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Making Sense of Diversity:
A Conversation at Bryn Mawr College


Invitations into our Friday afternoon conversations: An Archive

September 11, 2003
Friends, colleagues--

Our college-wide conversation about making sense of diversity (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/indexbmc.html), which was kicked off by the town meeting Tuesday evening, will continue with a series of bi-weekly smaller gatherings every other Friday afternoon, 3-4, in the Multicultural Center, 229 Roberts Road. The first of these, moderated by Paul Grobstein, will be held this Friday, September 12, and is a discussion of Biology and Diversity. See http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/gen_beh/diversity.html or the schedule @ http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/calendar.html for a recommended reading.

In hopes that you will be able to join us--

Anne Dalke,
for the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy,
and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

September 22, 2003
The on-going conversation about "Making Sense of Diversity" will pick up 3-4 p.m. this Friday, September 26, in the Multicultural Center (229 Roberts Road)--which will function as our take-off location for a trip to another planet. Anne Dalke will be moderating a discussion about Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild," which the author has described as a short story about "paying the rent." In it, a colony of human beings isolated on an extrasolar world make an "accommodation" with their hosts. "Who knows what we humans have," Butler asks, "that others might be willing to take in trade for a livable space in a world not our own?" This 1984 science fiction tale is also a "love story between two very different beings," one of them a "pregnant man."

Intrigued?
Come and see where this conversation might take us--
come help take the conversation somewhere--
that might contribute to creating and maintaining community here at Bryn Mawr.

You can find "Bloodchild" on line @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/bloodchi.htm as well as commentary on earlier discussions in this series @ http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/diversitybmc-read.html

We warmly welcome you to join us as we re-shape this space
(or find ways to move on to another one?)

Anne Dalke,
for the sponsoring organizations:
the Dean's Office, the Office for Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy and
the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

Making Sense of Diversity:
A Conversation at Bryn Mawr College
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/indexbmc.html

October 7, 2003
To the BMC community--

The on-going conversations about "Making Sense of Diversity" will pick up 3-4 p.m. this Friday, October 10, in the Multicultural Center (229 Roberts Road), when Ted Wong will lead a discussion about "Asian: Race or Category?" Many Americans of Asian descent identify--through the notion of heritage--with the culture of their ancestors' homelands. We'll discuss what it means to have an Asian or Asian-American cultural heritage, and heritage's consequences both for individual identity and for American racial politics.

Suggested reading is the first chapter of Frank Wu's book "Yellow: Race in America. Beyond Black and White." Contact Anne Dalke or Ted Wong for either a paper copy or a (large) PDF file.

You can find commentary on earlier stages of the discussion in this series @ http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/forum/newforum/diversitybmc-read.html

We warmly welcome you to join us for continuing it.

Anne Dalke,
for the sponsoring organizations:
the Dean's Office, the Office for Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy and
the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

Making Sense of Diversity:
A Conversation at Bryn Mawr College
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/indexbmc.html

October 19, 2003
Dear Bryn Mawr Community,

First, we would like to welcome you back in hopes that you got the needed rest to complete the remainder of the semester.

Secondly, Professor Jody Cohen (Education department) and I, Paula Arboleda, would like to invite you to a diversity conversation that we are co- facilitating on Fri. Oct. 24 from 3 - 4 pm in the Multicultural Center, located on Roberts Road.

The session will focus on the experiences of current freshwomen at BMC. We are aware that this is an intense transition time that comes with various complications, difficulties, and issues. Therefore, rather than putting diversity as the upfront issue in this context, we are sure that this IS a diverse group of women along many dimensions and diversity will naturally be a part of the conversation.

We are inviting all students, faculty, and staff who are interested in attending to conduct a small piece of field research before the session: Ask three current freshwomen (and make it people that you don't already know well) to tell you about their experience at BMC so far. This piece of small field research will be essential to this conversation, but don't be discouraged from coming, if you did not do it.

Finally, and after some conversation about what it's like for freshwomen and after hearing from freshwomen themselves, we want to move to the following question: How are we actors here and how can we implement needed change?

Please attend this conversation, invite your friends, hallmates, customs people etc, faculty please encourage other faculty to attend and to advertise this talk in the classes etc.

Your attention and efforts are appreciated,

See you on friday Oct 24, at 3pm in the MCC,

Sincerely,

Paula Arboleda
parboled@brynmawr.edu

November 17, 2003
What does it mean (and look like) when you perform your own identity?
What does it mean (and look like) when you perform someone else's?
What does it mean (and look like) when you perform a stereotype of someone else's?

Join us this coming Friday, November 21st, from 3-4 p.m. in the Multicultural Center (229 Roberts Road), when Mark Lord and Anne Dalke will host a conversation about performing our identities-- and those of others. We'll begin with some reflections about the current performance of "Hamlet: In/Sites" at Goodhart** and the recent performance of African bush women at the Rhoads Halloween party.

Come and contribute to our on-going conversation about "Making Sense of Diversity" at Bryn Mawr.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/indexbmc.html

Sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office for Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy and
the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

**Hamlet: In/Sites is playing this WED-SUN 7:30 (weather permitting);
e-mail theater@brynmawr.edu to reserve a spot.

December 3, 2003
"The way in is through spaces...."

