On March 28, 2017, SHRM@QU held a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Day. Our objective was to increase awareness and create a dialog about diversity and inclusion student experiences. What started as an event for business students, quickly expanded to include the entire university. Knowing that support for the top is essentials for successful programs, we began discussions with, and gained the support of, our University’s Chief Diversity Officer, University Provost, and Dean of the Business School. Each of them also spoke during the event to show their support for our initiative.
The goal of our program was to give students a safe place to have open discussions regarding diversity and inclusion. The event also provided an opportunity for our multicultural and diversity student organizations to showcase their events and perspectives. Students had the chance to schedule times to speak throughout the day, or could participate informally during our “open mic session.” We also wanted event participants to gain concrete D&I knowledge and an opportunity to earn a certificate by attending a student-run workshop on Catalyst’s (2016) Engaging in Conversations About Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Workplace. In addition, our chapter president reached out to our sponsoring professional chapter, HRACC who connected us with our keynote speaker who is an expert on employment law and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Our keynote breakout session was standing room only. During this lunch and learn, our speaker lead an informal conversation about experiences, expectations, and emotions.
Our University’s Chief Diversity Officer, Provost, and School of Business Dean have asked us to make this event an annual occurrence. Our keynote speaker also committed to continuing the program with us. The powerful conversations during breakout sessions created lifelong connections between participants and expanded our knowledge and multicultural experiences. It was enlightening to hear about everyone’s unique perspectives and experiences on campus. Our event showcased the importance of diversity and inclusion not just at our university, but also in the business world. We are excited to see this program continue on an annual basis and to see the collaborations and bonds that have been created between the multicultural student organizations on campus.
Special thanks to Chelsea Campbell (SHRM@QU VP) and Kristina Maceira (SHRM@QU Pres.) for all of their hard work planning this event!