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Civility Week

civility week

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosts Civility Week, a week of activities, talks, and workshops aimed at achieving the goals of FIT’s civility initiative. 

The initiative is aimed at engaging our community in a discussion of respectful ways of living and learning in a higher education environment. FIT encourages our community to behave with civility.  A community upholding civility respects the rights of individuals and groups. It is characterized by understanding and considerations of the differences among members of the community. The diversity of the college adds to the richness of campus life, and FIT expects all members of the community to respect both differences and commonalities. To learn more about the Civility Initiative, visit fitnyc.edu/civility.

October 8–11, 2018

October 8 

Opening Session: Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

Speakers:

10 am    Welcome: Robin Sackin, president of the Faculty Senate              
10:15 am  Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president
10:30 am Keynote Speaker: Howard J. Ross 
howard ross Howard J. Ross is a lifelong social justice advocate and the founding partner of Cook Ross, Inc. He is considered one of the world’s seminal thought leaders on identifying and addressing unconscious bias. He is the author of Reinventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose, and Performance and the Washington Post bestseller, Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives. His latest book, Our Search for Belonging: How Our Need to Connect Is Tearing Us Apart, was released in May of this year.
3–4 pm Civil Discourse in Politics Matthew Garofalow  Seminar Room 9

Political conversations have seemingly devolved into arguments and name-calling on social media. We have been taught from a young age not to talk about religion, politics, or racism. This lack of conversation has led to uncivil discussions when the topic finally does come up. Many Americans are looking for issues that they can unite on rather than be divided by. We have common values of freedom, liberty, fairness, equality, safety, family faith, and opportunity. The goal of this session is to build active listening skills that enhance civil political discourse.

4–6 pm Art of Radical Empathy Cody Kirkpatrick and Robin Sackin Seminar Room 4

Too often in our personal and professional lives, showing empathy in moments of disagreement can leave us feeling weak or defeated. In a political climate that has become more and more divided, the idea of having empathy for "the other side" seems increasingly impossible. How do we show empathy without losing the beliefs and values that personally define us? Is it even possible? And most importantly, is “empathy” enough?

This interactive workshop will introduce the concept of radical empathy and its ties to innovation, and discover the strength that comes along with it. Psychologists have discovered that empathy is a learned ability and participants will engage in activities designed to help improve this skill. Attendees will come to understand how radical empathy can be used not only in our individual lives and private interactions, but how it can be used to transform our public lives, our policies, and our communities. 

5-7 pm Writing Studio Lecture and Reception  Professor Elizabeth Boquet and Brian Fallon Dubinsky 8th floor Alcove
On October 8th, the Writing Studio turns 10 and we are hosting an event for the FIT community, past tutors, and a select group of writing program administrators in the metro area to celebrate. We have invited Professor Elizabeth Boquet from Fairfield University to speak at our event.
 
Professor Boquet's work focuses on compassion as an infinitely renewable resource, and asks how we might teach English in ways that would get people to stop killing each other. She urges us to recognize when others are in pain, and argues we have a responsibility to create an environment that attends to that pain through compassion and kindness. RSVP to: brian_fallon@fitnyc.edu 
 
6–8 pm Movie Night Fruitvale Station FIT Dining Hall
fruitville station This film tells the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

 October 9 

10–11 am Cyber-Civility Panel Discussion Walter Kerner and Ron Milon Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

Has a lack of face-to-face communication caused us to forget common courtesy and embrace bullying and hostility? What are effective strategies for dealing with online bullying?  

Noon–2 pm Annual Campus Safety Day Juhi Bhatt Breezeway

At Campus Safety Day you will learn about the various ways you can keep yourself and your peers safe. Any small action of kindness could help a friend in need. For this event, the Office of the Dean of Students—in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Department of Public Safety; Division of Information Technology; Compliance; and Health Services—will discuss the ways in which we can be safe on and off campus. Local community agencies and FIT staff will be present at this event to provide students with information about the college's shelter-in-place protocol, student conduct policy and process, cybersecurity, cyber-civility, theft prevention, alcohol and other drug awareness, bystander intervention, Title IX policies and process, bias crime prevention, and available resources on campus such as counseling. 
 

