Diversity Celebration Series | California State University Monterey Bay

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CSUMB Awareness campaign “Strength through diversity” aims to reinforce our ongoing commitment to inclusive excellence. Stories, social media posts and special events throughout the academic year will celebrate diversity and highlight the many identity groups represented by the students, faculty, staff and alumni who make up the CSUMB community. . April is National Minority Health Month.

By Marielle Argueza

The Celebrating Diversity Lecture Series hosted by the College of Health and Human Services Sciences is back and in person this month. This year’s series will also inaugurate two new awards: the CHSHS Faculty and Staff Achievement Award in Social Justice and the CHSHS Achievement Award for Students. The awards honor members of the CSUMB community who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion within the university or campus community since January 1, 2021.

“We typically offer four events, and during COVID we actually offered eight online events,” said Kat McHenry of the CHSHS Dean’s Office. “This year will not just be a great in-person event, but an intentional event that reflects CSUMB’s values, diverse student population and experience. We make a real conscious effort to give something that students really want,” McHenry said.

Originally the vision of former Dean Britt Rios-Ellis, the series aims to inspire students and faculty to innovate in their fields, draw inspiration from their identity, and celebrate the diversity of others. The series achieved its goals by engaging various speakers for various national and international celebrations, such as Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, World AIDS Day, and Minority Health Month. The series is now led by the current Dean of CHSHS, Harald Barkhoff.

“I truly believe in shared governance, a collegial vision with all of our units together, and a celebration of diversity in the most holistic and broadest sense of the word,” Barkhoff said. He joined CSUMB in the fall of 2021 and knows the show’s legacy as a place of ingenuity and inclusion.

Barkhoff dove into his own diverse network at his former institution, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, to launch the series. On National Minority Health Month, he reached out to his former colleague, Misty Pacheco, an associate professor of kinesiology and exercise science at UH Hilo and a doctor of public health.

A native of Hawaii, Pacheco will speak not only about navigating public health, but about the minority health experience as a whole. She herself has a unique experience growing up as a native Hawaiian in an indigenous community. But aside from her academic goals, she was also an accomplished hula dancer and saw firsthand what public health was like for her immediate community.

Inspired by her culture and upbringing, Pacheco’s lecture will focus on the health experience of minorities through a framework drawn by her indigenous culture known as “Na Pou Kihi”. Also known as the “Corner Posts,” the framework posits that establishing social justice, healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and Indigenous cultural spaces all contribute to Indigenous benefit and health. Hawaiians. It is this cultural lens, which Barkhoff and the surrounding community that helps shape the Diversity Series, also values ​​their speakers.

“In her case, it was her personal experience growing up in an Indigenous community that informed her academic goals,” Barkhoff said. “We often think there’s only one way to get to certain stages of a career, but that’s really not the case. We want to show students that no matter what your journey is or if it takes longer, there are ways to make it happen.

The Diversity Celebration Series with keynote speaker Misty Pacheco begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 at CSUMB’s Otter Student Union Ballroom. This event will also be broadcast live. For more information, visit csumb.edu/chshs/diversitycelebrationseries.

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