Assistant Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship Kylie King and Champlain community members air a podcast focused on diversity issues relevant to campus.
“Welcome to our pilot episode of Diversifying Diversity, a podcast bringing different voices to the table to educate us all on topics in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging,” opens host Kylie King, Assistant Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship. “In season one, we’ll shine the spotlight on the individual centers doing important work in these areas, right here at Champlain College.”
Several faculty members have been guests on the podcast, spotlighting those who have experience with inclusive diversity. In the first episode of Diversifying Diversity, King speaks with Criminal Justice Program Director and Law Professor Tony Perriello and Social Work Program Director Patricia Aldredge, founders of the Center for Community and Social Justice at Champlain College (CCSJ). Perriello and Aldredge both discuss what diversity means to them.
“Diversity really just embraces all of the different ways that we enter the world: lived experience, identities. I have a love-hate relationship with the word because I think the lightened meaning for folks is ‘difference,’” Aldredge explained. “Difference implies that there is some norm that is valued above all others. My embracing of diversity is that context that means ‘gosh, what a cool gathering of people and ways of being that should all be equally valued.’”
Perriello had a similar answer: “Diversity is embracing and appreciating and valuing human-lived experience. It increases our sensitivity, our awareness, it expands our knowledge, it makes our communities stronger.”
The podcast is a product of a CCSJ fellowship, giving faculty, staff, and students opportunities to better understand their own beliefs, values, and cultures and share them with the community at large. It was produced also in collaboration with students and staff from the Emergent Media Center. King partnered with Social Work major Gabriel Aviles ’21 on the project. At the start, they didn’t imagine the project would result in a podcast. King was open to anything relating to different types of diversity, different communications of it, and how those might relate to different outcomes in a variety of situations or contexts. And it took off from there.
“Inclusive diversity is important to groups, organizations, schools, and societies. We as people have the power to transform as individuals and as a global community for the betterment of our society,” King says in the pilot episode. “In order to harness this power, it’s important that we recognize that equity and inclusion are the keys to creating opportunity and meaning in our lives.”
In a following episode, King welcomes Craig Pepin, Assistant Dean for Assessment of the Core Curriculum, and Aziz Fatnassi, Lead Degree Design Lab Faculty and Assistant Core Professor, for a discussion on diversity work in their areas.
“How do you teach students this, kind of, cultural relativism? How do you teach them to escape ethnocentrism that might be inherent to professional fields such as business or education or even communications?” Fatnassi wondered. “For me, diversity has an anti-hegemonic tint to it, where there are things we accept as quote-unquote normal and some of those might be related to issues of gender or race or religion. I feel as though my work is really to disrupt that and to get people to question why those things are considered normal.”
Interested in working with the Center for Community and Social Justice? Click here to learn more!