Hello! My name is Pablo Aramburu and I am a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. On February 20th I had the privilege to help run and attend a Diversity Workshop for our site. A Diversity Workshop is an event created by members of CU-Prime where we bring to the attention of our community some of the current issues relating to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). For this we bring information and resources and facilitate a conversation around the topic. During the Diversity Workshop we try to facilitate learning for our community that will help the organization stay on track with its DEI focus. While we start with some learning to achieve a common start point for everyone, we emphasize individual experiences and connections to our own lines of work.
Diversity Workshops are always full of challenges and surprises. For this particular one it was my first time having an event of the likes on a Zoom format. This proved to be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Zoom breakout rooms, while tricky to setup for those not familiar, provided an avenue for people to have a small group discussion in a private manner while focusing on specific topics. The attention span of people in a Zoom room also proves to be challenging; the lack of a good break that includes food limits the concentration of people on the second half of the event. On the other hand, being able to run the event on a weekend without being on campus was a big advantage for some of our community members.
I personally really like that our Diversity Workshop is a safe space contained within our community, where everyone comes with an open mind to learn. Providing a safe space can be hard at times, but is critical to the success of events like this one and a positive community. I am constantly challenged every time I attend one of these events and feel like the organization takes a step forward when we host discussions like these. It is often easy to let your organization forget that DEI is a constant process and Diversity Workshops to remind everyone are a great way to keep it going.