Sit In and Stand Up Against Inequality: GVSU Teach-in 2018
Written by Leah Erben & Posted on November 5, 2018
This annual event allows students, faculty, and staff to come together to engage in discussions surrounding the themes of power, privilege, and difficult dialogues. By attending any of the sessions, varying from panel discussions to workshops, you’ll engage in thought-provoking and action-oriented conversations that focus on bettering GVSU and our larger community. Read on to find out how you can participate.
This year, Grand Valley is hosting its sixth annual Teach-In, “Power, Privilege, and Difficult Dialogues.” What is the purpose of the Teach-In? To facilitate dialogue that may not happen otherwise in a safe environment. This is a chance for students to learn important lessons and skills that can promote inclusivity and equality in and out of the classroom.
Recent studies, like the Campus Climate Survey, highlight issues at GVSU regarding tolerance on campus. There have been numerous hostile acts against students based on race, sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnicity, ability, and social status. Biased incidents continue to happen on our campus, and the Teach-In focuses on spreading awareness, educating students and faculty, and promoting an inclusive community.
Jonathan Bowman, a student who has attended the Teach-In and helped coordinate the event in the past, says that “...having conversations on college campuses [is] really important to be able to know and understand people’s differentiating opinions...” The Teach-In aims to open up a discussion on how we can better ourselves as a university and as a society.
The Teach-In at GV consists of a series of collaborative presentations, engaging discussions, and workshops that are free to attend. Each session is 75 minutes long and will be about a specific topic relating to the overall theme. There will be sessions going on all day, so students are welcome to come in between classes or whenever they can find the time in their schedules.
Wendy Burns-Ardolino, a GVSU professor who helped start the Teach-In, says “It’s really important to me to open the floor up so people can tell their stories. Other people can hear and listen to those stories… and hopefully, they can recognize their own power to oppose those systems of oppression…”
This year, the Teach-In will be held in the DeVos Center on November 7 from 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. and in Kirkhof on November 8 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be an extensive variety of topics included such as Men and Masculinity in the Age of #metoo, Considerations for LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in Healthcare, Opiate Overdose Prevention Training, Black Journalists Matter, and so many more.
The Teach-In is an opportunity for students to educate themselves and learn how they can make a difference starting here with the Laker community. Far too often, we find ourselves witnessing various forms of discrimination and doing nothing. This is your chance to make an effort, educate yourself, and work toward change.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, check out the Teach-In website.