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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024

Conference calls for dialogue on workplace diversity

Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION
University of Seattle law professor Carmen Gonzales speaks about the “presumed incompetence” of women of color in workplaces Monday.
Shelby Knowles — THE BATTALION University of Seattle law professor Carmen Gonzales speaks about the “presumed incompetence” of women of color in workplaces Monday.

A lecture tackling the “presumed incompetence” of women of color in academic workplaces kicked off the second annual “Climate Matters: A Dialogue of Climate, Inclusion, and Respect” conference Monday night.
The two-day conference aims to address the importance of diversity within educational settings as well as look at issues facing diversity and equality within all environments.
The conference started with a lecture by Carmen Gonzalez, a law professor from the University of Seattle, on “The Women of Color in Academia.”
Gonzalez said women of color are often scrutinized and questioned more often than their white male counterparts. In addition to race and gender barriers, Gonzalez added class to the list, warning against the stereotypes associated with all three.
Gonzalez said issues such as belief that society is post-racial and a declining enthusiasm for protests add to the problem.
“It’s not just a few bad apples,” Gonzalez said. “But it’s deeply imbedded in U.S. culture and requires constant vigilance and intervention if we are to create a campus climate that is truly inclusive and allows every individual to flourish and to contribute to the intellectual life of the community.”
As a community, Gonzalez said building and maintaining supportive relationships are key to helping put a stop to the problem.
Gonzalez also attacked the aura of secrecy that sometimes surrounds workplace environments and called for communications between individuals and communities.
At the end of her talk, Gonzalez said colored professors need to remember the importance of their positions.
“What you teach in the classroom raises the consciousness of students about social justice in the United States,” Gonzalez said. “Your very presence in the classroom can be transformative for many students.”
Laurie Priest, a facilitator of the conference and senior lecturer and chair of physical education at Mount Holyoke College, said the conference is a part of a bigger trend.
“It’s not just because it’s the politically correct thing to do,” Priest said. “It’s because it makes good business sense. Fortune 500 companies did this long ago because they knew it would make them more effective as companies, now higher education is coming along overall and some schools are farther ahead than others.”
The conference will run until Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. in the MSC Bethancourt Ballroom.

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