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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Diversity Institute

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The Maverick Diversity Institute offers challenging and unique workshops and programs that will help you to become a diversity certified expert on inclusivity, access, and equity in your workplace and classroom environment.  Simply register and attend four (4) of the selected programs, write a short reflection, and have your Diversity Passport stamped by an Institutional Diversity staff member.  At the end of the semester, bring in your passport and receive a certificate of completion that can be used as part of your professional development plan or report.  We can all play a role in making Minnesota State University, Mankato a welcoming and inclusive institution to work, learn, and grow.

To register for any of the programs below, and for updated events and details, visit:


Black History Month Lecture

Dr. Bernard Lafayette

Thursday, February 9, 5:45pm-6:45pm

CSU Ballroom


Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. A Civil Rights Movement hero and nonviolence activist for nearly fifty years, Dr. LaFayette was a co-founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Nashville Sit-ins, a courageous Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. An ordained minister, professor, educator, lecturer, he is recognized nationally and around the world as an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change.


Working Towards Inclusive Spaces

Friday, February 16, 10am-12pm

Morris Hall 210

Presenter: Joanne Reeck, Augsburg College


This workshop will highlight five common ideologies, misunderstandings, and behaviors that well-meaning individuals subscribe to which actually counteract their attempts to create inclusive spaces at their institution. Also this workshop will provide participants with history and examples connected to these ideologies, misunderstandings, and behaviors; individual and small group activities and discussions; and large group solution brainstorming around the institution-specific environment. 


LGBTA Safe Zone Training

Friday, February 23, 1pm-3pm

CSU 203

Presenter: Jessica Flatequal, Gender and Sexuality Programs


Are you an ally to the LGBT community? Would you like to be? Would you like to learn more about supporting your LGBT friends, community, peers, students and colleagues? 
The LGBT Center is proud to present LGBT Safe Zone Training.  Come learn more about LGBT identity, the roots of homo/bi/trans-phobia, privilege and diversity and acquire the skills and knowledge to more effectively work and understand the LGBT Community.  Make a statement to the campus that you support LGBT individuals by becoming a Safe Zone certified ally on campus! Safe Zone training is available to individuals who are LGBT friendly and want to expand their knowledge and visibility on such issues.


Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture

Melissa Harris Perry

Thursday, March 15th, 7pm. 

CSU Ballroom (Tickets available for free in the Womens’ Center.)


Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. There she is the Faculty Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.

Melissa hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC and was Editor-at-Large for 2016-2017.  She remains a sought after public speaker, lecturing widely throughout the United States and abroad. She is the author of the award-winning Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, and Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.


All About Bias

Friday, March 16, 10am-12pm

Morris Hall 210

Presenters: Joanne Reeck & Michael Grewe, Augsburg College


This workshop provides an introduction to understanding and responding to unconscious bias in any workplace setting or interaction. Relevant to employees of all levels, participation in this workshop can positively impact all aspects of an organization. Additionally this workshop explores the hidden and pervasive nature of unconscious bias: how it works in the human brain, how it can impact workplace interactions and decisions, and how individuals can respond when they encounter it in themselves. 


Dumb Things Well Intended People Say: 10 Skills to Increase Your Diversity Competence

Friday, March 23, 9:30am-12pm

CSU 245

Presenter: Dr. Maura Cullen,


Conversations around diversity have us walking on eggshells. This program offers practical ways to quickly transform the quality and effectiveness of our interactions.  Have you ever found yourself saying, “Some of my best friends are…” or “I don’t think of you as…”? We make statements intended to be supportive or complimentary, but end up being problematic. Participants will gain knowledge of communication traps, how to avoid them and what tools to use in their place.  Author of 35 Dumb Things Well Intended People Say, Dr. Cullen has been referred to as being the best there is at simplifying the complex issues of diversity in an entertaining and educational manner.


Violence Free Zone Training

Friday, April 6, 12pm-2pm

Morris Hall 209

Presenter: Laura Schultz, Violence Awareness and Response Program


This training will cover basic information about sexual violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. It will also provide tools for how to respond and refer those affected by these forms of violence and abuse. This activity-based workshop will certify you as an ally and someone who students or friends can turn to when experiencing these issues.


Film: The Muslims I know

Followed by discussion with filmmaker, Mara Ahmed.

Tuesday, April 10, 6pm

Taylor Center 080


"Where are the moderate Muslims?" Watch this colorful, eye-opening documentary about a much talked about but little known community in America. The film will be followed by a talk with writer and director Mara Ahmed.


