WMU News

WMU teams up with others for diversity workshop

Aug. 8, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Employees from Western Michigan University, the city of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County and Kalamazoo College will be on the WMU campus later this month for a comedy/drama program about diversity.

SST Communications, a Chicago-based theatre troupe, will be in Kalamazoo to present "Synergy from Others: Respecting Differences 2000." The group will give three two-hour performances in WMU's Shaw Theatre, at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, and at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17. The program is free to the 5,000 employees of the partner organizations, and supervisors are being encouraged to grant leave time for those who want to attend. Advance tickets are required, and can be obtain through each organization's human resources department.

SST Communications provides workplace training programs on a variety of topics. The group combines state-of-the-art research with comedic and dramatic vignettes, a format that makes even the most sensitive and difficult issues accessible and thought-provoking. In their presentation, the team will outline some key dimensions of diversity, touching on how workplaces once demanded assimilation as an attempt to "solve" diversity. Troupe members will examine issues such as stereotyping, garbled communication and collusion, and the presentation will close with suggestions on how to institutionalize change that will move diversity from rhetoric to reality.

The event kicks off a refocused diversity initiative at Western Michigan University.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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