. It also points to evidence that often small, feasible interventions can reduce these threats and dramatically narrow the racial and gender achievement.