Ever wondered how you can be more inclusive? Over the past week, UWCD students explored just that, with events ranging from an audio documentary to an Ask a Gay Panel. The Inclusivity Focus Week aimed to raise awareness about certain social issues that currently affect the lives of millions of people around the world while encouraging important discussions about the role these issues have in our own lives and others, and how we can effect positive change.
Every day of the week had a particular challenge, snack break event, and other later events. On Monday students were encouraged to wear something that represents a particular cause and then discuss it with their peers. Tuesday was a gossip free day with a photo campaign highlighting various causes, and on Wednesday students were encouraged to experience a physical disability for the day. Few people realize how unaccommodating our campus is to people with disabilities, so this really opened our eyes and may hopefully bring about positive change. There was also a presentation about sexual assault around the world, a very serious issue effecting millions of people. On Thursday we took a rainbow picture in the atrium in support of the LGTBQ+ community, and then had the opportunity to ask members of that community questions in the Ask a Gay Panel. We also saw an audio documentary about a Black power bookstore in the USA which was accompanied by a discussion about our role and voice in supporting various social causes. On Friday we ended the week with a day of solidarity with persecuted Muslims, including head scarf tutorials and a discussion about Islamophobia.
Overall, this week was highly informative, interesting, and fun. We hope to continue these discussions, and return next year with an even better series of events to increase our inclusivity.
Pictures by Thawdar, Myanmar, UWCD'17 and Brian, University councellor.