Amari spent four weeks in Prague, Czech Republic studying the human experience of diversity through art at Charles University. She took a photography class and a Czech language class. During her stay, Amari visited photography exhibits examining diversity and the different experiences of a variety of individuals living in the Czech Republic including the Romani population. Amari also created original art surrounding issues of diversity in response to her own experience being a woman of color in a majorly white country. Through photography, she learned about the recent history of the Czech Republic over the last 100 years as well as the history of the treatment of minorities. Amari also learned over 100 words in the Czech language through class and practice in local settings. Amari used the extensive public transportation system in Prague to explore the city, attend art galleries, and, of course, take lots of pictures! During her stay in Prague, Amari got out of her comfort zone by trying all types of new foods, meeting many new people, and pushing herself physically. Through this amazing experience, she wishes to further her development in cultural competence and global citizenship because of the realization of how much more there is to learn in the world and the importance of experiencing new things with an open mind.
CEE Title: Diversity ≠ Inclusion: Disrupting Oppressive Structures
Our CEE included an icebreaker, activity, and facilitated discussion surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion on campus, locally, and globally. The icebreaker consisted of attendees standing on a line to create a spectrum of answers to simple questions and then finding someone who answered differently than they did to discuss their positioning. Through this, attendees learned about discussing differing perspectives with others. The main activity consisted of grouping individuals into four countries—The United States, Czech Republic, Ireland, and our made up country, Amarssica—and assigning them opinions on the topic of art to discuss questions with one another. There were differing amounts of people in each country that had one of three variations in opinion: for art, against art, and neutral. Individuals in each country had different instructions to adhere to: some were able to talk to people with differing opinions and some could only talk to those with the same opinion. These countries were set up as a comparison of our experiences of diversity and inclusion through our studies abroad and home country experiences. The facilitated discussion helped attendees deconstruct the activity and connect its meaning to a larger picture while brainstorming ideas to elicit change. Attendees walked away from the event with a new perspective on diversity and inclusion as well as solutions to these crucial issues.