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What is the Diversity Leadership Program?

Diversity is an important part of your experience at Roger Williams University. However, we know that there are students who wish to have more conversations and be involved in more activities exploring diversity and social justice and to develop a network of peers, staff and faculty who share the same passion that you do. The Diversity Leadership Program is a mentoring program for students of color, first generation college students, students who identify as LGBTQ and other underrepresented first year students (freshman or transfer) at RWU. The program is committed to fostering an inclusive learning community that emphasizes the connection and support that can positively impact underrepresented students’ success in college. The Diversity Leadership Program will focus on strengthening the diversity community at RWU through mentorship, relationship-building, ally development and extensive leadership development.

Diversity Leaders are among the first to welcome underrepresented students who self-select to be a mentee in the Diversity Leadership Program (those who do not self-select into the program will be assigned a peer mentor, similar to all freshman). Before they join the larger student body, students will have a chance to form relationships with student leaders who have successfully navigated their first year (or more) at RWU and who are active and engaged leaders on issues of social justice. For many students, especially those from more diverse communities, this may be the first time that they are in a setting where they are the “minority”. It is our hope that this program will help to cultivate a sense of community very early on for underrepresented first year students.

Diversity Leaders are trained in:

  • how to be diversity allies on campus and beyond
  • providing leadership and mentorship to first-year students from underrepresented groups
  • serving as resources to the larger RWU community as it relates to diversity and social justice
  • problem solving, interpersonal communication skills and goal-setting
  • addressing common crises that students face in this age group and how/where to make referrals on campus

 

Why should I be part of the Diversity Leadership Program?

All incoming freshman and first-year transfer students are automatically paired with a student advocate. Students who elect to have a Diversity Leader student advocate will:

  • receive one-on-one mentoring to help you have a smooth transition to RWU from an experienced student leader who is passionate about social justice
  • move in early for Diversity pre-orientation and beat the crowds of new students moving in!
  • have many opportunities to explore and celebrate all facets of your identity that are important to you: race, gender and sexuality, nationality, religion, class, etc.
  • Be engaged in social justice and activism on campus
  • attend social events and outings with the Diversity Leadership program family
  • connect with other students who are from diverse backgrounds
  • have an extensive support network of peers, mentors and adults to make your transition from home to college as successful as possible

What is the Diversity Orientation?

Being part of the Diversity Leadership Program means that you get to beat the crowds of new students and move in a day early for our Diversity orientation. At Diversity orientation, you will spend the afternoon not only meeting your mentor, but you will also get connected with a community of peers who share similar backgrounds, interests and passions as you. Diversity orientation is on Thursday, August 20, 2015. Move-in is from 10:30am-1:00pm on the 20th. You will pick up your keys in the Center for Academic Development, ground floor.

Orientation begins at 3:00pm on Thursday, August 20 and will include dinner, fun activities, workshops and discussions and dinner with the entire Diversity Leadership Program family, with a social for a diverse group of new students later that night. Students moving in early for Diversity Orientation are expected to attend the entire program.

*Note: If you cannot move in early and attend orientation, you can still be part of the Diversity Leadership Program. The Diversity Leader mentors will host a program soon after the semester begins to connect you with the DL community. If you cannot attend the orientation, please email the Associate Director of the Intercultural Center, Candice De Los Reyes at cdelosreyes@rwu.edu, after registering for the program.

 Are you interested in being mentored by a Diversity Leader? Please click here to register for the Diversity Leadership Program. Our Diversity Leaders (student mentors) welcome first year students in the program to campus at our Diversity Orientation a day before the other freshman move to campus. To participate, select yes on the Diversity Leadership Program registration page or contact Candice De Los Reyes for more information at cdelosreyes@rwu.edu or (401) 254-3894. You can also visit the Diversity Leadership Program on Facebook.