Student leaders to get 'cultural humility' training at Baylor

Baylor University is implementing a new “cultural humility” training to help student leaders prevent and respond to “microaggressions.”

The “Leave Your Mark” program, which launches this fall, will train leaders in the Division of Student Life to “develop an understanding of cultural humility and shape plans that ensure cultural humility permeates their student organizations,” according to Baylor’s latest “Diversity and Cultural Humility” progress report.

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The program, originally tested and developed by certain student groups in March, will educate 580 Student Life leaders on cultural humility, social identity, and the differences between intent and impact, The Baylor Lariat reports.

“Leave Your Mark” involves 45-minute modules taught by 140 “peer leaders” who have been trained by Lizzy Davis, the assistant director of leadership development.

Following a student-made video at the start of the presentation, participants will also receive training in how to intercede in the event of an microaggression. According to the Lariat, suggested responses include "talking to the victim, educating the attacker, and being personally open to learning."

“We have amazing students on our campus who are so passionate about this issue, so I really want to give a chance to let their leadership shine,” Davis noted, explaining that the program employs student instructors because “it doesn’t feel as real or as relevant unless it’s your peers saying [discrimination] is something they’ve experienced on campus.”

[RELATED: Students may need counseling after ‘required’ diversity training]

“Leave Your Mark” is a product of the Division of Student Life, which also manages numerous programs where the training will be taught to student leaders, such as Welcome Week and Living-Learning Centers.

“Student Life seeks to enrich the Baylor experience through life-changing programs and services resulting in an integrated education known for leadership, service, Christian faith, and the total development of students,” the department website states, later adding that “Student Life will be a transformative presence in all our students’ lives, equipping them to make a positive impact on society.”

While the program is not mandatory, approximately 580 students have agreed to participate in the training this fall, according to an employee in Baylor’s Student Life office.

“The program is not mandatory but available for student and community leaders, who can better serve their peers through greater self-awareness and understanding of others while having the tools to work across differences and a common language to dialogue with each other,” a Baylor spokesperson told Campus Reform. “The training is optional for students, faculty, and staff.”

Campus Reform also reached out to Davis for comment, but has not received a response as of publishing time.

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