"Diversity workshop shares important message",

Northern Iowan

This week, I attended a diversity workshop hosted by the University of Northern Iowa Campus Coalition Builders in the Center for Multicultural Education in Maucker Union. The workshop lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it was a chance for students, professors and faculty from UNI to get together and discuss diversity.

The workshop took an approach I had not anticipated. Rather than talking about how to accept diversity in others, most of our time was spent realizing and appreciating our personal stories. Later on, we were told that in order to see a shift in attitude toward diversity in our society, we first must learn to understand and accept our own diversity.

This was an important lesson for me to learn because I realized that before the workshop, I was not accepting myself for who I am. I often hide the fact that I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith when religion is brought up in class discussions because I am afraid of being stereotyped as close-minded and judgmental. But today I learned that I need to embrace who I am and the experiences that I have had, because if I don’t embrace myself, I can’t begin to embrace others for who they are.

I would highly recommend this workshop to all members of the UNI community. Sensitivity to diversity is important for all professions in our global world. The next workshop is Dec. 5. It is a great opportunity to make connections with others in the UNI community and to learn about diversity and how to shift our ways of thinking. To learn more about this opportunity, visit

Republished by permission from the Northern Iowan Student Newspaper.