Hot Topic Conversation: Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion

The dignity of all human beings is respected and their fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are constitutionally protected in the United States. From my experience as an immigrant in the past 12 years, I have always believed this, but last night I was once again reassured.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Hot Topics Conversation Series “Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion” for IU faculty, staff, students, and Bloomington community members. The event had five panelists, who spoke for about 5-7 minutes. This was followed by questions from the moderators and questions from the audience. At the end, audience, who were still present after the official event end time of 9:00 PM, were divided into smaller groups for further discussion.

The webcast might be available for the IU community if you decide to watch. Here, I would like to share my reflections of the event.

The current political discourse, especially the sound bites from the presidential race discussions, have caused alarm and worry for many of my fellow immigrants, especially if acts of intolerance are perpetrated on campus. At the event, professors, administrators, and the Provost unanimously condemned any discriminatory behavior on the IU campus, and extended their support to all individuals, who may suffer from any such actions.

To paraphrase Provost Robel, “If people feel that they have a right to discriminate, it is against the values emboldened in our constitution”. And, in reference to (first generation) immigrants, she remarked,
“people with the different accents and different experiences bring global world perspectives, which need to be appreciated and valued.”
“Why diversity is important, we must first understand”, she emphasized. For more information about the speakers and moderators, please click here or copy and paste the following link: https://provost.indiana.edu/stories-news/events/index.html.

If you feel invisible or feel discriminated against, you have every right to seek out the support, and report unwanted micro aggressions, so that others in your situation may not suffer in the future. Here is the list of resources you could explore. This is my personal opinion and doesn’t reflect views of any academic or administrative units at IU.

Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, and the resources they have listed are a great start. I have posted the screenshots below. Please click here, or copy and paste the following link: http://www.iu.edu/~dema/resources/index.shtml

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