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Diversity Council promotes respect and education

How many people on the WSU Vancouver campus does it take to create an environment that values diversity? Ask the WSU Vancouver Diversity Council and they will likely tell you: everyone.

The Diversity Council is comprised of faculty, staff and students who support inclusion and respect for all people regardless of race, gender, disability, religion, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. They accomplish this goal through educational film screenings, individual, group and panel discussions, and other forms of communication.

The Diversity Council is possibly best known for its signature event on campus, the annual Diversity Film Festival, which takes place each fall. In addition, the Council supports and/or organizes other events that bring researchers and speakers from around the world to discuss diversity issues.

Council Vice Chair Kathi Fountain, a librarian at WSU Vancouver, said the Diversity Council provides funds for student grants that advance diversity awareness and respect on campus. The application deadline for a diversity grant is March 30.

“Anyone [planning] a diversity-related initiative, including an event or bringing a speaker onto campus, is encouraged to apply,” Fountain said.

Previous events supported by the Diversity Council grant include Gender-Neutral Bathroom Week, which will take place on campus again in April.

In addition to diversity events, council members also present new research at the Research Showcase every spring.

The Council’s Diversity Faculty Fellowship program also supports staff and faculty diversity. Diversity fellows help recruit new faculty and participate in research and service activities for the university.

You have the opportunity to be involved by becoming the Diversity Council intern for the 2013-2014 school year. Applications are due April 1.

If you would like to learn more about the Diversity Council, the Diversity Council grant, or staff or faculty diversity at WSU Vancouver, visit their website.

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