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MSU Expects Employees to pay $75 for Multicultural Workshop

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Author: Sergei Kelley

Michigan State University held a two day multicultural event for all employees at a cost of $75. The program focused on “differences rather than similarities.”

MSU Extension, a branch of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), ran their “Multicultural Self-Awareness Workshop,” July 9-10, which explored “feelings and values from a multicultural perspective.” Non-MSU Extension employees could attend for $150, with expected attendance from MSU Extension employees priced at $75 for admission.

“[The] small registration fee will help cover expenses, but the program is largely subsidized by MSU Extension,” MSU Extension Sean Corp and marketing coordinator, told Campus Reform.

Participants are urged to refrain from “phone calls, meetings, and other interruptions,” as they can disturb the learning experience at the workshop.

Organizers are structuring the learning experience to address awareness of prejudice, discrimination and oppression in the forms of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism.

MSU recently held a program addressing racism in May. It was titled “Raising White Kids: An Anti-Racism Conversation for All of Us,” and included discussion on “white silence.”

Heterosexism is defined as “a system of power that privileges heterosexual (“straight’’) people on the basis of their sexual or affectional orientation.” Further, ableism is stated as “a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities.”

Another aim of the program is to stifle our alleged tendency to view “differences within a monocultural view.” In other words, according to the advertisement, “better than/less than.”

The final point of the program is to give the employees “opportunities to apply what they’re learning to work-related scenarios,” with “more helpful behaviors.”

“Note that participation in such programs doesn’t mean that one adopts all the viewpoints expressed,” professor Daniel Hayes told The Morning Watch.

Dr. Hayes admitted he had attended a similar program before and he “found it to be very helpful in understanding perspectives coming from the diversity of people that make up the MSU community.”

Hayes is a professor within the CANR in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, which has MSU Extension programs.

MSU Extension is designed to bring resources from MSU directly to “individuals, communities, and businesses.” Their programming includes subjects in agriculture, business, 4-H, and others.

Contributor Sergei Kelley

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