From Microinequities to Inclusion

Friday, April 13, 10am-12pm

Morris Hall 210

Presenters: Joanne Reeck & Michael Grewe, Augsburg College


This workshop provides an introduction to the concept of microinequities: small, often subtle expressions of bias and exclusion. Relevant to employees of all levels, participation in this workshop can positively impact all internal and external interactions. Participants explore microinequities across national cultures as well as cultures related to gender, ethnicity, language, generations, and sexual orientation, and will learn how to identify and respond to specific scenarios. 


Book Discussion: 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We say That Widen the Diversity Gap.  Author, Dr. Maura Cullen

*Free book for the first 20 registered participants.


Wednesdays, February 14, March 14, April 11

Memorial Library 94B

Facilitated by Jessica Flatequal (Institutional Diversity) and Jennifer Veltsos (CETL)


Even well-intended people can cause harm. Have you ever heard yourself or someone else say: Some of my best friends are... (Black, White, Asian, etc.) I don't think of you as... (Gay, Disabled, Jewish, etc.) I don't see color, I'm colorblind. These statements and dozens like them can build a divide between us and the people we interact with. Though well-intended, they often widen the diversity gap sometimes causing irreparable harm personally and professionally. If you've ever wanted to be more effective in your communication with others, or have been afraid of saying the wrong thing, then this concise guide is essential to becoming more inclusive and diversity-smart. 

This book discussion is a collaboration between CETL and Institutional Diversity.


Faculty Lunch and Talk Series: Improving Retention and Increasing Student Success Facilitated by Dr. Kelly Meier and Dr. Queen Booker 

Faculty Lunch and Talks are 60 minutes lunch discussions where faculty and graduate instructors can share what they have been doing in the classrooms in a safe environment around a particular topic. The enrollment in each of the lunch and talks is limited to 20. It is open to graduate students who teach as well. Lunch is provided for each session.

How Inclusive is Your Classroom?

Thursday, March 15, 12pm-1pm

Centennial Student Union 204


As a follow-up to the Working Towards Inclusive Spaces and LGBTA Safe Zone Training Maverick Diversity Institute workshops, this Lunch and Talk will allow instructors to share what they have incorporated into their classrooms to make the environment more inclusive. Faculty interested in inclusive classrooms will be able to discuss what has worked and not worked to achieve positive classroom outcomes. We will discuss textbook selections, assessment strategies, and general classroom environment practices! Faculty will engage with campus subject matter experts to discuss inclusion practices for the differently abled and other underrepresented populations.


How Does Diversity Competence Affect the Classroom and Teaching?

Thursday, March 29, 12pm-1pm

Centennial Student Union 204


As a follow-up to the All About Bias and Dumb Things Well Intended People Say: 10 Skills to Increase Your Diversity Competence Maverick Diversity Institute workshops, this Lunch and Talk discussion will allow instructors to discuss ways to improve diversity competence for the faculty member as well as students in the classroom. Faculty interested in learning more about how to increase their individual cultural competency as well as the cultural competency of their students will be able to discuss what has worked and not worked to achieve positive classroom outcomes. We will also discuss additional resources the University has available such as the Implicit Bias Workshop and the Intercultural Development Inventory.


Know Your Resources

Thursday, April 13, 12pm-1pm

Centennial Student Union 204


This focused discussion will help faculty learn about resources available across campus to help ALL students be successful. We will discuss the impact of being underprepared, being under-represented, being differently-abled, homelessness, food insecurity, financial insecurity, stress, and familial/and or community insecurity. Staff from across the University will share with faculty members resources available to help. In addition, faculty will discuss what is not available and what can or should be done to aid students in crisis.


Microaggressions and the Classroom

Thursday, April 26, 12pm-1pm

Centennial Student Union 204


As a follow-up to the From Microinequities to Inclusion Maverick Diversity Institute workshop, this Lunch and Talk discussion will allow instructors to discuss ways to identify and address microaggressions in the classroom environment. Faculty will engage with invited subject matter experts to identify when isms arise in the classroom and appropriate ways to address it to improve the class environment. We will also discuss additional resources the University has available such as the Theater of Isms.



*Stay tuned for opportunities to complete The Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) Process with an IDI Qualified Administrator.

The IDI assesses intercultural competence: the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. The IDI will assess an individual’s intercultural competence using the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC). The IDC describes a set of knowledge/attitude/skill sets or orientations toward cultural difference and commonality that are arrayed along a continuum from the more monocultural mindsets of Denial and Polarization through the transitional orientation of Minimization to the intercultural or global mindsets of Acceptance and Adaptation. This continuum is adapted by Mitch Hammer from the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) originally proposed by Milton Bennett and is considered the premier metric in the field of intercultural competency.

Looking for a Diversity expert to speak to your class about issues of identity and experiences? Contact an Institutional Diversity Staff member to help!