2015 Dialogue and Discussion Series on Diversity
March 26 – The final Dialogue and Diversity Series on Diversity for the academic year concluded with a lively discussion on “The Ongoing Exploitation of Women in Today’s Society” between attendees and Dr. Marjorie C. Shavers, assistant professor of Counseling and director of Graduate Counseling at Heidelberg University. Dr. Shavers stated that there is a constant bombardment of sexually exploitive images on television, advertisements and social media and it is important to understand the definition of sexual exploitation is an abuse of a position of vulnerability. Audience members than added their own thoughts on what vulnerabilities women faced: body image, self-esteem, glass ceilings, and sexual objectification. Another topic for discussion was the stereotypes that often are associated with women, such as being emotional or concerned with their looks. Dr. Shavers also pointed out that what might be considered acceptable for men may not be considered acceptable for women. Sexual exploitation can make women feel as if only certain parts of their body are valued, and can also lead to depression, habitual body monitoring, and low self-worth.
February 19 - The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s 2015 Dialogue and Diversity Series on Diversity began with “Count Me In: Black LGBTQ Individuals Share Their Experiences with Faith/Religion.” The event, moderated by Dr. Tayo Clyburn, ODI Executive Director of Mission and Strategic Partnerships and Director of Gender and Sexual Diversity Initiatives, featured four panelists who discussed their experiences with religion in their lives: Siobhan Boyd-Nelson, Development & Marketing Associate, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Inc.; Aaron Riley, Planning and Evaluation Specialist, ADAMH Board of Franklin County; Dwayne Steward, LGBTQ Health Advocate, Columbus Public Health; and Erin Upchurch, LISW, Community Advocate. The panelists recounted to the 40 attendees how they reconciled their faith and religion with their sexual orientation, often finding that their churches were not always welcoming to LGBTQ-identified people. The panelists were also asked about how they handled conversations with their family about their sexual orientation. While some indicated that their families were not accepting at all, or that their orientation was tolerated but not accepted by their relatives and others stated that their families were very supportive, all indicated that being true to oneself, in whatever form that took, was important.