I am sad that this class has come to an end. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about myself and how I can create a better environment for others. Taking this class has really opened up my eyes, on the topic and discussions of Diversity and Inclusion. I feel that I can take everything that was discussed and share it with others in some way. I have not had many opportunities in life to have these types of discussions, and I am glad this class created that opportunity. I am also grateful for the classroom environment. Everyone in class helped to create and maintain a safe space for each one of us to open up and share our experiences in life. My two biggest takeaways from this class are: (1) Own your experiences, and (2) Diversity does not work without Inclusion.
(1) Own your experiences: I have always had issues with opening up to people and sharing my experiences. I was actually really nervous about these blog posts at the beginning of the semester. The first blog post, I actually rewrote because my first draft I felt uncomfortable sharing too much personal information about myself. I think the idea of blog posts made me uncomfortable because it forced me to be vulnerable and think about my life experiences in a new way.
(2) Diversity does not work without Inclusion: Diversity will bring people of different backgrounds in the same room, but inclusion will keep them in the room. Inclusion is really the glue that keeps people together and manifests a better environment. When you have one without the other, you can have only a diverse environment, but people are unhappy, or a group of people of the same background. Fostering this balance and being able to explain this to others is a big learning idea for me. I came into this class hoping to learn what I can bring back to my organization to help our sisterhood, and this tied everything together.
Moving Forward: To me, this class was the tip of the iceberg. I feel like I have a lot more learning that I need to do. This class really initiated a spark for me to continue understanding how we can work through barriers to create inclusive environments for people. Applying the ideas and concepts we talked during class to different fields of my life (i.e., teaching methods, as a student, as a leader) can allow me to foster better environments for others and make others feel included and happy.