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Photo Courtesy of Keshawn Allen

UWG’s DDEI Promotes Inclusion For All Students

Since The University of West Georgia features many students with different and unique cultural backgrounds, they ensure that every student gets the representation they deserve. They go out of their way to make sure that the students feel represented and get to learn about different cultures by leaving the responsibility to the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Keshawn Allen

Since The University of West Georgia features many students with different and unique cultural backgrounds, they ensure that every student gets the representation they deserve. They go out of their way to make sure that the students feel represented and get to learn about different cultures by leaving the responsibility to the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

This department is under the Center for Student Involvement and Inclusion, which organizes events that cater to student’s entertainment and help them become more educated about their world. CSII works over the DDEI to advocate that representation matters in West Georgia, regardless of race, gender or religion. 

Graduate Assistant Lilly Mallette has worked in this department for over a year and has had a great experience showing inclusivity on campus. She stated that she enjoys working for the Department of Diversity, Equity, and inclusion and how she gains knowledgeable experience.

“Getting to know different cultures and getting to relate to them and learn from them and how to understand their traditions,” said Mallette. “The primary goal is to create a diverse and creative environment for students. 

“Basically just highlighting different cultures as well as advocating for those populations who are underserved that don’t have enough representation on campus,” continued Mallette. “Really just to create an environment on campus where students of different cultures and different populations can feel included.”

Not many students are familiar with this department and the amount of work they do, putting on multiple events and tabling sessions throughout the school year to educate students and faculty about the beauty each population brings to the campus. Each event that they host focuses primarily on being educational while also having an entertainment factor that will be fun for anyone who attends and participates.

In the past few years, there has been a significant increase in events made to educate the cultural significance of certain music, food and holidays with the help of this department and CSII. The department also plans to collaborate with many other clubs and student organizations to help spread the message of significance regarding specific backgrounds and upbringings. 

There are several upcoming events planned to occur in March and early April. Many students and faculty members can look forward to participating in a self-defense course being hosted on March 12 in support of Women’s History Month, allowing anyone of any gender identity to learn how to defend themselves. On March 25, there will be a celebration for the “Festival of Colors,” also known as Holi, which will take place at Love Valley, allowing students to become more familiar with Hindu culture. Another upcoming festival that students and faculty can participate in is the Lantern Festival on April 3, which will pay homage to the Asian and Pacific Islander community.