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Diversity symposium offers students forum, information on inclusion initiatives


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(Courtesy Photo | Central Michigan University)

Over the past year, Central Michigan University has introduced 73 initiatives to promote equity and inclusion across campus. 

These initiatives encompass a wide variety of subjects within offices on campus and in organizations such as the Student Government Association. 

This year’s diversity symposium on “The Future of Inclusive Engagement and Equity in Action On-Campus” serves as a testament of what is being done and what more can be expected. 

“We know (inclusion at CMU is) not perfect, but sometimes it seems like things happen and nothing ever gets done or no one is listening,” Diversity Education Director Nikita Murry said. “The symposium is a way for people to see that someone is listening. Your voice matters and we want to hear it, especially in a positive, proactive way because that’s how productive, long-lasting and meaningful change really happens.”

The summit featured alumna Amy Andrews, a U.S. Department of Defense senior executive, as the keynote speaker on “Why Inclusion Matters.” There are also eight breakout sessions on topics such as rural student experiences and the Quality of Life rooms, which are all available here

Each breakout session will offer a corresponding Q&A from May 21-29, and a student-centered town hall discussion will be hosted at 7 p.m. May 20.  Participants must register for the Q&As or town hall here.

“The town hall (and symposium are) opportunities to share your voice, but it also is an opportunity to learn from others and to validate sometimes what you’re thinking or feeling, and I think that’s just as important as talking,” Murry said. “Listening in a way that helps you hear that you’re not alone also helps you feel more at peace and gives you a place.”

In a time when everything has gone virtual, Murry acknowledges “online burnout” but urges students to attend the town hall and look into the symposium to help guide initiatives which better address their needs.

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