Virginia Tech Carilion employees and students will have an opportunity to earn a Diversity Associate Certificate through a series of workshops in collaboration with Virginia Tech’s Diversity Development Institute this year.

A total of eight workshops are planned over the course of the fall and spring as an extension of the school’s Lunch and Learn series. Topics range from fundamentals of diversity and respectful communication to fair recruitment practices and gender diversity.

“This is one of several ways we are using to educate the school’s faculty, staff, and students about the nuances of diversity and to increase awareness and sensitivities to differences among all people,” said Karen Eley Sanders, chief diversity officer for the school. “We also hope to open up meaningful discussion about diversity and inclusion at the school.”

Each two-hour workshop will be held beginning at noon in the school’s Student Commons (M210). Individuals who attend six of the eight workshops will earn a Diversity Associate Certificate. Participants may also use attendance at other diversity-related programs offered by Carilion Clinic or elsewhere. The only requirements are that the program be at least two hours long and that participants keep a copy of the agenda to verify attendance.

The institute is free, and lunch will be provided. Online registration is required.

The first three workshops are required in order to earn a certificate, although the first one, “Fundamentals of Diversity: Appreciating Differences,” will be offered again in the spring. The first three are highlighted below. Others will be announced as dates are finalized.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Fundamentals of Diversity: Appreciating Differences

Facilitator: Michelle James-Deramo, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Education and Initiatives, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Virginia Tech

In this workshop, participants will be encouraged to develop their thinking around diversity through creative expression and personal reflection. As a result, participants will get to know one another beyond their social identifiers.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Communicating Respectfully in a Diverse World

Facilitator: Alicia Cohen, Associate Director of Diversity Education and Initiatives, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Virginia Tech

Participants will explore and develop their communication skills for promoting inclusion and respect in the workplace. They will be encouraged to vocalize issues of disrespect in the face of bias and stereotypes.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Introduction to Diversity and Inclusion: Awareness-Action I

Facilitator: Jamie Washington, President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group and internationally known speaker, consultant, trainer, and writer

In this workshop, participants will learn key components about their thinking around diversity and inclusion by examining basic concepts and terminology; intentions to foster effective change; and key components of power, privilege, and discrimination.