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KSUnite Weekly

K-State Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

November 4, 2019

Highlighting KSUnite topic sessions: Part 2

Submitted by KSUnite Planning Team

As part of the KSUnite movement, breakout sessions will occur as part of the event. These sessions will provide an opportunity for attendees to select topics they would like to engage with. As part two of a deeper look at the sessions, information pertaining to the topics of race, religion, sexual violence, social justice, and tough conversations are included below.

KSUnite will take place from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Nov. 6. All classes have been canceled to ensure the campus community may participate.


  • "The Trauma of Racism and Its Impact on Productivity." The overall aim of this presentation is to heighten sensitivity to the often covert impact of racism on productivity in school and at work. Ways to proactively avoid perpetuating racism will be discussed. This presentation will describe the different classes of racism — i.e., hostile, avoidant, and aversive-hostile — and the emotional and psychological harm that each class can potentially promote. Aversive-hostile racism, which is the most likely form encountered at work and school will be explored in depth including ways to avoid perpetuating such racism. A brief documentary on the psychological impact of intergenerational racism will be featured. This presentation is suitable for anyone in a supervisory, manager, leader or instructor role.
  • "Yesterday and Today." Race is a complex and multifaceted concept. This panel will explore the story of race from both biological and sociological perspectives. Marta Alfonso-Durruty will discuss contemporary anthropological insights on race. Then, Nadia Shapkina will explore the sociology of race, focusing on social mechanisms that contribute to racial formation. In recent times, one of the significant lightning rods of racial controversy have been issues surrounding criminal justice. Kevin Steinmetz will provide a brief overview of the implications for criminal justice stemming from race including mass incarceration, police activities, and crime. The panel will end with Q&A and dialog about the issues discussed. The intended audience for this panel are both students and members of the public interested in hearing a brief-yet-robust framing of race and the collateral consequences thereof. 


  • "Conversation on Religious, Spiritual, and Meaning-Making Climate on Campus." The intended audience is for all members of the campus community — students, faculty and staff. The intention of the session is to share information about the ways religious, spiritual, and other meaning-making groups are represented, recognized, and appreciated on campus, past and present efforts that are being made to improve acceptance and outreach, and dialogue for suggestions for the future.

Sexual violence:

  • "#MeToo @ K-State." #MeToo @ K-State seeks to challenge the harmful myths and misconceptions about sexualviolence that make it easier for perpetrators to get away with crimes and harder for survivors to be believed. Participants will learn about the unlikelihood of false reports, how rape culture is embedded in our everyday lives, how trauma affects the brain, and ultimately walk away with knowledge on how we as K-State Wildcats can be effective in creating culture change.
  • "KSU Says No More." Presentation that discusses statistics related to sexual and domestic violence on college campuses — specifically information crime reports from here at K-State — allows for active conversations about myths associated with sexual assault and domestic violence, the message and meaning of the No More campaign and it’s work on K-State campus, and finally resources and a message that challenges students from all backgrounds to empower others to be engaged in a movement to end sexual assault and domestic violence by being a pro social bystander or an advocate; therefore transforming K-State into a culture of consent.

Social justice: 

  • "Increasing Social Awareness Through Storytelling Work." The target audience will be faculty, staff, students, administrators and community members interested in the concepts of social justice and how storytelling can be used as a pedagogical tool in discussing social challenges. The workshop will discuss two different story types taken from Lee Anne Bell's (2010) storytelling model including stock stories — stories that are told by the dominant group, passed on through history and celebrated through public rituals, law, the arts, education and media; and concealed stories — stories often told by people of marginalized communities that are often invisible in mainstream culture and that highlight how dominance and privilege work. Participants will also engage in hands-on, interactive storytelling exercises in order to better understand these concepts.
  • "Social Justice in Turbulent Times." Target audience: Students, faculty and staff. Presentation: This interactive conversation/presentation asks the question, "What can we do to facilitate dialogue around taking the concept of "social justice" out of the political arena and turning the focus on humans in the pursuit of dignity, peace, comfort, and well-being?" Themes will include: 1) Human migrations and the conditions that make movement necessary 2) What is your role in current activism or education that addresses human needs and behavior changes? 3) What is our capacity to make changes? 4) Recommendations and tools for change will be presented.

Tough conversations:

  • "Listening to Others: Leading Courageously to Promote Diversity and Inclusion." The ability to listen is a needed skill that promotes diversity and inclusion. If listening is thought of as a social process that necessitates meaningful interaction with others, then the need to co-create common definitions through effective communication is paramount. Many organizational problems stem from an inability to truly listen to multiple stakeholders. Unfortunately, we live in a world where not all have the capacity to be seen and heard equally. The presenters will lead a facilitation around listening from two different perspectives: One will discuss interventions in an education program that emphasize the practice of listening as a skill for co-emerging a culture of diversity and inclusion within a group. Another will discuss coaching as an important leadership skill that promotes active and empathetic listening and one that can be used when trying to see and hear others. Both will engage the audience in active practice and skill development. 
  • "Situation Critical: Responding to Difficult Situations Through Role-Play." Few people are skilled at effectively responding to a difficult situation the first time they encounter it. It is easy to imagine you will respond calmly, but when tension is high our response may be very different. Training and role-play can help us recognize warning signs of a challenging situation and allow us to process them more quickly, react more effectively, and respond with care. In this session, participants will role-play scenarios drawn from the group’s personal classroom experiences to help them start to develop a routine for handling difficult situations. This session is designed for participants of all different roles — student, faculty, administrator, and beyond.

For further information on these topics, event schedule, and speaker biographies please visit k-state.edu/KSUnite.