A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses
With the summer 2020 semester coming to a close, I continue to be grateful for the East and Winter Park Region and our efforts to create welcoming and safe spaces for our community to hold honest and courageous conversations. To advance employee professional development remotely, under the leadership of Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Foster, the East Campus Academic Affairs team, including our Print and Design colleagues, began this important work in late March 2020. The team began working collaboratively and participated in TED Talks to spearhead training in various topics, including time management, qualities of an effective team player and improving communication.
Following the death of George Floyd, the team transitioned the contents of its development sessions to focus on Black Lives Matter and racial equity topics. Michelle and her team felt compelled to act immediately to address these sensitive issues within their department. The team used TED Talks and YouTube videos as a catalyst to process raw emotions, hold a space for conversations and build trust in their colleagues.
Today, their call-to-action continues with a more formal package of resources surrounding the topic of racial equity and a Canvas training shell called “Opportunities for Conversations and Reflections” that will be shared across our region in the coming weeks. This initiative, led by Implementation Coordinator, HHS Grant Suicide Prevention, Jennifer Danilowski, Coordinator of Academic Affairs Susan Howard, Weekend and Evening Campus Manager Zachary Hawk and Manager of Academic and Student Success Charlenne Valere, was shared in depth at a recent East Region leadership team meeting and was met with deep appreciation and excitement about future use across our departments. Please look for more on this important work in future issues of the East and Winter Park Campus Concentrate.
In the meantime, here are some of their recommended resources for your consideration:
- Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
- Are You Color Blind or Color Brave?
- Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter
- The Real Story of Rosa Parks and Why We Need to Confront Myths About Black History
- Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
Again, I would like to recognize Michelle and the Academic Affairs team for their courageous and timely work.