Students Flock to New Curriculum on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness

What does it mean to share stories and narratives with each other as we explore this world through different lenses? What are the dangers of having just one story or one perspective on you? How can having an intersectional lens help you understand your position in society? These are some of the questions that start the JEDI workshops that are now available to students and student organizations at USC.

In recent years, student leaders and student-run organizations across the university have expressed a desire for workshops, training and discussion opportunities on justice, equity, diversity and inclusiveness. The Student equity and inclusion programs, or SEIP, the centers have hosted dozens of these opportunities for the entire campus community, but are now focusing on better support for students and student organizations through the JEDI Peer Educator program, a lively student space. by students.

JEDI Peer Educators are trained student mentors who have the knowledge and tools to lead
peer discussions on JEDI related topics. These workshops allow student organizations and clubs to organize conversations for their members, discuss how they might integrate these values ​​more concretely into their work and policies, and give students the opportunity to become leaders. leaders and support their fellow Trojans.

“It’s empowering to be in a space where I let students know that I’m not an expert but someone who continually learns and applies,” said Antonio Okeke, second year major in public policy.

With the help of graduate student Arianna Dela Rosa, SEIP has designed a core curriculum with five separate workshops that can be tailored to the needs of an individual student organization and aim to be as inclusive as possible. The Micro-Aggression and Prejudice workshop so far has been the most popular request, but they predict that more clubs and organizations will sign up as more students become aware of this. peer educators and services offered by SEIP.

Various workshops on justice, equity, diversity and inclusiveness aim to empower and educate

The other courses they offer deal with Identity and Intersectionality – an introductory level workshop for those new to JEDI topics – as well as more focused courses on race, power and privilege, gender and sexuality, and economic justice and injustice. After a group of students has attended one of these workshops, JEDI educators are available to continue the conversation and provide a space to process the learning so that student leaders can implement practices and policies. inclusive and equitable in their organization in a tangible and impactful way.

“Participants spoke of examples of racial prejudice they experience as students and were empowered to think about how to make our campus more equitable and inclusive,” Okeke said after one of his discussions.

Sophomore May Song agrees. “There has been a lot of fruitful and inspiring discussion about race, power and privilege,” she said.

Dela Rosa’s experience in curriculum development was particularly useful as it helped guide the structure and delivery of the workshop experiences and created a more focused approach to the curriculum. About her work, she says, “It’s very rooting, building a community with these peer educators. I can provide knowledge and mentorship to help them do the job they do. It’s stimulating and I like to build this community with them.

As interest grows, Dela Rosa and the SEIP team are excited to improve and add to the curriculum, partner with more groups on campus, and build on the initial conversations students discover in their diversity, equity and inclusion training when orienting freshmen to create a more nuanced, understanding and appreciation.

“We have all come to USC to gain knowledge, so having the opportunity to share knowledge about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion is indescribable,” said Israa Al-Washally, a graduate. in sociology.

Student groups interested in participating or hosting a workshop should fill in this form to get in touch with a peer educator. Students can also email [email protected] for more information.

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