Diversity Events & Involvement Opportunities
Diversity & Social Justice Trainings
The Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Center provides trainings and workshops opportunities for MTSU Staff, Faculty, Students and Student Organization Leaders on topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. A trainee’s willingness to explore biases and engage in growth while serving a diverse public is an important step in the successful completion of training for any employee or student at MTSU.
Diversity trainings increase cultural competencies and encourage students to initiate conversations about diversity within their organizations. In addition to diversity trainings IDAC also offers Safe Zone Trainings which are workshops for faculty, staff, and students designed to help them become more informed and supportive allies for the LGBTQ community.
The Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Center with various campus offices and academic departments host a series of Critical Conversations and discussions. These Critical Conversations provide a meaningful out-of-class experience and foster a campus environment where students are free to discuss cultural differences. Critical Conversations provide an opportunity to engage the campus community in a dialogue about current topics related to diversity. All students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members of all backgrounds are welcome to participate.
Career Development Center Partnership
The Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Center fosters meaningful connections between diverse students and employers through partnering with MTSU Career Development Center as well as the Director of Partnerships & Strategic Planning on campus. We acknowledge that career advancement is a social justice issue. Having only four Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is not acceptable in corporate America in 2020.
Through our partnership we are committed to working with students of color to explore questions about identity, diversity and inclusion as they pertain to the world of work. We collaborate on programming that assists employers with creating diversity recruiting plans to attract & connect with our diverse student talent. One of our signature events that we have now held for 3 years in a row is “Latino's Paving the Way to Success” Panel Discussion.
Film Screenings with Q&A
The IDA Center holds numerous film screenings and collaborates with various campus entities to provide a meaningful conversation around the film. These events engage diverse audiences and help students think, learn, and – most importantly – talk about race and racism in ways they don’t often get a chance to do. Some of our events involve a screening of the 90-minute film, followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Last semester we held a joint film screening with the MTSU History Department to provide a showing of “Always in Season” and was able to bring in the producer of the film, Jacqueline Olive for a Q&A session to talk about the historical relevance of lynching in America.
Social Justice Collaborative Efforts with Multicultural Student Organizations
The IDA Office Serves as a formal and informal advisor to various student organizations with some who have a specific focus on social justice. We collaborate on programming with these organizations & hold panel discussions on various topics such as “Police Brutality”, “Black Lives Matter”, Racism, Colorism and more!
History & Awareness Month Programming
IDAC celebrates culture and history through the commemoration of heritage months. During the fall semester, our community has come together to celebrate the following: Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15); Filipino American History Month (October); German-American Heritage (October); Native American Heritage Month (November). In the spring semester, we celebrate Black History Month (February), Irish Heritage Month (March), Arab-American Heritage Month (April) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (April).
During some of these months, in particular Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month we hold public discussions about racial inequality, social justice, and racism.
Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Advisory Board
The Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Center oversees a board comprised of student representatives, staff, and faculty members whose purpose is to work together to make MTSU an open and safe community that encourages all voices to be heard in a respectful manner, promoting the enrichment of our school culture through discussions, events and wide-ranging curricula. President McPhee occasionally attends the board meetings each semester to request feedback from members of the board on various topics related to our campus community and to provide the board with updates. As a board, we seek to foster a campus that provides a sense of inclusiveness that reflects the broad range of ages, races, genders, ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, social and economic classes, and physical and learning differences in our community.
Teacher Preparation Programs with Focus on Social Justice to Transform Classroom Experiences for Underrepresented Students
IDAC and MTSU Teacher Education Program has partnered on an initiative to diversify the teacher pipeline. One of our signature events that we collaborate on is “Minority Representation in K-12 Education” which is a forum that brings together on campus a diverse group of secondary school teachers who come out and talk about their current experiences in the school system and the importance of minority representation to MTSU minority students who are considering enrolling MTeach & Teacher Education Program.
“La Comunidad” Hispanic Student Mentorship Program
La Comunidad is a program that serves Hispanic students at MTSU by establishing a community network of peers, student organizations, faculty mentors, and university support services to offer support for them from time of enrollment through graduation in order to ensure Hispanic students are engaged, retained, and successfully.
The Intercultural Graduation Reception is a pre-commencement celebration that brings together undergraduate, graduate, and professional students of color, who through unyielding determination, have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University. The event recognizes their accomplishment and provides an opportunity for graduates to honor significant people who have helped them achieve their goal. Students are honored together in one setting, and their families also get the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and dedication. The reception culminates with the presentation of a medallion attached to a blue ribbon that participants can wear around their necks and over their graduation gowns at commencement as a sign of honor and accomplishment.
Intercultural & Diversity Affairs Center offers scholarships and financial support for racial and ethnic minority students that attend MTSU. Applicants are selected at the undergraduate and graduate level according to the set criteria.
MLK Candlelight Vigil & Celebration
IDAC oversees the annual MLK Candlelight Vigil which is part of a campus-wide initiative to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his legacy and his ideals.