DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is a year-round venture, as reflected by its ongoing and well-received Diversity Circles initiative.
Throughout July, the campus will hold its next round of virtual Diversity Circles, a five-week experiential program where members of the campus and local communities come together as an opportunity for learning, understanding and growth in regards to diversity and inclusion.
Starting July 1 and concluding July 29, meetings will be held every Thursday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Zoom.
There are currently spots still available for the Diversity Circles, which are open to campus students, faculty and staff, as well as Scranton-area residents. There is no cost to join, but participants are expected to attend all five sessions in order to earn a certificate of completion.
“The goal for the Diversity Circles continues to be able to provide a space for dialogue about diversity and inclusion,” said Coordinator of Co-Curricular Programs Dharti Ray, who oversees the program. “Diversity Circles allow people from all backgrounds to come together to have a respectful dialogue about issues centered around discrimination and racism.”
Conceived by Chancellor Marwan Wafa and his wife, Sahar al Masri, the Diversity Circles have been offered at the campus since 2017. Each semester, a new group of eight to 12 people representing a variety of backgrounds meet over five weeks.
At the sessions, a trained facilitator engages the group in discussions that encourage participants to open up about their individual life experiences and perspectives as a way for everyone to expand their worldviews and in the process become better promoters of diversity and inclusion.
Ray also has taken the Diversity Circles concept into the classroom to help students gain a better understanding of diversity and inclusion. And, during a recent presentation for Penn State Scranton and Wilkes University’s collaborative Family Business Alliance, she provided attendees with an overview of the program and information on how local businesses could start their own Diversity Circles.
For Ray, the Diversity Circles are always a positive and illuminating experience.
“Every time I facilitate the dialogue, I obtain a unique perspective and I value the conversations,” she said.
To register for the Diversity Circles, contact Ray at 570-963-2685 or [email protected]. Or, click here for additional information about the program.