Campus Community Invited to A.I.R.E. World Café

Staff Report From Charleston CEO

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

The College of Charleston Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) is providing safe spaces on campus where the College community can connect across cultures through its A.I.R.E. (Access, Inclusion, Responsiveness and Equity) workshops and trainings with the goal of defining both the campus’ challenges to equity and possible solutions. These include the A.I.R.E. World Café series, which provides opportunities for campus members to craft ideas that empower underserved populations at the College.

“Growing is learning, and learning is understanding,” says Charissa Owens, director of diversity education and training for the OID. “When we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves and others as unique and separate individuals. This empowers us to build on our strengths, identify areas we would like to improve and take the first step in transforming the campus into a more inclusive and accessible environment.”

The A.I.R.E. World Café provides an opportunity to take that first step. Held three times a semester, these large-group workshops focus on self-awareness, building equitable spaces and crossing cultures. Participants who attend all three workshops each semester will:

Define a common vocabulary to discuss inclusive excellence at the College

Identify challenges that inhibit a welcoming and supportive environment for underrepresented minorities

Brainstorm ideas to create more spaces where underrepresented minorities can feel comfortable at the College

Recall resources available to campus members to report discrimination and harassment

“Discover how to create equitable living and learning spaces at this workshop,” says Owens. “Through the lens of Kung Fu Panda, you’ll learn to embrace different backgrounds and build environments where race, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities are valued and supported. Enhanced with discussion and other active learning methods, this workshop will engage you unlike any other training.”

The  A.I.R.E. World Café is open to the entire College community, and lunch is provided. Participants will also be eligible for prizes like T-shirts and hats, and faculty, staff and students who attend the signature programs regularly are eligible to be honored with an A.I.R.E. Student Scholarship or the A.I.R.E. Faculty and Staff Award.

The next session is at noon on Thursday, March 12, 2020, in the Theodore S. Stern Student Center, room 205. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is encouraged. Register with this online form.