Frederick Community College will hold the second event of its Innovators of Thought Speaker Series on Thursday, September 21, providing the community the opportunity to gain tangible skills in engaging around difference to better navigate an ever-evolving world.
The Speakers Series is part of the College’s Inauguration celebration featuring events throughout the month, culminating in the formal installation of the 11th
President of FCC, Dr. Annesa Payne Cheek.
This interactive keynote presentation, “Embodying a DEI Mindset: Internal Shift & External Action,” will be led by Kevin Skwira-Brown, a founding partner and full-time trainer/consultant at Cultural Fluency Associates LLP.
“Our communities, our organizations, and our families are becoming more diverse,” Skwira-Brown said. “In order to engage in any of those settings that are both fulfilling for us and respectful and honoring of other people, we have to have skills in engaging around difference. If we do, we can engage others effectively, allowing them to feel seen and heard, and providing ourselves the opportunity to connect more deeply.”
During the event, Skwira-Brown will help attendees consider their own cultural framework that they are operating within so they can better understand ways to be more effective across differences. He will focus on six core concepts to help participants cultivate these skills, in both mindset and behavior.
This internal, individualized work is critical to achieving positive change on a larger level, said Anne Hofmann and Dr. Kathy Brooks, FCC professors involved with the planning of the event.
“This event will help attendees think about not only what is happening in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our institutions, but what is our individual role in moving that work forward?” said Anne Hofmann, FCC Department Chair for English and Humanities. “It’s about starting with our individual selves – where we come from, what assumptions we carry with us – and considering how we impact our institutions.”
“It’s important to look at what are those forces behind some of our perspectives, biases, and thought processes, and what mindset shifts need to be made to result in external action that benefits us all,” said Dr. Kathy Brooks, FCC Department Chair for Communication, Arts and Languages.
Having the ability to engage effectively in this way is a skill that has value in all areas of an individual’s life, Skwira-Brown said.
The event will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Jack B. Kussmaul (JBK) Theater, located in the FCC Visual & Performing Arts Building.
It is free and open to the public. Online registration is requested through the FCC Inauguration webpage
About Kevin Skwira-Brown
Kevin Skwira-Brown is a founding partner and full-time trainer/consultant at Cultural Fluency Associates LLP, where he utilizes experience in direct social service, grassroots multicultural community organizing, intercultural development, and racial justice work.