On Tuesday May 10, I began my morning in the most delightful way: with a workshop on inclusivity hosted by Dr. Brenda J. Allen.
For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Allen, she is perhaps best known as a leading scholar from the field of Communication, especially for her work in organizational and group communication, diversity/inclusivity and teaching/pedagogy. I read some of her work as an undergrad at Greenville College and even more of her work in graduate school at Saint Louis University, especially in my Language and Cultural Diversity class. I've heard for years what a dynamic speaker she is, and I was thrilled to finally see her speak in person.
The title of Dr. Allen's presentation was "Preparing for the Future: Communicating Inclusivity" and she explored enrollment projections in higher education and the need for greater awareness and greater efforts toward making colleges and universities (like my alma mater, SLU) places of inclusivity. She defined inclusion as "the process of helping people feel like valued members of a group or community." That sounds precisely like a process that educators, administrators, and students should strive for in their schools!
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Allen, or inclusivity through communication, I highly recommend her book, Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity. The book is available on her website for the book (www.diversitymatters.info), as well as Amazon. I haven't read the whole book, but I am in the process.
There are so many wonderful things that I could say about her (her poise, brilliance, charisma, grace) but since this is a fashion blog, I will focus on that aspect of her. In addition to being an amazing scholar, this woman has major style! I wish that I would have taken a picture of her outfit that day- she looked fantastic! The story of her outfit that day was of strength, confidence, warmth, and creativity- a stylish scholar!
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