UMD was recently ranked as the top college in the nation for LGBTQ+ students by Campus Pride and BestColleges. What does it mean for student, staff, and faculty members' sense of belonging to be at an institution which leads on LGBTQ+ culture and practices? How can we move forward to ensure that UMD is recognized by prospective students, staff, and faculty as a uniquely welcoming place and continues to attract new LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty to our community? Are there ways in which the sense of belonging that LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty feel furthers our institutional mission? How have our culture and practices made a difference to students in their educational journey at UMD? How do we move forward to ensure that UMD is supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+ members of our community in relation to all of their intersectional identities and cultures?
Kristopher Oliveria, Director of the LGBTQ+ Equity Center, Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Mattering, the need we all have to feel valued and to add value, is deeply intertwined with the concept of belonging. In the United States Surgeon General’s recently released Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being, “Mattering at Work” is highlighted as one of the five essential components of a workplace environment that supports employees’ health and wellbeing.
In this roundtable, a basic overview of the concept of mattering, as well as its relationship to belonging, will be briefly presented. Participants will then have the opportunity to discuss experiences in which they felt like they mattered, what contributed to that mattering experience, and ways in which a sense of mattering can be prioritized and cultivated in work environments.
Katie Conlon, Organizational Development Consultant, Center for Leadership and Organizational Change
This roundtable discussion session will be an interactive restorative circle on the topic of belonging. We will begin by explaining restorative philosophy and community building circles. We will then engage in a circle experience with the participants. All of the questions will reflect on different aspects of belonging and community. Participants will have the opportunity to actively listen, and share if they’d like, when it is their turn in the circle. Participants tend to walk away from community building restorative circles feeling heard, feeling in community with the other participants, and energized. We look forward to holding this circle in the context of Terrapin Strong, as we believe there is great power and healing in integrating restorative practices into DEIJB work.
Nicole Garcia Diaz, Manager for Rights and Responsibilities, Department of Resident Life Laura Tan, Associate Director, Department of Resident Life