By Evie Shaye Herndon
In honor of Black History Month, Volunteer State Community College has established several events via Zoom to educate students, teachers and faculty members on racial issues and black history.
These Zoom meetings will feature presentations and discussions on topics such as: Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, racial issues in American, and diversity in the classroom. After a short presentation, the floor will be open to discussion within the Zoom community, encouraging viewers to interact through a question-and-answer potion of the Zoom conference.
“Vol State typically presents a number of programs and training sessions during Black History Month. These programs will be promoted through our PR department and found on the events calendar,” said Jeff King, manager of Diversity and Inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion are core values for the college.
“Volunteer State Community College is committed to respecting the rights and understanding the point of view of all members of the community and considers diversity an integral part of both the social and intellectual climate, on and off campus. The College values inclusion across a range of measures, including dimensions of race, ethnicity, and country of origin; gender identity/expression and sexual orientation; socio-economic status; age; physical; cognitive; and sensory abilities; religious or ethical value system; political beliefs; and familial status, among others,” according to the Vol State statement of Diversity and Inclusion.
Vol State and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has developed and implemented a myriad of programming and training to help foster diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus and in the community, King said.
“At Vol Sate we offer training sessions for our faculty in culturally responsive teaching practices. We offer programs to address issues of discrimination, micro-aggressions, implicit bias, town hall discussions, and probably most importantly the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers many historical programs to help educate our students on issues of race, gender, socioeconomic factors, culture, and heritage,” said King.
“I encourage students to read, and not just take what they see on the internet. Get informed and not misinformed. Research and find your way and purpose. Get as much education as you can and surround yourself with diverse groups to better understand their experiences,” said King.
Students can begin educating themselves just as King encourages this month via the Black History Month Zoom calls.
The next zoom meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. The event is titled “America: Who are we” and will discuss diversity in America today. Students can register for the meeting here.