The Office of Diversity Initiatives which reports directly to the President’s Office will implement a plan to educate students from 7-12 grade in becoming anti-bias by learning about culture, racial identity, fairness, gender equity, family structures, differences in ability, and the celebration of holidays and cultural traditions. The plan would begin with developing, educating, and training seven university students on anti-bias education for students’ aged 7-12 grade and on themselves in the aforementioned components. The trainings would last 10 weeks and prepare UE students to go into a classroom or into a general assembly and present anti-bias education.
The outcomes of these efforts would help youth within the Evansville, Warrick, and other surrounding Southern Indiana school corporations to become part of the Anti-Bias Education Initiative through the University of Evansville. The University students would form an Anti-Bias Team under the guidance and direction of the University of Evansville, Chief Diversity Officer, LaNeeça Williams.
The program was initially funded by a $50,000 two-year grant from the Old National Bank Foundation. The Old National Foundation contribution was used by the Office of Diversity Initiatives to build an anti-bias program during the 2014-2016 academic year.
In the following years the program was adopted under social responsibility and now is housed under the ChangeLab courses at the university. In the 207-2018 academic year 45 students were trained to lead and Anti-Bias session for campus and community members. In the spring of 2018, the Anti-Bias Team of Students was able to present a session to over 40 community members which included the YWCA Board and Staff, Representatives from Old National Bank, Fifth Third Bank, The CEO of United Way, and a representative from the Evansville Police Department to name a few.
Students interested in the course can sign-up for the ChangeLab course entitled, Anti-Bias Education and Training. This training is an activist approach that tries to challenge those prejudices such as racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia which unfortunately still exist. The 8-weeks course consists of training and education, as well as presenting and serving the local campus or community population through interactive education. The objective is to raise awareness concerning bias and to reduce it on campus and within the local community.
“Each person has prejudices and biases. Working on them and accepting people for who they are is imperative in helping build relationships with people. Knowing people who are different than oneself helps build each person’s character as well as helps grow each person not only in how they relate to others but helps define their morals and their views on life. And it is okay to have different views and morals than others. It actually is healthy to have people who challenge one to think why one believes what he/she believes. Thank you so much for all you have done not only for me, but also for SCF and for the University in general. You are making a huge impact.” Lauren-UE Student Member of Student Christian Fellowship
“I would just like to say a big thank you again from the CNA students from AIS on First Ave. for the amazing anti-bias training class. This was such an awesome experience because it showed how much you think you know about a person you see almost every day that actually isn't true. Since the class we (CNA students) respect each other in a way we never had before.” KayLee-AIS Student