Creating Inclusive Communities

Ayo Porte
February 14, 2018

On Wednesday, February 21, the 2018 Diversity Summit hosts filmmaker Lee Mun Wah.

Ayo Porte entered the crowded room in Kirby Student Center. The room host, another UMD student, introduced the speaker as Ayo scanned the faces. She was surrounded by community members, staff, faculty and students, all curious, all interested in diversity. “Seeing people of color leading discussions and giving presentations about issues and problems within our world and community was great to see," Ayo says. "Learning from people who have experienced tough issues first hand was the most powerful part for me.”

In the 2018 Summit on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity: Creating Inclusive Communities, over 40 workshops will be presented on Wednesday, February 21 from 8 am - 5 pm in the Kirby Student Center and other UMD campus locations. Ayo and hundreds of others are looking forward to the event. 
Ayo says that a multicultural environment will prepare students for working in our increasingly multicultural and global world. "Diverse perspectives make a more creative campus." 

Ayo, who comes from Brooklyn Park, Minn., is a senior on the UMD Women's Basketball Team. She is studying psychology and has an African/African American studies minor. Her classes are preparing her for a specific goal. "I want to pursue a career in adolescent therapy for children of color." she says.

Ayo wants professors to encourage their students to attend the summit and volunteer. "It is a great opportunity to learn and help out within our UMD community."


Keynote speaker Lee Mun Wah, an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, educator, and diversity trainer, will present “The Path Towards Inclusion Is Also About Exclusion" in the Kirby Ballroom at 4 p.m.

Lee Mun Wah will also present a workshop on Creating a Culturally Competent and Responsive Campus Community. H is an executive director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting and has worked with thousands of people to work on diversity initiatives in the workplace.

“Bringing something like this to UMD is great for everyone and it's very empowering for minorities on campus,” says Ayo.