Worthington Scranton announces spring schedule for Diversity Circles

Marwan Wafa and wife

Marwan Wafa, Penn State Worthington Scranton chancellor, and his wife, Sahar Al Masri, implemented Diversity Circles at the campus more than a year ago, and the program is now being offered during the fall and spring semesters.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Worthington Scranton has announced that it will hold another series of Diversity Circles at the campus starting in February.

Diversity Circles are small groups of eight to 12 people from all walks of life who meet once a week for five sessions to discuss key challenges related to diversity.

The initiative, which includes individuals from both the campus and local communities, was started by Worthington Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa and his wife, Sahar Al Masri, at Penn State Worthington Scranton in 2016.

Diversity Circles offer a perfect opportunity to gain a new understanding of others' perspectives and experiences that shape their own unique personal world views.

Martin Lacayo, campus multi-cultural coordinator, and Karin Machluf, assistant professor of psychology, spearhead the sessions, which are designed to provide a respectful, informative environment for people of all backgrounds to have civil discussions on a wide range of topics.

The topics are predetermined but the revelations and insights are guided by the interaction of participants. The goal is to promote a healthy dialogue among the group participants, not debate.

“The idea is to have conversations that might be difficult to have outside of the circle," Machluf explained. "It’s the true definition of a safe space, not safe from ideas that challenge you, but rather a safe space where you could have these difficult conversations and engage with other people who may disagree with you without any hostility. It’s all about dialogue, understanding and empathy.”

“Folks are very engaged. They are willing to learn, which is part of what going through the circle is all about,” Lacayo said.

The spring 2018 dates are:

  • Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, from 3-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, from 3-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, from 3-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, from 3-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018, from 3-5 p.m. 

*Snow date of Thursday, March 15, 2018

 For more information on Diversity Circles and to register, visit http://worthingtonscranton.psu.edu/diversity-circles