Graduate student presents diversity and discrimination workshop


Photo credit/ Courtney Snyder

Arranger Kimberly Witt and Patricia Weldon discussed issues of diversity and discrimination.

Kate O’Meara and Alex Knittel

Members of the Marywood community attended “The Other Experience,” an interactive workshop held on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to address diversity and discrimination.

Kimberly Witt, a graduate social work student, arranged this workshop after her internship at Marywood’s Counseling Center.

Witt said that during her internship, clients came forward to describe instances of intolerance or discrimination they faced at Marywood.

“Since Marywood is a pretty homogenous community, it was supposed to be a chance for people to develop a little more empathy for someone who is ‘other,’ or someone who is different from them,” Witt stated.

The workshop had 14 stations with various scenarios of discrimination toward minorities of race, gender and sexual orientation.

The situations at each station were based off of real-life experiences disclosed to Witt by members of the Marywood community who felt the effects of intolerance, she said.

Witt said guests were encouraged to reflect on the scenario, and put themselves in the shoes of the individual they were reading about.

Monique Henry, a social work student, said she came to the event because she believes communication about these topics is important.

“I’d like people to sit down and talk, to get to know each other. Don’t assume,” she said.

Henry said she personally related to the scenarios presented.

“They had my [past experiences] all over the room,” she said.

Lead Housekeeper Cheryl Kosydar saw the event as a positive step for the community.

“I think this is a start right here,” said Kosydar. “Maybe if more people come to these, they’ll know, they’ll understand.”

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