Encouraging Diversity In The Red River Valley

After the UND Snapchat controversy went viral, some people are asking if schools and communities are doing enough to educate students about diversity sensitivity.

NDSU and MSUM both have plenty of information online highlighting the importance of diversity on their campus.

There are also tons of community programs reaching out to people in order to teach the area about other cultures.

This conversation comes as the communities of Fargo and Moorhead are celebrating Welcoming Week.

But Welcoming Week events aren’t the only ones out there helping educate locals about different cultures.

“There are various activities that you know just like the soccer programs that bridge cultural divides,” says Vice President of Senior and Humanitarian Services at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota Shirley Dykshoorn.

“I think Fargo–Moorhead is a great place and whenever we have and event people come out and they want to learn.  When we come together and we share between each other our stories and our culture something fruitful will come out,” says Director of Afro American Development Association Hukun Abdullahi.

In addition to the community outreach, MSUM and NDSU also offer courses on diversity and activities throughout the year to help educate students on how to be aware of the unique parts of various cultures.

But sometimes even with all of these programs, people will still make mistakes.

“To me, I know they don’t have more knowledge about the people they are referring to and all that and it’s better for us to come out and educate them,” says Abdullahi.

Even though it seems like there’s a large amount of community programs as well as school programs to teach diversity sensitivity, some people feel like it really should just come down to common sense.

NDSU student Andre Maund says he’s experienced casual racism even from his friends.

He says often times it’s not said with the intention of causing harm but it can still hurt.

“Breaking like the tension barrier, don’t bring in a black joke. Just treat me like a human being and treat everybody else of color as a human being because we’re all the same. I think more people should take time to think what they’re actually saying like back to think before what you say.”Maund says.

Maund also says he thinks NDSU could do more to teach students about diversity and help the students better live in harmony with each other.

Link to MSUM Diversity Page

Link to NDSU Diversity Page

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