Diversity Retreat

As Wesleyan continues to engage in working toward a socially just world, the Buddhist House is fortunate to host a diversity retreat that includes a contemplative form of education. The retreat will be held Saturday, February 10 and Sunday, February 11, and will be facilitated by two instructors that teach multiculturalism classes intensives at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Interested students should complete application below and email it to Emma Teitel at eteitel(at)wesleyan.edu no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30. A selection committee will read applications and notify students by Friday, February 2. If you have any questions or concerns please email Emma Teitel at eteitel@wesleyan.edu. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WRITING A TON FOR THE APPLICATION (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE BUSY); IT’S JUST A WAY FOR THE FACILITATORS TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU.

The Retreat:
During the weekend, thirty Wesleyan students will use personal stories, models, simulations, and guided discussions to raise awareness around issues of privilege, oppression, activism, and cultural difference. In the process, participants will engage in an examination of their personal relationship to the topic and to others, through the use of mindfulness, a contemplative approach to staying in the present moment. The retreat will culminate in bridging the power of mindfulness with action plans for social change. The thirty students fortunate to be selected will be seen as leaders in bringing new perspectives and approaches to issues of diversity in the Wesleyan community.

Goals of the retreat:

  • Gain a greater awareness of personal values, beliefs, and assumptions related to multiculturalism
  • Inspire one another to take more action on individual and collective levels
  • Create action plans
  • Participants will have an opportunity to dialogue about current multicultural issues
  • Share multicultural experiences that have impacted their values and beliefs
  • Gain cross-cultural communication skills and tool
  • Experience contemplative education: Naropa is known for contemplative and experiential education.

According to John Davis, a leading educator and researcher in the field,

“Contemplative education makes room for curiosity, surprise, delight, transcendence, transformation, and authentic encounter with others and the world. It calls us to go beyond our familiar conceptual categories and rigid representations of self, others, and world, changing us in fundamental and profound ways. It requires the willingness and capacity to be still, to quiet the mind’s usual labeling and categorizing, and to allow experience to unfold freely!”

Again, applications for the Diversity Retreat are due this Tuesday, January 30th (TOMORROW) at 5pm. The retreat will be an amazing opportunity to explore and dialogue about issues of diversity in a radically different way through the use of provocative experientials and mindfulness techniques. This is a beneficial opportunity for all–those who have done a lot of work surrounding issues of diversity will gain new insights and for those who have very little experience exploring issues of diversity, this will be a hugely informative and opening experience.

Download the application here.

We wish to thank the following contributors for supporting this retreat and for appreciating the importance of exploring issues of diversity and social change: the Office of Affirmative Action, American Studies Program, East Asian Studies Program, the University Jewish Chaplain, the Office of the President, the Office of Residential Life, the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, the Office of the Dean of the College, the Community Development Fund and the Student Budgetary Committee.

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