MOC Forward sessions
All sessions are virtual at www.utc.edu/moc-forward.
- Moving Forward Together: “Tackling Micro-Aggressions and Implicit Bias.” 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29. Guest speakers: Jamie Washington and the Rev. Sam Offer.
- Moving Forward Together: “Voices, Experiences and Needs of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) at a Predominantly White Institution.” Noon-1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Guest speaker: Jamie Washington
- Mocs Fly Together: “Voices, Experiences and Needs of UTC Mocs.” Noon-1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26. Student Panel Discussion.
- Moving Forward Together: “Getting in Good Trouble.” 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12. Fall closing session with Jamie Washington.
Uncomfortable conversations. Vulnerability. Honesty. Open minds.
That’s the recipe for the annual MOC—Moving Our Campus—Forward diversity and inclusion conference at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The conference, now in its fourth year, returned Wednesday, Sept. 16, and continues this year through October and into November.
All MOC Forward events are centered on one theme: Moving forward together to dismantle racism. The virtual series includes guest speakers and panel discussions throughout the fall and spring semesters. All events are virtual.
The next session, “Moving Forward Together: Tackling Micro-Aggressions and Implicit Bias,” is led by guest speakers Jamie Washington and the Rev. Sam Offer. It takes place Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Named a Top Ten Global Diversity consultant by The Economist, Washington has led efforts and initiatives to promote and advance diversity and inclusion at institutions across the world for more than 30 years. He is president and co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute. He also is president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group; Offer is vice president of the group.
In his remarks for MOC Forward’s kickoff, Chancellor Steve Angle reminded campus that embracing diversity, equity and inclusion every day is a critical part of the University. UTC must prepare students to relate to and work with people who are different than them.
This year a storm of tensions has exposed inequities that for too many were hiding under the surface. UTC recognizes the need to step up, but the work won’t be easy.
“Systemic racism has been a part of our society for centuries, and now is the time to say we will not sit idly by and see lives wasted,” Angle said. “We won’t tolerate silence and inaction. So, to dismantle racism, we must have difficult and uncomfortable conversations.”
Washington reiterated this idea as he discussed what dismantling racism looks like. The culture change is not the job of just one person, and it cannot be done overnight, he said.
“Real culture change and transformation is a seven to ten year process of intentional work,” Washington said, quoting the research of Lacretia Flash, assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion at Berklee College of Music.