The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics invited the TRU community to a presentation exploring the importance of understanding diverse cultural values.
The presentation, which took place in the Brown Family House of Learning, began with an acknowledgement of land. They reflected on the importance of acknowledging a foreign land from personal experience, as most of the presenters were from outside of Canada.
The idea behind the event began with an assignment for the students where they reflected on three main points; What cultural group do they belong to? What cultural values does the group have? And what are their strengths and limitations?
With those questions, they remarked that the feeling of uneasiness of being a part of a cultural group where the values are not shared is not only normal but expected. Those feelings should not be ignored, but explored.
Language, religion, nationality and heritage are all aspects that the students deemed culturally valuable, but as they presented, they made a point of mentioning that one culture may contradict another one, but neither is wrong. “Cultural values are not static, and should be seen as dynamic and evolving,” said the speakers.
They also recognized the work TRU has done; “TRU Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan recognizes the diversity in the university as well as promotes mechanisms that could address barriers people may face due to related issues to EDI”
Attendees were encouraged to reflect on their cultural values, and how those may impact how they perceive others. Understanding the strength of Diversity is all about using our differences to create a stronger community. There is no better place to start than our university.
It is crucial to explore the barriers we may put on ourselves or others based on the cultural values we hold. As the students and presenters continued with the presentation, the topic of barriers was prominent.
“If you understand yourself, you can understand others”
The topics were not only useful for business students, but they reflected on the importance of creating a world where our differences are seen as an asset and not a limitation. They stated that as we continue to grow in a community where cultural differences are inevitable, understanding how we can benefit from them will create growth in both personal and professional areas.
It was an eye-opening event that showed a progressive group of people working towards understanding the strength of diversity in a university filled with students and faculty from all over the world.
Students who attended this presentation got to enjoy an amazing talk about diversity as well as some snacks provided by the faculty members of the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics.
Talks around equity and diversity are happening constantly throughout the year at TRU. For anyone interested in attending future talks, inside.tru.ca has a schedule for the upcoming events.