As Salisbury University students begin registering for spring semester classes, SU’s Healing Action group is highlighting an area often overlooked in the course selection process: diversity and inclusion.
The group recently unveiled the new Diversity and Inclusion Resources for Curricula Library Guide in hopes of assisting students in identifying potential courses across campus related to themes of inclusivity, which may be viewed here.
The Healing Action group requested in the fall that all SU faculty submit any course offerings for the upcoming spring and fall 2021 semesters that “relate to themes of diversity and inclusion, particularly with regard to marginalized populations, histories of representation and changing cultural politics,” according to the guide.
The Fulton School of Liberal Arts currently leads all other SU academic schools in submissions with nearly 50 eligible courses in a variety of disciplines, including art, environmental science, music and psychology, among others.
The communication department offers the most courses listed in the Fulton School with nine, followed by the English and history departments, each offering seven.
The College of Health and Human Services and the Seidel School of Education also provide courses related to diversity and inclusion alongside their Fulton counterpart, each currently offering two.
Dr. Elsie Walker, professor of cinema studies at SU and an active faculty member of the Healing Action group, worked alongside Angeline Prichard, the SU Libraries diversity and inclusion coordinator and fellow group member, to compose the guide.
Walker has tremendous faith in the potential benefits of the guide for the upcoming semesters.
“I think it's beneficial for students to know that there are many places on campus where they can have these important conversations about diversity and inclusion that go beyond the scope of a single townhall or workshop … especially as we strive to make our nation more genuinely inclusive.”
Walker will be teaching an international cinema course in the spring, featured on the guide under the English subsection, and is very excited to begin dialogues with students on a variety of cultures.
“I feel that there are many films that can teach us about how to engage more compassionately, more humanely, more thoughtfully and imaginatively with the struggles that people different from us face,” Walker said.
Danitza Roman, deputy chair of the SU Student Government Diversity and Inclusion Committee, is very excited for students taking these courses, as they “will have the opportunity to learn how to interact and connect with students from different backgrounds … I would encourage [all] students to take diversity and inclusion courses.”
Roman continued, citing that a course involving themes of diversity and inclusion can be “a great opportunity to connect with other students who have the same interests and learn a lot about different cultures."
Courses are organized on the guide by academic school and department for convenience and will be updated as future submissions are received.
Faculty members planning to teach a course over the next academic year that meets the diversity and inclusion criteria are encouraged to contact both Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Prichard, email@example.com, with the course’s code, title, semester offered, instructor and how the class applies to diversity and inclusion.
Overall, Walker is very hopeful for the future of the campus community.
“If you can adopt a curious mindset and try to get into a genuinely open-minded space within yourself … I think it can be very beautiful because you begin to understand the smallness of your position in relation to these massive infrastructural truths, and, with a full heart, hopefully become part of moving things forward.”
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Inside Higher Ed.