'Our future depends on cultural intelligence'

On April 12, CFAES, in partnership with several other units on Ohio State's Columbus campus, hosted the second annual Diversity Leadership Symposium. This year's focus was on cultural competence. David Livermore delivered the keynote talk on identifying and strengthening cultural intelligence. He also delivered one of the three breakout sessions offered in the morning. More than 130 people participated in the event, an increase from last year's 90.

Other sessions included:

  • "Disability as Diversity" presented by University ADA Coordinator Scott Lissner.
  • "Interfaith Understanding and Respect" facilitated by Tarunjit Butalia, research scientist in the College of Engineering.
  • "Diversity Initiatives at the Student Level in Agriculture" presented by Kaitlyn Murray and Allison Pulling, students in the Department of Animal Sciences. 
  • "Implicit Bias -- Who, Me?" presented by Jennifer Beard, assistant director, and Hazel Morrow-Jones, director, both of The Women’s Place.
  • "Open Doors Module 1" presented by Bowen Marshall, Open Doors program manager, Office of Student Life.

In addition to attending the breakout sessions, participants had the opportunity to network and to view artwork created by students in Wayne County through the Embracing Our Differences program. 

At the end of the program, participants were asked the question, "What did you appreciate about the symposium?" Their responses included:

  • "The 'safe place' that was created to discuss delicate subjects. It's not often that our OSU community can get together to discuss inclusion and differences. I know there were people there on Friday who desperately needed to be a part of that larger discussion, and I know others like myself were more than appreciative of the chance to celebrate and learn from the conversations held there."
  • "Discussion about becoming aware of personal biases."
  • "It met a need to the campus community -- the offerings were varied."
  • "There were good options for breakout sessions and they fostered a lot of great discussion."
  • "Interactive sessions."
  • "Ability to network."

-- Kathy Lechman, Diversity Development