TU hosts third annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum

TU hosts third annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum

TU’s Business Career Center hosted the third annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum April 24, bringing together panelists who shared their views about creating and cultivating an inclusive environment in colleges, corporations and communities.

Leonelle Thompson, assistant dean and director of the Business Career Center, said, “One of the outcomes we would love to have is that students have a safe environment in which to discuss diversity and inclusion matters.”

The panel was moderated by Jacqueline Higgs Caldwell, TU vice president for diversity and engagement and director of the Presidential Scholars Program, and included the following representatives:

  • Josh Linton, inclusion and diversity manager for ONE Gas, Inc.
  • Bansri Doshi, TU sophomore pre-med biology major
  • Brad Taylor, research director at Phillips 66 as well as a steering committee member for PRIDE66, an employee resource group supporting the personal and professional development of LGBT&A employees at Phillips 66
  • Aiken Sujana, TU senior biochemistry major from Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Megan Lowry, TU junior sociology major
  • Sarah Rana, director of programs at the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice
  • Reverend Robert Turner, pastor of Vernon Chapel A.M.E. Church in Tulsa
  • Justice Waidner Smith, diversity and inclusion manager at ONEOK

Caldwell began the forum by reiterating TU’s commitment to creating an environment in which students feel accepted, engaged, empowered and on the path to self-acceptance. Panelists then shared in-depth insights on topics ranging from opportunities and challenges related to diversity and inclusion, how to prepare students to enter a diverse workplace, and how students can evaluate a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion during the interview process.

Thompson added that, “We hope the corporations will take away what great students we have here and what role the community plays in shaping the lives of our students.”

Special thanks to TU’s Student Association, ONEOK, ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66 for sponsoring the forum.