Craven Craven Community College (Craven CC) hosted more than 50 students for a workshop entitled “Introduction to Global Competence” on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Craven CC’s Global Initiative Committee hosted speaker Katherine L. Turner of Global Citizen, LLC to promote the school’s goal of addressing a diverse community and a global economy.
Students attending the event were given opportunities to increase their intercultural and global competence by participating in various exercises and discussing their thoughts on how they could become better global citizens.
“More employers are seeking candidates who have strong intercultural skills and can work on and lead diverse teams,” said Turner. “Whether students plan to work in New Bern, other towns in the United States or another country, academic institutions are wise to prepare students to develop their global competence so they can interact and work effectively with people who are different from them.”
Students began the workshop by introducing themselves with the pronoun they prefer others use to address them. Students then participated in a self-measured survey on their global awareness and comfort levels. As Turner read statements such as, “I feel comfortable in groups when I am in the minority” or “I feel confident in who I am,” students arranged themselves in three groups depending or whether or not they agreed with the statement.
After the survey, students participated in a privilege walk to show how the power of privilege can affect an individual’s life. The exercise asked students to either step forward or backward in response to statements such as, “If you have ever felt like there was not an adequate or accurate representation of your racial group, sexual orientation group, gender group, and/or disability group in the media, take one step back.” Students were spread across the room when the exercise ended, illustrating that some people benefit from advantages that allow them to start further ahead than others.
“I thought the workshop was very eye-opening and emotional, particularly the privilege walk,” said Craven CC student Claudia Davila. “I was in tears at one point.”
Another Craven CC student, Jacob Stain, felt the privilege walk added perspective to the role privilege plays in people’s lives.
“Organizing this event to increase global competency at Craven CC has been my great honor,” said Dr. Shelly Hines, Craven CC Spanish professor and active member of the Global Initiatives Committee. “Students, colleagues, and administrators are glowing with positive feedback. The campus is feeling energized by this experience and we are eager to keep the momentum going on our journey for global awareness and sensitivity.”
Other members of the Global Initiative Committee include Kate Amerson (chair), Kyle Warner, Pam Henderson and Emily Stewart.
This story also appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal. Click here to read the full story.