Several campus offices will collaborate to host HWS Impact, a day of dialogue on Sunday, Nov. 8, devoted to exploring issues of identity, engagement, justice, leadership and social change at the Colleges.
The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, the Centennial Center for Leadership and the Offices of Intercultural Affairs and Student Activities have teamed up to create this initiative.
“HWS Impact is designed as a platform for students to engage in collective exploration of our campus culture through conversation,” says Denise Polanco ’11, program coordinator of Student Activities. “Ultimately, our goal is to provide the community with a unique opportunity to create a shift in the campus culture and support the goals of the Culture of Respect initiative.”
The first portion of the event will feature several student storytellers sharing personal narratives about the ways in which their identities have impacted their college experiences.
Following the performed personal narratives — which will be themed around race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, ability, power and privilege — the second portion of the event will provide an opportunity for attendees to debrief the stories through dialogue groups. The groups will allow for an environment where students feel empowered to engage in action-oriented conversations about issues that impact or affect the campus community.
Through the sharing of these personal narratives, the goal is to begin to reveal the complexities present in the layers of the HWS community and that by peeling back these layers through dialogue, members of the community might begin to better understand one another.
Alongside the organizers — including Polanco, Associate Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Jeremy Wattles, Coordinator of Leadership Programs at the Centennial Center for Leadership Kaylyn O’Brien ’12, and Assistant Director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs Darline Polanco Wattles ’09 — faculty and staff from all areas of the HWS campus will help facilitate the event.
Building on the initial Day of Dialogue, three more sessions will be held during the spring of 2016 to continue the conversation and enhance campus culture through awareness, understanding and change.
The Nov. 8 event, which will include brunch and dinner, will be held in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center from 12 to 5 p.m. The HWS student body is invited to attend. Registration instructions for the event are available on Collegiate Link and should be completed by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 3.