After reading the prompt for this last blog post, “a summary of my class experience”, I decided to look back at my first real blog post of the semester. This was the post that asked what I hoped to get out of the class.
In this blog post, I had stated that “I hope to learn about [the students’] life experiences and how it has shaped who they are today. I also hope to get the opportunity to share my experiences and thoughts relating to topics covered in class”.
Throughout this semester, I feel as though I have accomplished both of the points above. All of the people in the class were so eager and willing to share their stories. I am so grateful that everyone in the room felt safe and comfortable enough to share their personal experiences. In each class meet up, I got to take a little peek into what shaped the person who was sharing and sitting around the tables with me. Even though I personally am not the most talkative or outspoken person, I appreciated the encouraged talk time when I thought of some idea that I needed to communicate. I am so very thankful for the safe space created by everyone in the room because without it I would not have been willing to share.
Another goal of mine, stated in my earlier blog post, was that I had hoped to be sponge-like, absorbing any and all discussed content. I feel as though I accomplished this goal very well. I did my best to actively listen in class and take in all of the ideas people provided, as well as the weekly readings assigned on Canvas. I pride myself on being open-minded and I believe I stayed that way throughout the semester by taking in all of the information.
The last goal in my blog was to gain practical knowledge and “to be overall more inclusive and willing to talk about the issues that are common and constantly seen surrounding diversity, on and off campus”. During this class, I gained fantastic practical awareness about how to approach topics surrounding diversity and how important it is to do so.
Throughout the semester, I learned a ton of extremely valuable insights into diversity, equity, and inclusion. I think the concept that came as the most shocking to me was how poorly we are approaching the topics in regard to higher education as a whole. Now don’t get me wrong, there are people, like Dr. Grimes, who invest time and energy into these topics, but they seem to come few and far between. If we are going to change our cultural views on diversity, equity, and inclusion, then we need to reach more people. A greater population of people need to be required to take a class such as this one and want to share their new knowledge. In order for there to be change, there needs to be shared knowledge as well as the willingness to learn. One day I hope that is the case.
As for my personal contribution, I will try my best to bring up concepts regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion where I see fit. I will not be afraid to respectfully speak my mind when I encounter something unjust or a situation where equity is not being applied.
Overall, I really am thankful for all the tools this class has given me and will forever continue to add more to my diversity, equity, and inclusion toolbox.