Jessica Pettitt, social justice consultant and facilitator, will educate staff, students and faculty about taking radical action in her keynote address and workshop, “Social justice: When Diversity Isn’t Enough” at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus on Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pettitt is sassy, funny and not afraid to challenge assumptions and perspectives. She has over 10 years of experience giving keynotes, teaching workshops and sharing her tools on becoming an active participant of social justice work.
“I’m not here to point fingers,” says Pettitt in her keynote address. “I’m not here to make anybody feel good or feel bad. We are not going to sing ‘kumbaya.’ I don’t own drums, and I don’t even know how to play the guitar. This is not a diversity training.”
Pettitt emphasizes that she is not a diversity trainer but a social justice educator.
“Be the change you want to be,” says Pettitt. “It’s simple. My definition of social justice is knowing who you are and how you show up [in the world]. You cannot be judgment and assumption free; it is impossible. It is my job, I believe, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Doctor Abio Ayeliya, Coordinator of Leadership and Diversity, says that SLCC is working hard on its diversity and inclusivity.
“Diversity is about, ‘we are all different and these are all our differences’ and inclusivity is, ‘yes, we know our differences, but let’s jump in the boat together; let’s dance together,’” says Ayeliya.
According to Ayeliya the purpose of the keynote and training is to add to the college’s programs and goals of making the college more inclusive.
He says that Pettitt will focus on power, place of dominance and privilege and how we can work together to make this college a better place.
“The bigger message is that we all need to come together to be inclusive, to look out for each other and to create a welcoming environment for students to excel academically,” says Ayeliya.
Ayeliya says that most of the time, when people mention place of dominance and privilege, people think they don’t fit into that stereotype or assumption.
He says that Pettitt will show us that we all have privilege and how can we work together to understand our differences and work together to include everyone.
“I encourage everyone to attend. It’s going to be fun, educational and very inspirational. People will not regret attending it,” says Ayeliya.
“Social justice: when diversity isn’t enough” keynote and training will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus in the Oak Room, 2nd floor, of the Student Center.
There will be two sessions with the keynote address from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., after which there will be refreshments. The interactive workshop will be from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to attend either or both sessions whenever their schedule permits.
The event, sponsored by the Arts and Cultural Events Committee and Student Life and Leadership, is the kickoff to SLCC’s calendar year of free diversity and involvement trainings and workshops. There will be a follow-up workshop and discussion (more details to follow) on Nov. 17 and the fifth annual Diversity Dinner on Mar. 5, 2014. For more information, visit slcc.edu/sll