Please join us this Friday, December 5, from 3-4 p.m. in the Multicultural Center (229 Roberts Road), when Jody Cohen (Education Dept) and Prerna Srivastava (BMC 04) will host a conversation about the kinds of academic/intellectual/classroom spaces within the Bryn Mawr community that foster a sense of mutually negotiated understanding. Jody and Prerna have been thinking together in a class on "Critical Issues in Education" about the potential impact of curricular changes on the conversation on diversity. They will share some of that thinking with us, and also invite us to think together about how such curricular spaces might be complemented by physical spaces on campus. How can certain sorts of spaces generate a campus community that is actively conversing, verbally as well as non-verbally, about issues of diversity?
Come and contribute to our on-going conversation about "Making Sense of Diversity" at Bryn Mawr. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/indexbmc.html
Sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office for Institutional Diversity, the Center for Science in Society, the Center for Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

January 27, 2004
Welcome back!

How does Bryn Mawr enable you?
How does Bryn Mawr disable you?
Pleazse come join us for a conversation at noon this Friday, January 30, when we'll be talking together about "Culture as Disability": http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/culturedisability.html

This is the first of this semester's Friday noontime discussions about "Making Sense of Diversity." You can find the schedule @ http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/frinoon.html Lunch will be served in the Multicultural Center on Roberts Road.


Hoping to see you there--
Natalie Abbott (Bryn Mawr '05) Anne Dalke (English and Gender Studies)

February 10, 2004
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Nell Anderson and I, Paula Arboleda, would like to invite you to the Diversity Conversations series on Friday, February 13 at noon in the Multicultural Center.

In this conversation, we will be discussing the ways we interpret difference while working as volunteers or doing fieldwork in unfamiliar communities.

Here are some questions to think about:
How were we made to feel different? How did we perceive this difference? How were we made aware of power dynamics, privilege etc.? How did all these layers inform/complicate/empower our relationships and experiences within these communities?

We hope to see you there. Bring your friends. Invite your colleagues.

Sincerely,

Paula Arboleda and Nell Anderson

February 25, 2004
Light can sometimes be shed on complex social and political issues by stepping back from them and asking what simpler phenomena could be useful in understanding them. In the next of the sequence of Friday lunch conversations about "Making Sense of Diversity," Paul Grobstein of the Biology Department will demonstrate a computer model which shows that, somewhat surprisingly, a few simple assumptions yield segregation patterns of a sort seen in a variety of social and political contexts. We will consider together the usefulness and limits of models of this kind.

See http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/complexity/models/seginteg/ for the model, and
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/diversity/frinoon.html
for a schedule of the series of conversations,
as well as an on-line forum for continuing them.

Held 12-1 in the Multicultural Center on Roberts Road.
Lunch provided.

Sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society,
the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy,
and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

March 18, 2004
Almost every member of the Bryn Mawr community has had some encounter with Traditions or Customs. However, there are a diversity of preconceptions, motivations for participating or not participating, and experiences with these programs. How can Traditions and Customs be better attuned to the needs of individuals and their groups and also to the campus community and its culture? Can a campus-wide experience be inclusive without being oppressive?

Come join a conversation led by Chuck Heyduk (Dean's Office) and Hannah Wilhelm (BMC '05). Another in the series of Friday afternoon discussions about "Making Sense of Diversity." Friday, March 19, 12-1 in the Multicultural Center on Roberts Road.

Lunch provided.

Sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Center for Science in Society, the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy, and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

March 31, 2004
What is religion? What does it mean to believe, and what do different people believe in? Do you consider yourself religious? Why not? Come tell your your story, and share in our conversation about religious diversity on campus.

Multicultural Center, noon, this Friday, April 2. Free lunch!

Come join a conversation led by Orah Minder and Jessie Posilkin (both BMC 06).
Next in the series of Friday afternoon discussions about "Making Sense of Diversity,"
sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,
the Center for Science in Society, the Center for Ethnicities, Communities,
and Social Policy, and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

April 14, 2004
Join us as we look, through the lens of how sexual orientation operates on Bryn Mawr's campus, at how and why we select the identity groups with which we affiliate ourselves--and how we determine their boundaries. We'll be asking

Come join a conversation led by an alum and staff member,Claudia Ginanni(BMC '86; Web Content Manager, Public Affairs Office) and two current undergrads, Lindsay Rowe (BMC '04) and Emily Madsen (BMC '06).

Multicultural Center, noon, this Friday, April 16.
Free lunch!

Next in the series of Friday afternoon discussions about "Making Sense of Diversity," sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,the Center for Science in Society, the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy, and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program

April 29, 2004
Change is a constant of the human condition, happening both to us and around us. It can be transformative, is sometimes scary, uncomfortable, contradictory, and exhilarating all at once. Consider these questions as we plan to talk about the "contradition(s) of change" and how it affects our growth as personal and public people:

Come join a conversation led by a current undergrad, Nia Turner '05, and two members of the Information Services staff, Florence Goff and Ann Slater (who is also a BMC alum).

Noon, this Friday, April 30th, in the Multicultural Center.
Free lunch!

Last in this semester's series of Friday afternoon discussions about "Making Sense of Diversity," sponsored by the Dean's Office, the Office of Institutional Diversity,the Center for Science in Society, the Center for Ethnicities, Communities, and Social Policy, and the Feminist and Gender Studies Program.






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