Diversity and Inclusion-Focused Events at Fletcher

Recently, Paula Armstrong (a second-year MALD student) wrote to tell me about her recent involvement in community diversity-related issues.  She said,”I’m part of a group of students who wrote a memo to Dean Stavridis last December about fostering diversity and inclusion at Fletcher.  Since then, we have been planning a number of events to increase discussion of these issues, as well as of social justice more broadly.”  Today, she’ll describe some of these events, which are open for prospective students who may be visiting the area.

Students come to Fletcher from a wide range of backgrounds and go off to work in all corners of the world after graduating.  As a student body, it’s therefore important for us to think critically about diversity and inclusion.  These topics shape both who we are and the environments we will find ourselves working in.  Three student-planned events in March and April highlight these issues:

Film Screening – The House I Live In, Wednesday, March 4

o   The House I Live In explores the global “war on drugs” and its destructive impact on black Americans.  Approximately 20 Fletcher students attended the screening and participated in the discussion that followed. Facilitated by Seth Lippincott, second-year MALD, this discussion focused on the domestic implications and global impact of the “war on drugs,” as well as on how to engage in a dialogue with other students and professors to connect the issues of race and inequality in the United States to the Fletcher curriculum.  Students also weighed in about the importance of discussing the negative consequences of certain U.S. public policies and linking this discussion back to international work post-Fletcher.

Panel Discussion – Navigating Social Identities in the Workplace, Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Mugar 200

o   Hosted by the Ralph Bunche Society for Diversity in International Affairs, Global Women, Fletcher LGBTQA, and the Office of Career Services

o   At Fletcher, we know that who you are and where you come from do not affect your intellectual capabilities.  We also understand, however, that conscious and unconscious biases, based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and other aspects of our social identity, in the U.S. and abroad, can have a profound impact on how we are viewed an​d treated.  This presents both the challenge to manage the negative implications of these biases in our own careers, and the opportunity to be allies in the workforce for colleagues and clients who are targeted or marginalized.  The goal of this panel is to offer a space for Fletcher students to have a dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that they have faced in their work environments, domestically and abroad, associated with their social identities.  Come hear from other Fletcher students who have tackled issues regarding their social identity in the U.S. and abroad.  Also learn more about two Fletcher alumni associations, Global Women and the Fletcher Alumni of Color Association, that offer support navigating your career upon graduation.

Workshop — The Art of Inclusive Leadership, Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cabot 7th Floor

o   Facilitated by Diane Goodman, Ed.D, Diversity and Social Justice Trainer and Consultant

o   Join your fellow Fletcher students in a dynamic, interactive workshop to develop concrete communication, interpersonal, and cultural competence skills to be an inclusive leader.  Students will have the opportunity to explore their leadership attributes, share their experiences, apply concepts to real world scenarios, and gain the skills and knowledge to lead diverse and inclusive programs in domestic and international contexts. Lunch will be provided.

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