While conversations about culture, race and social connections are not new, the silences about the current cultural impasse and intergroup tensions demonstrated on most college campuses today reflect shifting and new dynamics. Our campus reflects a diverse population and still registers problematic incidences from communication and intergroup differences.
Based on the incidences that occurred, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs Thomas A, Parham convened a meeting with the academic leaders to consider embracing his concept of developing new narratives, and was delighted by their willingness to collaborate on this worthy endeavor.
Therefore, the New Narratives: Conversations on Identities & Culture series aims to recognize the multiple current and historical connections that co-exist to shape, intersect and influence identities and group membership in the UC Irvine community.
The New Narratives series also aims to move talk into action through an interactive launch forum and year-long events that include major speakers, films, panel workshops and other training opportunities to promote healthy intergroup communications and collaboration skills. Coordinators and presenters from the departments across Student Affairs and academic programs that include African American Studies, Asian American Studies and Chicano/Latino Studies will use interdisciplinary approaches to co-constuct a practical new narrative with students to guide student intercultural knowledge and collaborations for empowered individuals and a thriving campus.
While the series launch focused on "Conversations on Race & Culture", a call for expanding inclusivity of the conversations prompted the reframing as "Conversations on Identities & Culture" to reflect the breadth of diversity of race ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and social identities.
Undergraduate participation in the launch forum or in subsequent events from the New Narratives calendar toward general workshop credits for the Passport to Leadership Certificate Program (Office of Student Life & Leadership).