Despite being Friday the 13th, there was a large crowd of students, alumni, staff, and faculty that virtually joined an engaging panel discussion on diversity and inclusion this past week. Dr. Jennifer Feitosa, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Metrics Lab at Claremont McKenna College, spoke about the numbers behind D&I initiatives and why they’re important. Stacie Yee, CMC alum, class of ‘99, gave a presentation on how principles of inclusion can be applied. She focused on her personal experience as Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Sharing a quote from Verna Myers, Yee described how “diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”
After enlightening presentations, host and Berger programming assistant Elsie Dank (Scripps ’23) engaged the panelists in a conversation about how students can start thinking about diversity initiatives even before they enter the workforce, how the panelists have met challenges in practicing inclusion, and how everyone, regardless of whether you’re in a management position, can help make everyone feel included. Dr. Feitosa shared that everyone is important in creating change and the importance of holding leaders accountable. Yee added that sometimes these changes take time, but if you see that someone is hurt due to underrepresentation, then you should take more immediate action. “Everyone has a huge role,” agreed Yee.
An active audience question and answer session brought more conversation around affirmative action programs and how we should think about them, how transparent we should be with pay, and how to convince companies to move from just diversity to more active inclusion. Attendees shared they “really learned a lot” and were thankful for the chance to hear from some experts on this important and timely issue. This event was co-sponsored by the Berger Institute, Roberts Environmental Center, the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, and Scripps Communities for Resources and Empowerment (SCORE). Follow @bergerinstitute on facebook and Instagram for future updates on events!