CDI awards twelve students for completing the RISE Diversity Leadership Certificate - University of Houston
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CDI awards twelve students for completing the RISE Diversity Leadership Certificate

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the Center for Student Involvement LeadUH series was proud to award twelve students for completing the RISE Diversity Leadership Certificate at the 2018 Campus Leaders Award Ceremony.

RISE is a Diversity Leadership Program aimed at promoting cultural competence, self-awareness, and understanding of others as it relates to various aspects of diversity and inclusion. RISE provides students an opportunity to engage in interactive workshops, programs, and events that promote equity, inclusion, and cultural awareness, in hopes to enhance students’ ability to better understand and engage with people from various diverse backgrounds.

“RISE has taught me to appreciate all different cultures and has made me more aware of cultures and societal perspectives that I wasn’t aware of before. The knowledge I gained is beneficial because it allows me to implement the ideologies within my organization” stated a RISE participant.

To complete the RISE Diversity Leadership Program, students must attend four core CDI workshops, one elective workshop or program, and participate in a service-oriented capstone project. Core workshops topics include Diversity 101; Power and Privilege; LGBTQ Awareness; and Inclusive Language. Each of the core workshops is designed to educate students on the topic and provide tangible tools to promote inclusive practices within their role as student leaders.

“When thinking about biases, attending the LGBTQ Awareness workshop allowed me to see some of the struggles and biases of the LGBTQ community that I don’t experience. It [LGBTQ Awareness] helped me see that I still have moments when I unconsciously stereotype others. For my elective option, I attended Cultural Conversations. I enjoyed that because it really gave us [students] a chance to have an open dialogue about a focused topic” stated RISE participant Katherine Lephuoc.

To complete the elective requirement, students must attend a workshop, event, or program hosted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion or another diversity-related department. The elective option reinforces the diversity and inclusion concepts learned through the core workshops while exposing students to other departments and campus resources that promote diversity and inclusion.

Finally, participants complete a two-hour service project with the Metropolitan Volunteer Program to fulfill the capstone requirement. For the capstone requirement, students must write a two-page reflection paper that explains what they learned through the core workshop courses and how they plan to utilize the information in their role on campus. This provides students with the opportunity to think critically about various aspects of diversity and inclusion, and how these concepts show up in our communities.

“What I love about the RISE structure is that it allows students to complete the program at their own pace. If they are busy at a particular time during the semester, RISE will allow students to continue completing the program in the next semester” stated RISE participant.

RISE is one of the ways the Center for Diversity and Inclusion seeks to engage, empower and educate students to learn about their own cultural identities, the identities of others, and to create more inclusive spaces across campus.

Congratulations to Diseye Ajeh, Harshika Avula, Jane Bowman, Bianca Daswani, Michelle Fritsche, Rebecca Hentges, Mudi Hettiarachchi, Kristia Leova, Katherine Lephuoc, Faidat Ogunmefun, Carlos Orellana Garcia, and Joesph Trinh for completing the RISE Diversity Certificate Program this year.