Tag Archives: UC Diversity

Meet UC’s new Rainbow Coordinator

Ari Nicholson joined UC a few weeks back as Rainbow Coordinator in the Student Success team.

We had a chat with Ari to find out about what the new role involves, Diversity Fest (which is coming up in September), and all about Ari’s background. Watch here>

Drop in to Ari’s office and say hello. Ari is in the office at the following times:
Monday, 9am – 5pm
Tuesday and Wednesday, 9am – 2.30pm
Location – Level 1, Forestry building

Unconscious (implicit) bias – some take-outs from the talk

Dr Benjamin D. Reese (Duke University) presented a well-attended and fascinating talk on Dilemmas of our time: Unconscious (implicit) bias and race relations last night, organised by the Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies at UC.

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This topic is especially relevant to us in Christchurch at the moment, as many of us reflect on the nuances of racism and what it might be like to look or sound different to others in our city.

Dr Reese presented findings from his many years of research in implicit bias. He explained how implicit bias, which is below the level of consciousness, is learned early and absorbed from our environment. This is one reason why it is so important to have diversity of role models in our movies, TV shows and other media.

No one can avoid having implicit bias – even Dr Reese shared examples of his own bias, however you can counter it. You can do this by being aware of your own bias, reminding yourself regularly that implicit bias exists, and by exposing yourself to different ideas and different people to broaden your experience.

On an organisational level, leadership is key but everyone can play a part. When an organisation focuses on diversity, it has a noticeable impact, Dr Reese says.

As always, sharing stories and experiences is part of the journey to better understanding and a more accepting world.

Upcoming opportunities for engage with discussions around racism at UC include:

31 July – Looking and Sounding Different with nine UC staff and students discussing their experience and exploring ways to create a more accepting society.

12 August – Whites Engaged in Antiracist Action: Struggles and Coping Mechanisms with Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Counselling at Villanova University, Krista Malott.

 

R-Ladies Christchurch chapter

Greetings from the newly created Christchurch chapter of the R-Ladies global organization! Our mission is to promote gender diversity in the R community via meetups and collaboration. We welcome all gender minorities in STEM, including but not limited to cis/trans women, trans men, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender and agender people. We are planning to meet once a month, starting in August.

As a diversity initiative, the mission of R-Ladies is to achieve proportionate representation by encouraging, inspiring, and empowering people of genders currently underrepresented in the R and general STEM community. Our focus, therefore, is on supporting minority gender R enthusiasts to achieve their programming and data science potential. We do this by building a collaborative network of R leaders, mentors, learners, and developers to facilitate individual and collective progress in the chapter.

We are excited to start a local chapter, but first we need to know who you are and what your interests are. Please help us by answering a few quick questions in our start-up survey.

We welcome your input and your suggestions. If you have any comments or questions, or just want to say hi, feel free to contact us at chch@rladies.org, on Twitter @RLadiesChch, and join the Meetup group. Help us reach a wide audience by inviting your peers, mentees and mentors!

R Ladies global logo

UC Pasifika Old Skool Dinner 2

UC Pasifika Old Skool Dinners are social evenings for our mature or adult Pasifika students, who might like to spend time with other adult students and staff.

The dinners are an opportunity for these students and staff to get together, unwind and escape the stress and pressure of exams, research and or writing.

Please note we have no strict definition of what makes a ‘mature’ or ‘adult’ student, so if this feels like it’s for you, come along!

  • What: Old Skool Dinner 2
  • Date: Wednesday 29 May 2019
  • Time: 4pm – 6pm
  • Venue: Pacific Lali Room, Te Ao Marama 208, Arts Road, University of Canterbury

We are all in this together – Whiria te Taura Tangata #14

Kia ora koutou!

He waka eke noa.

My understanding of this whakataukī is “we are all in this together”.

It uses the waka as a symbol of the need for cooperation and collaboration in order to move together towards a shared place or vision. With the Colleges of Arts and Engineering, and now the UC Health Centre, receiving their culture results we can now truly say this is the case.

Blue CLUES. The planning for the first Blue CLUES is underway and invitations will be sent soon to those in Culture Leadership roles.  The invitation is still open for work areas to host one of these seminars – open the session, contribute to the content etc. so just let me know if you wish to take this opportunity.

Contributions welcome. Contributions to this blog are welcome. If you have a story to share, feel free to talk to me or post it yourself.

Culture Bites Podcasts.The podcasts by Human Synergistics Australia are a useful resource that can be listened to, for example, in the car. The latest one “But in this industry we have to be like that…”  David Byrum and Dominic Gourley from Human Synergistics discuss the concept of different cultures within different industries – “In a University, we have to be Oppositional because …..” You can listen to it here (or download to your phone): But in this Industry we have to be like that…

Change in OD Team. Karen Grant has taken up a new role within HR as Reward and Recognition Consultant. Karen’s contribution to getting the culture development programme to this point has been significant and I thank her for everything she has done. Rachel Dillon, who has worked here as an HR Advisor, is now in the OD Advisor role.  Rachel will be managing the LSI, OCI/OEI, Blue CLUES etc. – so say kia ora.

Finding Out More

Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes), Karen

Karen Mather
Organisational Development Manager