On February 24-25, 2016, the university came together to further our conversation about diversity and inclusion. When we met last February, we knew that the event would be only one facet of our effort toward becoming a more engaged, welcoming, and inclusive community.

This year, our focus was on inclusion and the difficult challenge of becoming the community we aspire to be where individuals are heard and respected. We invite you to experience the Day of Discovery & Dialogue and by watching the videos, gain a better understanding of the perspectives shared.

We have made significant progress, but there is an opportunity to do more.” ~ Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton

Wednesday, February 24

“Inclusion: Finding New Ways of Thinking, Inspiring Action”
Keynote address by Maria Hinijosa, award-winning NPR and PBS journalist who covers America’s untold stories and explores today’s critical issues.

The event began on the Medical School Campus with Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton delivering opening remarks and introductions. This opening program set the stage for our dialogue, with insight and inspiration from one of America’s leading journalists and storytellers, Maria Hinojosa. Adrienne Davis, Vice Provost, moderated the conversation and Q&A which followed, featuring Maria Hinojosa and Lawrence Benjamin, medical student and member, Student National Medical Association.

Thursday, February 24

“Discovering Inclusion, Short-Form”
In lecture and creative form, presenters helped us confront issues related to inclusion and challenge each of us to do better and be better.

After lunch and welcome from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, the day began with presentations moderated by William F. Tate, Dean, The Graduate School followed by a small-group, hands-on exercise, “Envisioning Inclusion, Real-Time,” introduced by Jennifer Smith, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences.


Please select from the presentations below for video and details for each.

Black Anthology
Performed by Dana Robertson, Class of 2016, and Amarachi Onyema, Class of 2019

“Cultural Connectedness in Native American Country”
Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies
Presented by Jeremy Vu (Oglala Lakota), first-year MSW student; Rhonda Coursey-Pratt (Nanticoke Tribe), second-year MSW student; and Joe Masters, MSW ’13 (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa) 

“Reckonings and Reconciliations: The Challenge and Promise of Community Inclusion Efforts”
David Cunningham, professor of sociology

“Shame, Stigma and Silence: Transcending Gender and Sexual Violence”
Christine Dolan, WashU LGBT coordinator, and Wolf Smith, candidate, joint JD/MSW program 

“Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference”
John Inazu, associate professor of law and of political science 

“I Thought You Were All Extinct?”
Savannah Martin, graduate student in Anthropology

“Collecting from the Margins: Creating Opportunities for Inclusive Research and Teaching”
University Libraries

“I Feel Most Colored When I am Thrown Against a Sharp White Background: Constructing a Black Identity on a White Campus”
Presented by Mimi Borders, Class of 2018, and Amarachi Onyema, Class of 2019 


“Envisioning Inclusion, Real-Time”
In a small-group, hands-on exercise, we sought to answer the important question:
“How do we achieve the inclusive community we aspire to be, where all individuals can be heard and respected?”

Provost Holden Thorp provided closing reflections.

Continue the Conversation

We invite you to be inspired by what you experience here.

Download the Conversation Guide.