Month: January 2013
Diversity Program of the Month
Where Do I Stand? - Intersectionality Training
||Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
|Person in charge:
||Residence Life Training Committees
|Target Population: 150
||Time Needed to Organize: 2 Hours|
|Number of People in Attendance: 150
||Date(s) of Program: 1/7/2013, 1/10/2013|
|Number of People Needed to Organize: 2
||Cost of Program: $10.00|
|On-Campus Population: 5000
||Chapter Size: 6|
|Origin of Program:|
“Where Do I Stand” is a diversity education program focusing on
developing participant develop understanding of the concept of
intersectionality. “Where Do I Stand” is an interactive approach to
highlighting the intersection of identities participants may have. This
training encompasses two overarching theories of personal development;
Intersectionality Theory and Social Identity Theory.
“Where Do I Stand” was developed at Southern Illinois University
Carbondale for initial use for Professional and Student staff trainings
throughout the month of January. Staff members were encouraged to take
program and produce it again throughout the month for floors and student
Upon sensing a need for training of diverse issues beyond the “usual”
training activities, a new, more complex training program and/or
activity was sought. Finding none to highlight the intricacies of
intersectionality, this program was developed based off of the tenants
of the Intersectionality Theory.
Intersectionality is a theory which seeks to examine and highlight the
numerous socially and culturally constructed identities a person may
have. Intersectionality Theory focuses on a wide array of identities
ranging from nationality, sexual orientation, gender, race, disability,
and many more, intersectionality theory points to the need for
individuals to develop a deeper appreciation of the total person.
Word Count: 200
|Please give a short description of the program:|
Numerous identities are prepared before the activity begins and placed
on the walls around the room. Large sheets of paper which can be
covered are required. Identities need to be covered up until revealed
throughout the activity. Enough space is needed for “Where Do I Stand”
for all participants to move freely around the room.
Program facilitators should explain they will be asking participants
to move around the room in conjunction with certain identities given.
An identity will be posted on the wall, if participants feel they
strong identify with the identity, they should move closer to the
given identity. The stronger and individual identifies with a given
identity, the closer they will stand to the sheet. The description of
physical navigation through the activity should is left intentionally
vague. Ultimately, the group will spread out and resemble a scatter
plot, of sorts. Participants should begin in a tight group in the
middle of the room.
Upon revealing an identity, participants should be asked to move
closer to the given statement if they identify strongly. The first
identity uncovered should aim to encompass everyone in the room
(student, person, etc.). The second identity uncovered should be one
which is more polarizing to the group, such as “sports fan” or a fan
of a given team. This allows for group members to begin navigating the
relationship between identities.
A short “debrief” asking one or two participants their view and
reasoning for moving around the room at a given time should be
acknowledged. This time allows for participants to voice thoughts as
identities are being discovered.
Identities should be revealed with the risk progressively growing with
each category. Risk level examples are detailed below between low,
medium, and high risk. Identity examples can range and be adjusted as
needed with participants.
As identities are being revealed, participants should be reminded to
keep in mind all past identities which were presented. As the activity
progresses, discussing saliency will be needed for participants to
navigate which identities are the most important.
Some examples of identities are:
Native English Speaker
Low self esteem
Word Count: 391
|Goals of the program:|
The goals of “Where Do I Stand” focus on the importance of developing
a strong understanding of identities and intersectionality itself.
Goals also focus on a need for programming which can be recreated with
floor communities and leadership groups.
- Participant development of understanding of multiple identities and
how those identities interact with each other.
- Participant development of understanding of diversity beyond one
label or type of person.
- Creation of a program which could be reconstructed for others
- Development of stronger understanding of differences among
- Enhancement of Diversity Training for Department of Residence Life
Word Count: 102
|Positive and lasting effects of the program:|
“Where Do I Stand” has had numerous effects on the Department of
Residence Life. Being a different kind of training focus and a program
which is deliberately more advanced than previous items, it was
uncertain how staff members would respond. However, one lasting effect
on campus has been a strong understanding of the depth and wealth of
knowledge possessed by student staff here at Southern Illinois
University. Many student staff members who went through the program
began talking about diversity as more than just “LGBT Issues” or
“Black and White Issues” and started navigating on a much higher level
Since the program, conversations of intersectionality have been
numerous among both student staff and professional staff members.
Instead of seeing a person or resident as just “disabled”, an
understanding of all of a person’s potential identities has been created.
Numerous staff members requested to be able to reproduce the program
for their floors throughout the month of January. This allowed for
community members who were returning for the Spring semester to get to
know each other on a deeper level, as well as learn a great amount
about new members of the community as well.
Word Count: 197
|Short evaluation of the program:|
“Where Do I Stand” was a very successful program for many staff
members during the month of January here at Southern Illinois
University Carbondale. The program was created during the first days
of the month, and debuted with Hall Directors, Assistant Hall
Directors, Assistant Directors, and Coordinators found within
Residence Life during the start of the second week of January. Student
staff members completed the program later in the week.
The conversations this program gave rise to have easily made the
program a large success. With a department exposed to and
understanding intersectionality, Southern Illinois University
Carbondale has brought a concept foreign to many to life.
The major drawbacks to this program were the space utilized for some
groups. A large, empty space is needed for participants to see each
other and identities being revealed. Without a space such as this, the
essence of navigating numerous identities is very difficult. It was
also difficult to engage staff members who were unwilling, or not
ready, to process a much more difficult level of diversity training.
Word Count: 175
|How could this program be adapted to other campuses?|
“Where Do I Stand” is a program which can be very easily created on
other campuses, as it does not require any many purchases or budget.
Words are written on paper and posted around a room, thus, the budget
is very small. Pending on resources, words can be written on basic
paper and taped to the wall. The program is very successful by using
large post-it presentation paper.
The main need for “Where Do I Stand” is for facilitators to have a
deep understanding of intersectionality. Without this, the debriefing
conversations can be very difficult for participants. Facilitators can
learn about intersectionality by researching the topic online and
developing an appreciation for Intersectionality Theory, Social
Identity Theory, and the concept of saliency.
Word Count: 123