ODIIP brings February Diversity Dialogue and new podcast: Making Space


Photo courtesy of office of Diversity and Inclusion and International Programs (ODIIP)

If interested in attending an ODIIP event, here are the calendared events for the rest of the year. These dates are subject to change.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 the office of Diversity and Inclusion and International Programs (ODIIP) is hosting The Diversity Dialogue. This month the discussion topic is Black History month.

“The focus will be on the challenges that the Black and African American community faces in the United States in reconstructing their history, heritage, and ancestry, due to the effects of oppression and slavery on the way such records were kept, or rather not kept, and information was destroyed,” Emily Vankirk, the event’s coordinator, said.

The discussion will be led by student leader Malik Miles.

“He was chosen because he is a prominent student leader in the Black Student Union and he proposed the topic,” Vankirk said.

The Diversity Dialogue is a monthly event that consists of a 20 minute presentation that occurs while lunch is served followed by 20 minutes of discussion.

This month’s event will be held at noon in room 27 of the Barry B. Thompson Student Center and will start with people being randomly split into groups and assigned to tables. After that there will be people at each table to facilitate the dialogue.

Students are welcome to arrive a few minutes later and leave any time after the main presentation if they need to for a class.

The ODIIP advertises all over campus and online but is now starting a new podcast. “Making Space: A Diversity Dialogue,” aired its first episode on Tuesday Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. can be heard on any platform that streams podcasts and on 100.7 The Planet. The podcast will air every other Tuesday. The first episode will be about the words behind the letters in LGBTQ+.

The host, Colleen Hughes (Cole), a digital media specialist here at Tarleton, will have new expert guests every episode.

“The guest will have professional or personal experience with their identity, culture, ethnicity, etc,” Hughes said. In the trailer, now out on Spotify, Vankirk is present as that week’s guest expert.

“We’ll be exploring new ideas, and topics beyond what we can discuss in our monthly in real life (IRL) dialogues, it’s gonna be outta this world.” Vankirk said.

The podcast’s description as given from Spotify states, “Making Space: A Diversity Dialogue is a biweekly podcast where we’ll have questions answered about social sensitive topics while creating lasting relationships with diverse people. Episodes include things like discussing the words behind the letters LGBTQ+ to psychological and physical disabilities.

“The goal of this podcast is to introduce individuals to different perspectives, get answers to tough questions, and to learn how to build positive relationships with diverse people,” Hughes said.

To follow the podcast on social media for behind the scenes or to suggest a topic go to @100.7ThePlanet on Facebook, @ theplanet1007 on Twitter, or @ theplanet100.7 on Instagram.

“Whenever possible we like to work with students. If you have something to share, connect with me. I can be reached at [email protected] and am always ready to hear new ideas,” Vankirk said.

For any other questions you can also contact the office of Diversity and Inclusion at 254-968-9488 or come by room 21 downstairs in the Thompson Student Center.