As Indiana University continues to make strides in becoming a more diverse and inclusive place for all, various departments are taking steps to highlight the diversity work at IU since its inception. For example, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) is introducing a new podcast, On Illuminating: Light and Truth on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Provost Professor and Assistant Vice President Lemuel Watson hosts this bi-weekly series featuring conversations with university faculty, staff, students, and public and business leaders passionate about sharing their experiences and innovative strategies to build communities where all are valued and belong. Listeners can apply learned techniques in their communities.
“I’m very excited,” Watson said. “I have experience with public television and interviewing individuals as dean of the School of Education and as a researcher. I’ve never hosted a podcast before, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
Recorded live in the IU Media School on the Bloomington campus, Watson sits with the guests to discuss diversity and inclusion. Following a simple format, Watson uses a list of pre-written questions as a guideline to lead the conversation. “I want our dialogue to be natural,” Watson said. “I want to know as much as I can about a person or their work before we talk so I can be open, aware, and ask the right questions.”
In regards to the recording process, Watson said, “We started recording when everything was starting to open up again, and it was great to be able to see and talk with a person face to face and build that connection with each other.”
This first season offers insights into Indiana University’s anti-racist agenda, introduces racial justice research, explores issues of racial equity, and raises awareness about social justice inequities. Episodes feature:
- Benjamin Hunter, associate vice president for Public Safety and Institutional Assurance and superintendent for public safety at Indiana University, and John Vinson, captain of operations at Indiana University Police Department Bloomington Division, discusses working systemically with the community and campus to create a secure sense of belonging
- Una Osili, Indiana University associate dean for research and international programs; Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy; dean's fellow, Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy discusses building a research agenda to address racial justice as anti-racist initiatives.
- Karen Dace, vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion and professor of communication at IUPUI, discusses raising consciousness and transforming organizations.
For more information on the On Illuminating podcast, please visit their website.