Noon–1 pm Civil Discourse in Politics Matthew Garofalow Seminar Room 9

Political conversations have seemingly devolved into arguments and name-calling on social media. We have been taught from a young age not to talk about religion, politics, or racism. This lack of conversation has led to uncivil discussions when the topic finally does come up. Many Americans are looking for issues that they can unite on rather than be divided by. We have common values of freedom, liberty, fairness, equality, safety, family faith, and opportunity. The goal of this session is to build active listening skills that enhance civil political discourse.

1–2 pm Civil Discourse in the Classroom Robin Sackin Seminar Room 5 

Socrates, the most famous of teachers, was not renowned for what he taught but how he taught. He did not just focus on the question; he dwelled on it over and over again.  In the literature on classroom management there is discussion on the difference between civility and civil discourse. Some argue that civil discourse is about the process of free exchange of liberal ideas and that it is the extension of civil dialogue. Further, others argue that it is preferred over a pledge of civility, since it is has power connotations.  This seminar will focus civil and inclusive dialogue in the classroom in a hostile uncivil world.  It will also explore the relationship of civility and civil discourse.

1–2 pm “What Is Your Race?" Workshop Amy Werbel Seminar Room 4

This session will introduce an icebreaker activity that engages students from diverse backgrounds in a productive and civil discussion of what race means to each of us personally and has meant in American society over the past 200 years.  

2–3 pm Sexual Civility Gloria Jetter and Cody Kirkpatrick Room C509

The goal of this discussion topic is to empower students to stay true to their values, expectations and needs within sexual encounters as well as building respect for others, promoting equality and raising the bar for sexual conduct. As most sex education tends to focus on “safe sex,” medical risks, consent, and what do to if one is sexually assaulted, there is often a missing dialogue around intimacy, love, relationships, and mutual respect and pleasure. Clear communication is key when it comes to expectations and boundaries of sexual encounters and a discussion group can be an effective tool in facilitating such dialogue.  

5–8 pm Movie Night with Discussion To Kill a Mockingbird FIT Dining Hall
mockingbird Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era south, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge and teaches his children about prejudice. A panel discussion will follow the film. Discussion will be moderated by Daniel Levinson-Wilik.

 October 10

10–11 am Diversity Council Open Meeting Lagary Board Room, Feldman Center, Ninth Floor

Meet with the members of the President’s Diversity Council and join in a discussion sharing questions, concerns, and suggestions. 

11 am–noon  Common Read Follow-Up: The 57 Bus Patrick Knisley Seminar Room 4
57 bus This relevant nonfiction book is particularly well-timed; a number of today's pressing issues are discussed in this book, including race, class, socioeconomic status, gender and sexual identity, the juvenile justice system, choices, consequences, and the healing power of forgiveness. Further, the Common Read fulfills a key FIT Strategic Plan objective: to provide an empowering student experience in a cohesive community.
Noon–1 pm Mindfulness  Liza Wolsky Seminar Room 5 

The day rushes by, things to do, places to go … Who is this person across from me and why are they talking so slowly, so loudly, so earnestly, so… Overstimulation, over-demand, no one knows me, or cares … Oh, sorry, I just stepped on you … What happens if we slow down, notice who we are, and where we are going, and whom we are going with? What happens when we realize that we don’t live in our own singular world—that the world we live in is a great, living system of many, and that if we are to have consequence, all the parts must have consequence. This workshop will explore the ramifications of genuine contact, mindful awareness, and the difference between living in an “I and It” world, an “I and I” world, or an “I and Thou” world.

1–4 pm

Safe Zone Training
(2 concurrent sessions)

Cody Kirkpatrick

Session A: Room C903
Session B: Seminar Room 5

Join the 500 FIT community members who have already been Safe Zone trained. This training includes: an opportunity for participants to reflect on their earliest messages regarding the LGBTQ community and where they received these messages; terminology review; understanding what of it means to identify as gender queer/nonconforming or as a transgender person; what it means to “come out”; best practices for being an ally to LGBTQ students/peers and ways to make your classroom/office more inclusive.

