Diversity Dialogues

imageThe Diversity Dialogues are a series of conversations led by faculty, staff, facilitators, or a panel who have expertise in the topic. The purpose of these events is to provide a safe space for students and the Alma community to discuss critical topics in regard to race, culture, gender, stereotypes, multiple identities, diversity and multiculturalism in our community and the around the world.  If you are interested in facilitating, serving on a panel or co-sponsoring a Diversity Dialogue, please let us know at

September 10, 2014 - What is Diversity?

“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist
on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent
way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.”
 - The Dalai Lama 

Alma College is intentionally committed to being a safe and inclusive
environment for all students, staff, faculty, and friends. This opening event
seeks to set the precedent for the monthly discussions by introducing the
importance of talking about diversity and being open-minded in this transfer
of knowledge and experiences. We are less concerned with opinions on right
versus wrong and more interested in understanding perspectives. 


October 08, 2014 - Rainbows and Religion

“Understand that sexuality is as wide as the sea. Understand
that your morality is not law. Understand that we are you…”
- Derek Jarman

The LGBT communities have frequently been the target of religious
satire and humiliation as some religious extremists use scriptures and
doctrines to support acts of hatred and intolerance. Rarely is there an opportunity
in a safe space to engage in dialogue related to religion in the lives of those
who are a part of the LGBT and ally communities… until now. Share your thoughts, beliefs, or concerns about the intersections of gender and sexuality with religion.

November 12, 2014 - Say What?

“Being politically correct means saying what’s polite rather
than what’s accurate. I like to be accurate.”
 - Robert Kiyosaki

Political correctness is not only being aware of one’s usage of exclusionary and stereotypical language but also being respectful of the unknown and unique. It is everyone’s responsibility to be respectful of others, but what happens when you hear a joke from someone who “didn’t mean to offend anyone”? What happens when you call someone the incorrect ethnic or cultural name? What do you do if you’ve always referred to this group of people by this name and now someone has accused you of being racist? How do we fix a problem we didn’t create? We can start by acknowledging the problem and talking about it.



January 14, 2015 - Money Matters $$

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress
and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to
include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
 - Cesar Chavez

Poverty does not come in a one size fits all category. It doesn’t wear a
certain brand of clothes. It doesn’t listen to a particular genre of music. It
doesn’t live in a particular neighborhood. There must be an honest
dialogue about poverty in America and why it’s portrayed to be the face of
a race. That time is now and we would love for you to share your thoughts. 


February 11, 2015 - Have we Overcome?

“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not
the creators of tension. We merely bring to the
surface hidden tension that is already alive.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Across the nation during Black History Month, people discuss the civil
rights of 
people of color and the advances made for equality.
Discussions beg the question of the black community “Have we overcome?” Sometimes affirmative action and the perception of quotas create tension
between and within diverse groups from the workplace to the classroom
and beyond. This discussion seeks to explore black identity, white privilege,
and their correlation to the measurable success of people of color in America.

March 11, 2015 - Who Runs the World?  Girls!!

“Women are leaders everywhere you look — from the CEO who
runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her
children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong
women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.”
- Nancy Pelosi

Movies, magazines, television, and music reflect women in lights that
dim the sparkle of their essence. The spectrum of what it means to be
a woman is often concentrated in domestic capabilities, physical
conformities, and sexual compliance. Here, we consider what these
stereotypes mean for the future of women’s rights and the role of
media in our contemporary society. 


April 08, 2015 - Ready for the World

Alma College’s mission is to prepare graduates who think critically,
serve generously, lead purposefully, and live responsibly as
stewards of the world they bequeath to future generations.

Alma College is proud to produce responsible, articulate, and compassionate
citizens into the world. Today, we celebrate those who have made great
strides on our campus and in our community to promote and model the awareness, involvement, and consciousness necessary to be ready for the world.