Dr. Derek Greenfield, a visionary speaker, consultant, and thought leader dedicated to inclusive excellence and positive change, returned to Bryant on March 2 to host the “Better Together” diversity workshop. Greenfield, who previously spoke at Bryant in 2019, encouraged the community to reach out to one another and highlighted how “similarities bring us together, but it is our differences that make us smarter and stronger.”
Co-sponsored by Bryant Student Government, Student Affairs, the Bryant Honors Program, Student Programming Board, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, WokeAthletes, and Academic Affairs, the event gave Bryant an opportunity to reflect on how to build a stronger community and effect future positive change.
For Bryant Brown ‘22, executive vice president of Bryant Student Government who introduced Greenfield, the session was an important chance to continue an ongoing conversation and ensure that Bryant is a campus that is welcoming to everyone. “It’s important that we really understand how important inclusivity is in creating an open campus that allows people to be themselves and to express who they are as a person,” he states.
Greenfield’s interactive workshop combined humor and inspiration to encourage students to break down barriers, learn more about one another and establish a sense of inclusive excellence. He also noted the important difference between diversity and inclusion, saying, “diversity is counting heads, but inclusion is making all heads count.”
The workshop offered insights, stories and activities designed to highlight the value of creating a safe and inclusive environment. At one point during the event, Greenfield asked participants to team up with someone they had never spoken to before and find the common traits and qualities they both identified with and valued.
If you appreciate and respect someone, you should express those thoughts to them and not just hold them inside, Greenfield said. “People need to know that they are truly valued and loved,” he advised the audience. Those conversations help forge and strengthen the bonds we all share.
A commitment to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is a core part of Bryant’s mission and a key element of Bryant’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan. “This workshop was part of a larger effort to bring more diversity, equity and inclusion to campus,” Brown notes. “It’s kind of like a progress update to see how far we’ve come.”