Those who participate in this free professional development opportunity will receive a Safe Zone decal to display in their office. This symbol indicates that you are an ally who has been properly trained on LGBTQ issues and ways to support those in need.

Space is limited. Faculty/staff who wish to participate in this training must sign up by 5 pm on Friday, October 5. To register, visit tinyurl.com/FITSafeZoneTraining. Training room/location will be emailed to registered participants.

3–4 pm Bringing Human Rights to Life Ron Milon Seminar Room 4
universal declaration How important are human rights? Long before the phrase “human rights” came into existence, men and women fought and died for basic human freedoms. In fact, this struggle has lasted thousands of years and still continues today. Ultimately, human rights are the basis of everything people cherish about their way of life. In their absence, last happiness is impossible, because there is no personal security, no freedom and no opportunity. Thus, all peoples have long recognized their fundamental importance and have sought to articulate and defend them. Dr. Ron Milon, chief diversity officer, will present a workshop on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The workshop will explore the history of human rights and discuss the importance of such rights in our daily lives. There will be a video presentation followed by a question-and-answer period. 
5–6 pm Civil Discourse in the Classroom  Joe Plutz   Seminar Room 9 

Socrates, the most famous of teachers, was not renowned for what he taught but how he taught. He did not just focus on the question; he dwelled on it over and over again. In the literature on classroom management there is discussion on the difference between civility and civil discourse. Some argue that civil discourse is about the process of free exchange of liberal ideas and that it is the extension of civil dialogue. Further, others argue that it is preferred over a pledge of civility, since it is has power connotations. This seminar will focus civil and inclusive dialogue in the classroom in a hostile uncivil world. It will also explore the relationship of civility and civil discourse. 

6–8 pm Modest-Wear Forum Deborah Beard  Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

The forum discusses the need and desire of some customers to wear modest clothing, which is becoming a big industry area in fashion. Macy’s, Uniqlo, and other major corporations have created special clothing lines for this growing market. Understanding modest dress and its wearers is a requirement for today’s civility community. This event is sold out; catch the livestream at livestream.com/FIT/modestwear.

October 11

diversity comic con

10 am–6 pm Diversity Comic Con   John E. Reeves Great Hall

Modeled after the New York Comic Con, Diversity Comic Con gives FIT students an opportunity to be exposed to a career that is truly multidisciplinary since comic books combine various critical thinking, communication, diversity, and artistic skills. This event will provide a venue for students to showcase their work to the general public, giving them an invaluable experience and broadening their horizons; it is an opportunity not often accessible at the mega-hyped and unaffordable comic events of New York City. We will have workshops, speakers, and vendors at the event. Some staff members will dress as their favorite comic book character.

10 am–6 pm (part of Diversity Comic Con)  Art Force 5 Dan Napolitano, Alfred University John E. Reeves Great Hall

Art Force 5 uses the accessibility of art and the popularity of superheroes to explore issues of equality, violence, history, community, and empathy. Through a SUNY grant, the Art Force 5 team will serve New York City by engaging communities in community-based art, workshops, Heroes Within craft stations, and Drawn to Diversity art exhibits.

art force 5

HEROES WITHIN: Participants of all ages will engage in building their own unique action figure using a clothespin, fabric cape, felt markers, and chenille stems (also known as pipe cleaners). Participants can also design a pattern or logo onto a vinyl cape using colored masking tape and/or use colored markers to decorate a mask. Messaging of self-esteem and creativity over conflict are incorporated into these activities.

Art Force 5 will give a presentation during Diversity Comic Con. They are also in attendance to recruit one FIT hero for a 2019 paid summer internship on Governors Island.

Noon–2 pm Respectful Classroom Elaine Maldonado Lagary Board Room, Feldman Center, Ninth Floor

Lunchtime conversation will address respectful classroom practice with questions such as, "Should controversial topics be considered off-limits?" and "What are the special challenges for online correspondence?"

Seats are limited. RSVP required; email celia_baez@fitnyc.edu by October 3.

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