On April 15th, University of Phoenix continued its educational equity and inclusion webinar series with an event on understanding racism. The webinar was the first in a two-part series called “Educational Equity Webinar Series: Healing Racism Beyond the Dialogue” and delved into racial inequality, the root of the problem and racism’s overriding impact on individuals, groups and organizations.
As a result of recent events across the United States, this highly pertinent issue has been brought into clearer focus than ever before. While the last year has been tumultuous, it has highlighted the fact that these discussions are vital to our ability to move forward as a community. We need to identify, understand and begin to heal racism throughout the country.
However, the truth of the matter is that many of us struggle with the first step of this long process. Defining racism and understanding how it influences all aspects of our day-to-day lives is no easy feat. It takes energy, patience and dedication. With that in mind, the recent webinar focused on how we can learn to understand racism together.
“The educational equity webinar series was created with the hope to foster a learning environment where we can explore the past to empower individual action towards greater unity and impact change as a higher education institution,” explained Saray Lopez, assistant dean of community outreach and inclusion, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity at University of Phoenix, at the start of the webinar.
“With more than 50 percent of underrepresented students employed across different industries, it is our job to facilitate thought provoking conversations, to prepare and encourage the practice of inclusive leadership in a culturally complex society.”
Jacqueline Starks hosted the webinar. The esteemed social justice agent is also a certified diversity executive, the co-founder of The Arizona Multicultural Education Conference and the co-lead of the Healing Racism Committee. Over her 25-year-long career, Starks has gathered a selection of honors including the Mesa MLK Veora E. Johnson Spirit of Unity Award for Diversity, the DLA/SHRM Diversity Leader of the Year and the Barry Goldwater Human Rights Award from Equality Arizona.
When beginning the webinar discussion, Stark explained that it’s important to identify and understand racism before we can move forward. While communities are eager to heal from the wounds that this social issue has caused, mass education needs to come first. Her opening statements set the stage for an insightful and enlightening presentation.
“What we really want to do is take a step back. Before we get into healing, [it’s about] really thinking about what is racism, what are we talking about. So keep this in mind: before you can heal racism, you have to end racism, and before you can’t end racism, you have to understand it, you have to acknowledge it,” said Starks at the start of the webinar livestream. “You have to really be real and clear about what racism is and how it operates as an individual; in your groups; in your organisations; in your homes.”
The webinar was the latest in a series of free educational presentations from University of Phoenix. The events take place on the third Thursday of each month and are hosted by the Office of Educational Equity. The series aims to educate and promote cultural understanding of significant issues surrounding inclusion and diversity. While the events are live, you watch the entire back catalogue of recordings on the Educational Equity Webinar Series YouTube channel.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is dedicated to helping busy individuals enhance and change their career paths. The University was founded in 1976 by Dr. John Sperling, who understood the changing economy and recognized that it favored those with advanced training and skills.
University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission https://www.hlcommission.org/ and empowers adults with more options to achieve higher learning. From orientation to graduation, every step of the student’s journey is accelerated by their personal needs. The curriculum combines academic theory and professional practice, a proven way to reinforce skills and experiment with real-world applications.
With 45 years of experience, the University focuses on the current needs of adult learners. It boasts flexible schedules, online learning and a variety of courses. The University was created for students who have commitments beyond their classes. Those who work full time or care for their family can create a schedule that works for them.
Finding the correct course for your professional needs is simple with the University. University of Phoenix has 22 locations and service centers across the United States and also delivers courses online, allowing students to study from anywhere.
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