Chapter Activity Report Blog

The Miller & Joseph Seminar:Strengthening Diverstiy Through Pluralism

The Miller & Joseph Seminar:Strengthening Diverstiy Through Pluralism

Originally posted by Melinda L. Lee

Author: Alpha Zeta/Thursday, November 29, 2012/Categories: Chapter Activity Report Blog

The weekend of October 12, 2012 twenty members participated in a Diversity Seminar, with 14 presenters and Seminar Hosts. Through participation in this three-day seminar, the Townsend AZP Chapter's 14th class developed a firm understanding of the ways that diversity and pluralism are related. On the first day of this seminar, AZP members focused on the many aspects of diversity, and discussed the social stigmas that are stereotypically attached to different ethnic, socioeconomic and religious groups. Students were able to participate in a hands-on activity that illustrated the fallacy that each person has an "even playing field" in life; students discussed the difference that monetary privileges can make on an individual's lifestyle and educational success.

     After AZP members had discussed various forms of diversity and the importance of pluralism within any society or group, students then traveled to a Jewish synagogue and an Islamic mosque within Columbus. While at each place of worship, AZP members were able to view prayers and personal refletcion, and discuss the main principles behind the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

The following day of this seminar was focused on the sector of military veterans within our society, health disabilities, and service to the Columbus community. AZP members spent the morning listening to experiences of three U.S. veterans; the veterans' personal reccolections of transitioning from service to civilian life illustrated hardships that go unaccounted for and unnoticed within much of today's society. Additionally, students developed a better sence of empathy toward people with disabilities, as a young woman studying veterenary medicine talked about her diagnosis of Lupus and her renal failure with the group.

     Saturday afternoon consisted of AZP members partaking in a series of team-building activities, and then playing soccer with young refugee children, as well as locally raised youth. AZP members benefited from seeing bonding with children who came from diverse backgrounds, but were experiencing similar elementary school experiences to what AZP members once had.

Sunday's seminar began as an informational meeting focused on the study abroad trip to Brazil that AZP members will soon be embarking on. Then, students participated in an open discussion about diversity within gender roles and sexual orientation.

     Each activity that class 14 of Ohio State's AZP Chapter took part in helped to broaden personal perspectives on the many forms and benefits of diversity. A sense of acceptance and pluralism was developed throughout the three-day seminar, as the group worked toward avoiding judgemental behaviors and wholely accepting others' differences. AZP members took away the ideas that learning about other people's backgrounds is a fundamental aspect of leadership , teamwork, and relationship building, and that differences should be viewed as strengths or unique qualities, not weaknesses.


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