Welcoming Nyds

Welcoming Nyds

Welcoming Nyds

Welcome to the Edelman CCCA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) blog! My name is Nyds Rivera. I’m a junior Writing Arts major here at Rowan with a minor in Psychology, and I also work as a tutor in the Writing Center. This is my first semester working with CCCA as the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion intern and I am incredibly excited to be working with the College to really get this blog off the ground!CCCA DEI Intern Nyds Rivera

Our goal with this blog is to shine a spotlight on those members of the College of Communication & Creative Arts that are leading the way in the movement for a more equitable and inclusive community. This blog is an opportunity to provide a space for the voices of the marginalized to be amplified across our college, and reach others who may not even be aware of all the work that is being done to further inclusivity. 

As a nonbinary and latino student, the need for diversity and awareness is always at the forefront of my personal values. Diversity is a conversation that is far too often carried by our oppressors, and those in marginalized communities tend to be overlooked in favor of the in-groups that try to speak on our behalf. We can see it everywhere throughout our country. Men make legislation on behalf of women’s bodies. Neurotypical instructors decide what sorts of accommodations and resources are suitable for neurodivergent students. Even well-meaning activists can unintentionally cause harm: white influencers speak out on the issues of people of color, but do not actually listen to the concerns of these same people; or people organize events for celebrating diversity with a panel of exclusively cisgender and heterosexual speakers. Structural systems uphold racism, sexism, and homophobia while the people keeping them in place insist that they would never be hateful. A product of a society that was formulated without consideration for the out-groups, so much of injustice happening today is implicit as well as explicit. Institutions are put in place without giving thought to the input of varied and diverse individuals. The conversations about our lives are all-too-often carried by those who have not lived them. 

Marginalized peoples often face the feeling of being excluded from our educational or even social communities. Sometimes, a place designated as a “safe space” can still leave us feeling alienated, or othered from the rest of our communities. I am used to walking into a classroom and not seeing anyone else who looks like me, or speaking with people that do not understand how my experiences have affected me and do not care to learn. This is far from an isolated experience: many students in minority groups struggle to find peers that understand them within the classroom. There is also the matter of security and being unsure of whether your peers will accept you or hold a stigma against you like a barrier; so many students have to be constantly on guard against the possibility of hatred, even within places that are meant to be safe and without judgment. This is why it is even more vital to be spreading the message about those who are working to bring about change to the traditionally exclusionary pedagogy of higher education. 

We’ve been working hard  to create a better environment for those of us who have been targeted, oppressed, and objectified throughout history and have been making progress on both local and national stages. Universities are forming DEI programs, and journalism sites are conducting interviews that highlight the struggles of queer students and students of color. More and more, the nation is coming to the realization that there is too little representation of diverse groups of students within the fields of communications and the arts. While this is not yet a call to action, it is the first step in restructuring educational systems to be more equitable and inclusive. 

 Even something as simple as ‘spreading the word’ can foster the sense of pride and belonging that every human deserves to have. Through writing this blog, I hope to do exactly that. Highlighting the stories of DEI efforts in our college can also highlight the importance of DEI principles, and show how people from diverse backgrounds and experiences are contributing to the success of our college. I hope that, as the writer for this blog, it will become a space where the stories of students and faculty working to establish DEI throughout the college can thrive. I intend to achieve this through communicating stories that exemplify DEI as well as shining a spotlight on and conducting interviews with diverse students that are making strides. Through providing a space for our stories to coexist and inform members of the college, we are ensuring that we will be heard and recognized.  

I cannot wait to officially give this blog life, and promote the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion and how they are being implemented throughout the College. I am truly grateful for this opportunity, and look forward to bringing these stories to you, our audience. 

For more information about our department programs, organizations, or events, please visit the Edelman CCCA website, or the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion blog homepage