D.C. speaker set to discuss diversity


Symmone Gauer, Lifestyles Editor (She/Her)

The “Why We Need Inclusiveness” workshop will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Lewis and Clark room of the Student Union. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about what diversity means and how one can be more inclusive. 

The workshop will be led by motivational speaker and educator, Joseph Green.

Green is from Washington, D.C., and he is also an award-winning spoken word artist who works as a trainer and professional storyteller. He’s started many nonprofit programs for youth in the D.C. area focused on creative writing and spoken word. He also travels around giving presentations and workshops about creative mindfulness and team building as well as those on diversity and inclusion. 

“His work is used to remind us that more important than knowing what we are fighting against is knowing what we are fighting for,” Anna Schwader, social awareness coordinator for the University Program Council, said.

“My job is not to convince anybody of anything political,” Green said. “My job is to remind folks how important it is for us to take care of one another and that we have the obligation, the responsibility and the opportunity to create the community that we want to see in the greater world in the small spaces that we exist in.”

Schwader heard Green speak at the National Association for Campus Activities last spring, where he talked about going through the process of identifying yourself. She explained how his sharing a poem about raising his son in an unwelcoming community really made an impact on her and showed her a new perspective, a perspective she wanted to bring to SDSU.

“[It] was what really made me think, ‘Wow, this man needs to come here and talk about that.’” 

The workshop is sponsored by UPC, Black Student Alliance and the Multicultural Center, and it will be interactive and engaging to those that attend.

Green will start by sharing his own diverse experience through a spoken word performance. Then there will be group exercises—a diversity scavenger hunt, as he described it—that will set up the opportunity for people to speak about themselves in a way they aren’t normally encouraged to. 

“Inclusion to me is the intentional bringing of people to a space where they feel that they are allowed to be their whole and complete selves,” Green said. “[And in this workshop,] they get to have conversations about diversities that are greater than what is skin deep.”

Participants will hopefully walk away from the event with resources and tools to better recognize, appreciate and implement diversity and inclusion in their everyday lives.

“I believe anytime you can give students the opportunity to talk openly and explore more about themselves, you empower them more to learn about others,” Alex Wood with the Multicultural Center said. “We strive to provide opportunities for our students to become the powerful global citizens that will represent SDSU, their communities and families.”

For more information on the event, students can email [email protected]