Clark BUILD Program Discusses Key Cultural Issues

The Broadening, Understanding, Intercultural Leadership and Development program, also known as BUILD, has wrapped up its second cohort of participants and is now selecting staff, faculty, and students for its third year

The program was started by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and lasts from the fall to the spring quarter. Associate Director of Employment, Equity, and Inclusion Alyssa Voyles was part of the team who organized the BUILD program. 

“There was a lot of momentum behind people wanting to do these trainings and be involved and so we wanted to capitalize on that momentum and find a way to make it more curriculum-based, and to have people who have gone through multiple trainings are then able to carry forward with that knowledge in their work,” said Voyles.  

Numerous workshops were held throughout the year focusing on systemically non-dominant communities. Some of the workshops included Stereotypes & Threats, Impact of Microaggressions, Red White and Brown, a History of Race in America, and Best Practices for Protecting DREAMERs. 

To be BUILD certified participants are required to attend at least five trainings, including one in Equitable Decision Making. At the end of the year, groups are asked to do a presentation on a topic of their choice. One presentation discussed the ways in which you can dismantle white supremacy within classrooms, and another one discussed holidays that uplift white supremacy. BUILD certifications last around two years. 

“We don’t want people who just want a certificate to say they got a certificate,” Voyles said. “Doing equity work is hard. It’s a drain on you emotionally. There’s a lot of empathy. It’s really challenging especially if you come from a place of privilege whether that be race, sexuality or gender. If you are in a position of power or privilege it can be hard to hear that and to have that challenged.”

Voyles added that it was important to build a sense of community among the participants, that’s why they were split among small groups to create a more comfortable environment. 

“We’re looking for folks who are genuinely interested in doing this hard work,” said Voyles. 

Participants for the third cohort are expected to be announced on June 11.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *