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Diversity workshops offer tools for success

by Melissa Lacas
Public Relations
Simple descriptions can evoke discriminating images and expectations. How we respond when encountering stereotypical people also can be unfair, unwarranted and even hurtful.
To help purge our subconscious of the unwarranted negative responses and predispositions we have for people with stereotypical attributes or customs, the MUSC National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Campus Leadership Team is offering a new training program that promotes diversity and reduces prejudice.
Imagine the first word or image that comes to mind with: Southern white male; Middle Eastern female; single parent; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender person; young black man with baggy pants; woman with blonde hair; a woman wearing a sari.
The NCBI interactive workshops are not lectures. Role playing and group activities teach participants more about each other—and themselves.
Dr. B. DaNine Fleming

 “Through surveys and personal testimonies of those participating in the program, we are learning that people are realizing that they do have stereotypes and biases,” B. DaNine Fleming, Ed.D., director of training and intercultural education said. “These workshops impact you on a personal level, which helps you on a professional level.”
All NCBI workshops are open to everyone on campus and vary in time. They  include one-hour exposure workshops, full-day workshops and a three-day trainer workshop.
“It’s better to have the skills and tools and not need them, then to need the skills and tools and not have them,” Fleming said. “These workshops equip you with tools to help handle controversial issues and make MUSC a proactive rather than reactive campus community.”
Two “Welcoming Diversity” full-day workshops discussing controversial issues will be held on May 5 and 6.
For more information or to register visit
The MUSC NCBI campus leadership team was created 18 months ago and consists of 30 faculty and staff and will soon consist of students members.
NCBI is an international, non-profit, leadership training organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1984, NCBI has worked to eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination throughout the world.


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.