Cultural Consciousness Conversations

Have you ever felt stuck or at a loss in a discussion that revolves around race/ethnicity, identity, politics, and/or religion or other differences?  Do you ever wish you had a space in which you could have these conversations to gain more self-awareness as well as a greater understanding of others who come from different backgrounds and experiences?

  • Cultural Consciousness Conversations is a project of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with Ethnic & Intercultural Services (Henry Ward and Csilla Samay). This cohort of faculty, staff, and administrators from various divisions around campus get together once a month to share stories, learn from one another, examine societal norms and cultural differences, and deepen connections across all sectors of the LMU community. The aim of this project is to cultivate intergroup relations, including campus conversations and dialogues around difference. 

    The year-long program is designed to meet the following OUTCOMES: 

    • Deepen self-awareness;
    • Expand an understanding of others across social categories and a variety of differences;
    • Develop meaningful relationships with persons from different backgrounds, who also represent different sectors of the LMU campus community;
    • Complete foundational work to build capacity for facilitating intergroup dialogues with others.

    The program CURRICULUM prompts self-reflection, new social contexts, and education within such topics as: 

    Spirituality & Inter-religious Issues

    Immigrants, Undocumented, & Refugees

    Microaggressions

    Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    Race & Ethnicity

    Power & Privilege

     

  • DEI celebrates these volunteers for engaging with openness, a willingness to learn, and a practice of cultural humility and respect.

    Meet the 2020-2021 cohort:

    Facilitators:

    Jennifer Abe
    Vice President 
    for Intercultural Affairs

    Henry Ward
    Senior Director
    Intercultural Advancement
    Ethnic & Intercultural Services

    Kennedy Wheatley
    Assistant Professor
    School of Film & Television

     

    Ariane White
    Supervisor/Coordinator of Clinical Fieldwork
    Department of Teaching and Learning/School of Education

    Cohort:

      

    Hawley Almstedt
    Professor
    Health and Human Sciences
    Seaver College of Science & Engineering

     

    Nicole Alonzo
    Graduate Programs Recruiter
    School of Film & Television

    Sheri Atwater
    Professor and Project Director of the SUCCESS Coaching program
    School of Education 

     

    Nadeshda Balabanova
    Associate Director of Business Intelligence
    Institutional Research and Decision Support

     

    Darlene Fukuji
    Associate Director
    Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship
    College of Business Administration

     

    Natalie Guevara
    Director, Chicano Latino Student Services
    Ethnic & Intercultural Services 

     

    Alejandra Hernandez
    Senior Admin Coordinator
    William M. Rains Library
    Loyola Law School

     

    Jolene Horn
    Associate Director of Career Development
    Loyola Law School 

     

    Lisa Jackson
    Director of Special Events
    University Advancement 

     

    Katie Jones
    Director of Brand Management
    Marketing and Communications

     

    John Kissell
    Writer/Editor
    Marketing and Communications

     

    Jacqueline Leung
    University Advisor
    Academic Resource Center

     

    Lisha Maddox
    Director of Student Success
    Student Affairs

     

    Annie Mellott
    Acquisitions Librarian
    William M. Rains Library
    Loyola Law School

     

    Kim Misa
    Research Associate
    Intercultural Affairs

     

    John Orozco
    Director
    Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility

     

    John Parrish
    Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the President
    Office of the President

     

    Erica Privott
    Assistant Director of STEM Professions
    Career & Professional Development  

     

    Carol Raby
    Library Events Manager
    William H. Hannon Library

     

    Emilou Reyes
    Senior Administrative Coordinator
    Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination (ACTI) 

     

    Noriko Sato Ward
    Program Navigator
    College of Business Administration/M-School

     

    Karen Schwartzman
    Director of Development
    School of Film & Television

     

    Beth Serlin
    Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
    School of Film & Television

     

    Seal Valleyfield
    Senior Administrative Coordinator
    Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer 

     

    Yves Vende
    Instructor
    Philosophy
    Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

     

    Paul Vu
    Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Community of Care
    Student Affairs

     

    Kyo Yamashiro
    Assistant Professor
    Educational Leadership and Administration
    School of Education

     

  • Member Testimonies

    “It has been a privilege to have a space to engage with issues that are so deeply personal to who I am, how I identify and how I exist. I experience these issues every day but am not often given the time and space to reflect and more importantly to see how others are experiencing my presence and their own. Generally, we think about existing for the students’ education, but times like this make me realize what a privilege it is to be a part of an academic institution, especially one with Jesuit values, where learning and care for the whole person is celebrated at all levels.” – Cindy Archer
     
    “It’s awesome to be intentional spaces where we are exploring culture in its many forms. I think each of us as staff and faculty members want to be positioned to support the students we work with in any way we can. I think one way we do that is engage in conversations with our colleagues about culture, ours and those around us, so we can learn to be more culturally responsive leaders. And so I’ve enjoyed the chance to hear from such a diverse group of colleagues who otherwise would not have the chance to gather in discussions like these.” – Patrick Furlong
     
    "Cultural Consciousness Cohort is a tough program.  It makes you think deeply and feel deeply, and then invites you to do it again--all with people who are your potential bosses, a campus stranger, or a unit neighbor.  The 3-hour sessions go by quickly; and the next meeting is always too far away.  Imagine looking forward to a 3-hour session that you know will be a lot of work!  But CCC is impactful precisely because of the regularity of this deep work and the familiarity that develops among participants.  I'm so honored to have been invited to be a part of the inaugural cohort." – Linh Hua
     
    “I'm so honored to be a part of the Cultural Consciousness program. The amount of trust I feel within the group is incredible. I'm able to be open about myself. I feel like I've learned a great deal from these workshops and about my fellow members, which is an opportunity that I may not have had otherwise.” – Seal Valleyfield
  • By participating in Cultural Consciousness Conversations, members contribute to a campus culture of connection, empathy, intercultural learning, and inclusive excellence. Members can form rich bonds with others as well as develop a deeper understanding of self.

    Commitment to this program includes: a pre and post survey; a mandatory Saturday retreat in September; monthly meetings on a Friday from 2-5pm, with dialogue and experiential exercises; optional readings provided throughout the year; and assessment feedback.

    Complete your interest form online.