The Task Force

Diversity and Inclusion is a new emerging task force within Advising First.  Its goal is to highlight the diversity among our staff, students, faculty and the community contributing to a greater understanding and acceptance of each individual person; to spread a message that we are all unique, we all experience life in different ways, and every single one of us will be accepted, supported, and valued. As advisors, we have the inherent power in our positions on campus to leave a positive impact on every student and person we meet.  This task force hopes to give advisors the tools to spread our message of fostering a more diverse, inclusive and equitable world.

To be more culturally aware and to have understanding starts with an open-mind.  We need to be willing to learn and to challenge our own possible biases.  The Diversity and Inclusion task force plans to provide opportunities to attend workshops, one of which centering on diversity and bias.  Another great opportunity could be a lesson on American Sign Language (ASL); this would allow you to begin learning a few basics signs to communicate with the Deaf community.  Other projects include a speaker from the Seminole Tribe to come speak with us about the history at Florida State University.

Diversity and Inclusion Opportunities

So what can we do outside of Advising First to promote diversity and inclusion in our work and our own lives?  FSU offers a development program to promote acceptance and support of the LGBTQ+ through Allies and Safe Zones. There are also FSU affinity groups with the primary goal of developing and improving the campus climate, in which faculty and staff can join and/or sign up for the email listserv to find out about events and forums, guest speakers, educational programs, and social gatherings. Currently, the existing affinity groups are Latin@ Faculty Advocacy and Resource Group, Black Faculty and Staff Organization, LGBTQ+ Faculty Staff Network, and Veterans, Friends and Family Group (VF2G). Additionally, the office of Human Resources is now offering a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate program.  This program allows you to learn more about the ways in which you can contribute to creating a welcoming and inclusive campus for all. The certificate includes a theory-to-action project for a deeper learning experience. The Diversity and Inclusion task force encourages everyone to learn and educate themselves; the more knowledgeable you are the greater your awareness.

What’s current:

In honor of National Native American Heritage month, Chantelle Tuffigo wrote for the AF newsletter. Below is an excerpt from the November newsletter:

There are about 560 Native American tribes recognized by the federal government. Each as a nation is recognized as sovereign by the US. Self-government is seen as essential to protecting their unique cultures and identities. Native people should not be seen as one, homogeneous group. Each tribe can have different languages, cultures, practices, histories, and more. Preferred terminology may vary primarily by region and even age. You may hear Native American, First peoples, Indigenous peoples, or other terms.

It would be impossible to address all the issues faced by any community, but it is always important to take a step towards educating ourselves on these topics. It helps us build empathy and understand challenges that many of us may never face. When seeking this information, remember to look at the source. If you want to learn more about any tribe, for example, look at their website before examining outside sources.

Be sure to check out the full write-up on the November AF newsletter.

Chantelle Tuffigo is the lead for the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. For questions about the mission and goals of the task force, please email her at ctuffigo@fsu.edu.

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Written by: Chantelle Tuffigo, AF English Advisor and Allison Young, Social Sciences Advisor