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 the Office of Intercultural Affairs 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


    Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    Race & Ethnicity

    Power & Privilege


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

    Meet the 2019-2020 cohort:

    Jennifer Abe
    Vice President 
    for Intercultural Affairs

    Shaun Anderson
    Assistant Professor
    Communication Studies
    Communication & Fine Arts

    Csilla Samay
    Assistant Dean of Students
    Office for International Students & Scholars

    Henry Ward
    Ethnic & Intercultural Services

    Martin Alvarez
    Senior Director
    Facilities Management


    Cindy Archer
    Associate Dean & Clinical
    Professor of Law

    Clinical Programs & Experiential Learning
    Loyola Law School

    Joe Bernardo
    Intercultural Affairs Associate
    Intercultural Affairs

    Christine Chavez
    Senior Director
    Institutional Research & Decision Support

    Douglas Christie
    Professor & Chair

    Theological Studies
    Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Saeri Dobson
    Professor & Chair
    Studio Arts
    Communication & Fine Arts

    Patrick Furlong
    Associate Director

    Center for Service and Action

    Negin Ghavami
    Assistant Professor
    Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Kyle Greenberg
    Director of Professional
    Development & Pre-Law Advisor

    Career & Professional Development

    Hillary Henderson
    Administrative Specialist
    Intercultural Affairs

    Linh Hua
    Rhetorical Arts/Core
    Academic Affairs

    MaryAnne Huepper, CSJ
    Associate Director
    Center for Reconciliation & Justice

    Garland Kirkpatrick

    Graphic Design
    Communication & Fine Arts

    Schoene Mahmood
    Program Manager
    Restorative Justice Project
    Center for Urban Resilience

    Wayne Negrete, S.J.
    Assistant Director
    Center for Ignatian Spirituality

    Jennifer Pate
    Professor of Economics
    Associate Dean

    Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Jennifer Rivera-Silverman
    University Registrar

    Records and Registration

    Jon Rou
    Assistant Director for Photo & Video

    Marketing & Communications

    Nathan Sessoms
    Office of Black Student Services
    Ethnic & Intercultural Services

    Brendan Smith
    Assistant Professor
    Mechanical Engineering
    Seaver College of Science & Engineering

    Dayle Smith

    College of Business Administration

    Kienan Taweil
    Program Coordinator
    Muslim Student Life
    Ethnic & Intercultural Services

    Seal Valleyfield
    Administrative Coordinator
    Office of EVP and Chief Administrative Officer

    Jenny Vasquez
    Associate Director
    Graduate Recruitment & Admissions
    School of Film & Television

    Rochelle Webb
    Clinical Assistant Professor
    College of Business Administration

    Kennedy Wheatley
    Assistant Professor
    School of Film & Television

    Linda Whitfield
    Senior Assistant Dean
    Dean of Students

    Student Services
    Loyola Law School

  • 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.