“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” - Maya Angelou
We live in an increasingly interdependent society and have the opportunity to engage with all kinds of people because of globalization, social media, and the advancement of technology. This broad engagement is something that is seen on Cumberlands’ campus since we have students from almost every state and many countries. This opportunity has provided us with the ability to engage with people who are not like us.
With Cumberland’s mission as our foundation, the purpose of Diversity & Inclusion is to provide students, faculty, staff, the opportunity to exchange, sharpen, and challenge one another’s ideas. We do this by seeking to cultivate healthy dialogue with humility and charity, providing our community the opportunity to experience things that they might not have had the opportunity to experience before, and by providing the opportunity to network. This exchange of ideas and experiences helps make a productive society and creates a holistic approach to education.
Message From Our Director
The Department of Diversity and Inclusion has a number of initiatives operated throughout the academic year in hopes of bringing all our students a fuller understanding of the greater community we serve.
“If experience is the best teacher, then exposure is the best classroom.” WEB Dubois.
One of our goals is to provide our staff and students the opportunity to learn by experiencing a variety of things. This is done by going to various museums, visiting and hearing different kinds of concerts, eating a meal from a country that they have not eaten from before, study abroad, and a variety of other things. Our hope is that these experiences will help to cultivate a more holistic learning environment on campus and also provide a means for conversation and engagement on campus.
- Back to School Bash
- Trip to Cherokee Indian Museum
- Ark Encounter
- Ron Jones Jazz Band
- Maverick City & Kirk Franklin Concert
- Creation Museum
- Odd?Rod: Spoken Word Artist
- International Food Night
You don’t know what you don’t know.
The goal of this program is to get our campus community together to talk through a variety of topics. We want to help foster healthy dialogue on campus and also allow our students to get to know one another more deeply. We value diversity of opinion and realize that there is a broad range of experience on our campus, so we want to allow students to talk with one another about those things. We are convinced that healthy dialogue is a crucial skill that is needed today, and our goal is to allow our students the opportunity to develop those skills.
Previous Table Talk Topics:
- How should we deal with COVID on campus?
- What was the biggest cultural adjustment since coming on campus?
- What does faith look like where you are from?
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 11:14 NASB
This program allows students to engage with professionals in their desired job field. There are two components to the Networth Network: exposure and mentorship. Part of the exposure component is to bring professionals on to campus or to host them via a Zoom call to interact with students. Students will have the opportunity to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the professions.
The mentorship component seeks to pair 3 professionals with a student so they can develop and expand their network. The goal for this program is to get students engaged with professionals so that the students can have the opportunity to network, develop professionally, get an internship, get a job, and ultimately to expand their networth.
Bridging the Gap
Bridge the Gap is a transformational fellowship program that brings together young people from different campuses and backgrounds across the state to learn how to bridge many of the challenges currently dividing our society. Through interactive skill-building workshops, extensive discussions, and a range of action projects, participants will develop the skills they need to be the leaders needed in today’s society.
To be clear, this program is not an effort to dismiss the deep and genuine political differences in our society. Rather, it is a concrete step to give participants the tools to find areas of common ground, create constructive tension, understand our shared humanity, and solve pressing problems with those of different backgrounds and beliefs.
Here’s what you’ll gain from Bridge the Gap:
- You’ll develop the skills to listen, understand, be heard and seek common ground…
- You’ll learn more about yourself, your communication and leadership styles and how to recognize the strengths and challenges of others around you…
- You’ll practice seeking common ground without attempting to change minds or compromise deeply held values…
- You'll learn how to prepare for and navigate through difficult conversations…
- You'll build relationships with people from different backgrounds…
- You'll develop the capacity to be a more effective leader at home, on campus and in your career…
- You'll learn and practice critical skills needed to make a difference in the world…
Diversity Reading Initiative
The Diversity Reading Initiative is a program designed to get books about diversity into people’s hands so issues relevant to our students and the Cumberlands community can be discussed.