CDI introduces new cohort program

Pilot program, set to open in 2022, will focus on inclusion around campus

By morgan Miles, Staff Writer

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) announced the launch of a new cohort pilot program. The program’s purpose is to build on the awareness, knowledge and skills of Xavier students that can be used to create inclusion and social change on and off campus.

Rosalyn Collins, associate director of the CDI, oversees the program.

“Students are also able to not only gain knowledge and skills… but they also have a space to build community with other students,” Collins explained. 

Collins hopes that students will reach out beyond the sessions and engage in social justice experiences off campus as well. 

Students will be able to register for the program soon, and faculty are encouraged to recommend students for the program. Starting in February 2022, the Diversity and Inclusion Cohort Program will feature six sessions. 

Four of the sessions surround core topics, including exploration of identity and understanding privilege. Upon completion, students will earn a diversity and inclusion certificate. 

Service opportunities and speaker series events are two of the opportunities with which the CDI will encourage students to engage. In addition to engagement, students are expected to write a two-page reflection afterward. The reflection is a way for students to show that their newfound awareness, knowledge and skills are being applied or will be applied.  

“The final hope is after this experience, students will apply what they have learned and gained to their leadership on Xavier’s campus and beyond in their careers and future communities/spheres of influence,” Collins said.

The Diversity and Inclusion Cohort Program has been in development for several years. Together, Collins and Assistant Director of the CDI Maria Merill  tested the program’s efficacy last fall. Collins noted that she and Merill asked students about their experiences on campus regarding diversity and inclusion. 

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Xavier’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion announced the launch of a new cohort program. The program will focus on inclusion and social change on campus and will roll out in the spring semester.

They also received feedback on the program’s structure and topics. 

“The responses were eye-opening, and our team further recognized that a program like this would be important for our campus,” Collins added.

Collins and her team also applied for the Truth, Racial Healing and Reconciliation Grant, which allowed them to hire a graduate assistant to support the program. 

Additionally, the program is partnered with the University of Cincinnati Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department. 

The final curriculum and program structure are still unknown to students, but Collins assured she and her team are working on a final curriculum and official organization.

Collins noted that in the past, the CDI had many workshop sessions open to not only students but anyone on campus. She aims to build onto the sessions and series so that each workshop connects to one another. 

“I wanted students to get a wealth of knowledge and do it in a cohort space that created bravery to talk about these topics and allowed opportunities for authentic connection,” Collins said.  

Collins’ inspirations for the new program were other training programs on campus involving the CDI, such as the CDI’s Safer Zone. As for now, Collins has fairly simple expectations for the program. 

“We are just looking forward to an awesome pilot for the spring semester starting this upcoming February,” she said. 

Interested students should reach out to Collins or complete an interest form. Students can access the form by scanning the QR code on flyers around campus.