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Mark Orbe

Mark Orbe

Photo courtesy of: Office for Diversity and Inclusion

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Slots available for annual Summer Institute for Diversity Education

Training sessions run May 14-17


The Office for Diversity and Inclusion will host its fourth annual Summer Institute for Diversity Education (SIDE), May 14-17.

SIDE is open to faculty, staff, students and community members and will take place in the Ohio University Human Resources and Training Center.

In 2009, SIDE was created to "empower and train participants to effectively manage cross-cultural communication, implement diversity programming and facilitate diversity education opportunities."

"In its fourth year, SIDE continues to illustrate one of the greatest missions and strengths of higher education -- preserving diversity to enrich the educational experience. During SIDE, participants learn from those whose experiences, beliefs and values are varied from their own," said Stephanie Sanders, assistant director in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

Participants will experience 30 hours of learning exercises and facilitation processes led by internationally known educator, author, and trainer Mark Orbe. He is an OHIO alumnus and faculty member in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University, and contributed to the creation of the program.

But the knowledge gained from the SIDE program doesn't stop with the three-day duration of the program. Participants leave the institute prepared to implement diversity programs throughout their community. Former participants have facilitated programs at Ohio University such as the Brown Bag Series, Diversity Essentials and SIDE-STARS Training.

"Attending SIDE is not a one-time opportunity, rather, it is designed to be on-going, with the hope that participants are well equipped to serve as diversity facilitators throughout the academic year," said Sanders.

SIDE has also been working to expand its vision beyond the Ohio University campus by advertising to universities in West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania. This year, David Descutner, interim vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion, has worked to expand the program by removing barriers that could prevent interested participants from registration.

"In an effort to recruit more community members who actively advance diversity in the Athens community, we are offering scholarships to minimize financial cost associated with registration,"
said Sanders. The scholarships are available to students and community members.

The registration fee for SIDE is $300, which covers all sessions, a resource manual and several meals, including an opening dinner. After completing the program, each participant will receive a certificate in diversity training and three continuing education units (CEU).

For more information or to register click here. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30.