Monthly educational events offer opportunities to learn more about topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion from subject-matter experts including researchers, activists, and educators.
We provide guidelines and structure to create a safe and trusting environment necessary for the sharing of alternative, sensitive, or even controversial experiences and viewpoints. This aspect is critical to the success of Connections as it allows for truly open dialogue on the basis of trust and understanding. Connections leaders undergo dialogue facilitation training.
Several times a semester we host social hours on or around campus where members gather to discuss informal topics outside of a learning environment. This collaborative space allows for social interaction, academic support, and fostering research collaborations. We alternate between hosting on the Danforth Campus and Medical Campus.
Connections was founded in 2015 in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown only miles from campus. The group continues to offer a space for education, dialogue, and community-building. Members learn critical skills such as engaging in difficult dialogues, recognizing and valuing diverse experiences, and sharing their own perspectives.
“Connections has allowed me to learn more than just science at Wash U. I am learning about…[how] past discriminations…have created present disparities. I am learning how to interact positively with every person I meet so I can build the relationships necessary to do my best work. Connections is so important because it is a place for me to grow socially and emotionally in addition to the academic growth expected of me in lab.” - Connections Member
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