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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Annual Day of Dialogue focuses on critical DEI conversations

Carissa+Begonia%2C+business+and+leadership+coach+and+founder+of+CONSCIOUSXCHANGE%2C+and+Future+Cain%2C+CEO+of+The+Future+of+SEL%2C+discuss+how+social+emotional+intelligence+generates+greater+self-care%2C+community+care+and+collective+action+for+diversity%2C+equity%2C+inclusion+and+belonging+at+the+2023+Day+of+Dialogue.%0APHOTO%3A+MADELINE+WILLIAMS+%E2%80%9926%2FTHE+HAWK
Carissa Begonia, business and leadership coach and founder of CONSCIOUSXCHANGE, and Future Cain, CEO of The Future of SEL, discuss how social emotional intelligence generates greater self-care, community care and collective action for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the 2023 Day of Dialogue. PHOTO: MADELINE WILLIAMS ’26/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s hosted its fourth Day of Dialogue Feb. 15 on Hawk Hill campus featuring sessions that encouraged learning and discussions about diversity, equity, inclusion and representation.

Originally established by three faculty members in 2019, Day of Dialogue became an annual event, this year including a total of  76 sessions. No classes were scheduled for the day in order to encourage attendance.

This year there were in-person keynote speakers for the first time since 2020, which was the first Day of Dialogue ever held. The day began with a keynote address by D. Steve Boland, chief administrative officer for Bank of America, and a member of the company’s executive management team. 

Boland then had a conversation with Morgan M. Bryant, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing, on a wide range of topics including diversity and inclusion in the workplace and addressing systemic racial issues on a corporate level.

“In the workplace, we used to have some third rails and things we didn’t talk about,” Boland said. “We didn’t talk about religion, we didn’t talk about sexual orientation or gender identity.  You want to make sure everyone feels respected and included in how you conduct them.”

Day of Dialogue had more than 2,300 attendees and featured 154 panelists and facilitators, making it the largest Day of Dialogue Hawk Hill has hosted.  

Shoshanna Edwards-Alexander, Ph.D., adjunct professor of management, said one of the ways the event has improved over the years is an increase in students facilitating sessions. 

“A lot of the workshops that I attended, the presenters were students,” Edwards-Alexander said.  “That’s particularly exciting to me because we’ve gone from it being primarily professionals and faculty, to now having students who are taking more of a leadership role, and I love to see them in that space.”

Edwards-Alexander said she required her students to attend a Day of Dialogue session in place of attending class that day.

RJ Hall ’24, co-president of the #BeCivil campaign, said Day of Dialogue has received more attention over the years.

“I think that, as a community, we put a greater emphasis on the importance of it [Day of Dialogue] and a lot more professors will incentivize going to it, which I think also really helps with attendance,” Hall said.

This was Hall’s first year having a leadership role in facilitating a session. He said the event gives people an opportunity to partake in discussions that may be typically uncommon for them.

“It introduces people to a lot of conversations that otherwise they may not know how to seek out, or may not be available to them just based on their lived experiences,” Hall said. “ It kind of gives you an opportunity to not only speak parts of your story, but to listen to other peoples’ that a lot of people might not be aware of.”

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