On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Bryant faculty, staff, and students will take part in the University’s third annual Day of Understanding—an opportunity to explore topics surrounding creating and supporting an inclusive community.
Organized under the theme, “Building Community,” the Day of Understanding, sponsored by Bryant’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with partners across the University, will include discussions, presentations, and workshops on subjects such as:
- Exploring the experiences of women-identifying members of the community, first-generation college students, and community members identifying as immigrants
- Supporting refugee populations
- Using experiential education to build more inclusive communities
- Engaging in multi-faith conversations
- Developing a more sustainable future
- Innovating and employing inclusive pedagogies through design thinking
- The resources Bryant’s faculty, staff, and students can utilize to build a stronger community
“Building Community’ is an internal call, and a recommitment, to connect with peers, to reach out and develop relationships, and to focus on belonging,” says Kevin Martins, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Day of Understanding, he notes, is an opportunity to bring the entire Bryant campus together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. “A community isn’t a community if people don’t feel like they’re engaged, like they have a voice, like they have some autonomy, and that they can get together with others and create their own experience,” he states.
The day’s keynote speakers will include Michael Murphy, a Founding Principal and Architect with the award-winning, international architectural firm MASS Design Group, and Kofi Thomas, Community Organizer and the Founder of the Goodlife Garden. Special programming for the University’s first year students will include an interactive session with speaker, consultant, and thought leader Dr. Derek Greenfield and a Writing Workshop and reading with Jennine Capó Crucet, author of Bryant’s first year student shared reading “Make your Home Among Strangers.”
“We want to provide students with examples of how people are building community across a wide range of disciplines,” says Martins. “Our presenters include people who studied architecture, who studied finance, who are entrepreneurs, and who are using their talents to build community. This is an opportunity to help our students recognize that what they’re learning at Bryant—the same knowledge, skills, and experience that will help them to build a rewarding career—can also be used to impact the community for the good, regardless of what they’re studying.”
The Day of Understanding will also include exhibitions, musical performances, and other opportunities to further important discussions and learn from one another's perspectives. Day classes will not be held on November 1 so that members of the community can take full advantage of the event's programming. Some sessions have limited available seating and require advance registration.