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Events, Programs, & Initiatives

First Friday Brunch

This program runs year long from September to May.

On the first Friday of every month, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access hosts a brunch to highlight efforts, initiatives, and programs related to diversity, belonging, identity, and equity happening throughout the university. Each First Friday Brunch has one to two speakers sharing what their department or organization is doing to foster diversity, inclusion, equity, and engagement across SDSU and all students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to attend. The Brunches also provide a great opportunity to build a strong campus community and network with individuals from all sectors of the university to build strong and supportive relationships.

Difference is Dialogue Series

This program takes place in fall semester only each year.

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Access established the Difference is Dialogue series to engage the SDSU community in meaningful, constructive, and critical small-group discussions on topics related to identity, diversity, belonging, social equity and justice. The Difference is Dialogue program is carefully structured to explore social group identity, conflict, community and social justice.

Each dialogue will focus on the intersectionality of identities such as race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, status or national origin. The program is designed to promote positive inter-group relations among students, staff, faculty and community members and improve the campus climate at SDSU. The Dialogues are a five-week long program consisting of a Kick-off event, three small group sessions, and a final large group wrap up event in November.

Program dates for Fall 2020 will be available in the future. 

The Diversity Academy

This program takes place in spring semester only each year.

The mission of the Diversity Academy is to enrich the university and community’s understanding and practice of diversity, inclusion, equity, and access.

The Diversity Academy is a comprehensive training program created to develop intercultural cultural competency and knowledge, create more inclusive practices, advance equity, and provide a more accessible design at South Dakota State University.

All sessions of the Spring 2020 Diversity Academy will take place on Fridays in Morrill Hall, Room 104, from 10:30 AM to Noon. 

Spring 2020 Diversity Academy Schedule:

January 31, 2020 - Freedom of Speech, Intellectual Diversity, & HB1087

This session will engage and update the campus community on the implementation of SD House Bill 1087, which went into effect on July 1, 2019, as it relates to policies and procedures at SDSU. 

Presenter: Tracy Greene, General Counsel
Office of SDSU General Counsel

February 7, 2020 - Ally Training

This session will focus on LGBTQIA+ awareness. Participants will develop skills to promote an inclusive and safe campus environment for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Presenter: Michael Grewe, Director of Campus Life
Augsburg University

February 21, 2020 - Under Pressure: Exploring the Mental Health of Today's College Students

Students on college campuses across the nation are experiencing heightened levels of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. This session will give applicable guidance on how to best support our students. 

Presenter: Mary Beth Fishback, MSPAS, MPH
Executive Director, Brookings Behavioral Health & Wellness

March 6, 2020 - Title IX/EEO & You

SDSU is committed to maintaining a campus environment free from discrimination and harassment, which is essential to the health of our campus. This session will provide an overview of the role you can play in respecting, protecting, and supporting our SDSU family. 

Presenter: Jessica Lankford, Title IX/EO Investigator
Human Resources

March 20, 2020 - Creating a Culturally Aware Campus Community

How can we continue to transform our campus into a healthy and respectful community which promotes our core values? This session will engage participants on ways to intentionally create a culturally aware campus community. 

Presenter: Dr. Erica Moore, Director
American Indian Student Center

April 17, 2020 - Bridging the Gap Between Domestic & International Students

Come find out ways we can promote interaction between our domestic students and international student population. Participants will leave with an understanding and direction of what it means to internationalize the campus community

Presenter. Greg Wymer, Director of International Students & Scholars
International Affairs

April 24, 2020 - Understanding Service & Assistance Animals on Campus

Universities face unique experiences and challenges when it comes to accommodating service and assistance animals in student housing, classrooms, and public areas. This session will explore the laws about and differences between service and assistance animals, while providing practical suggestions for supporting students. 

Presenter: Nadine Gjerde, ADA Coordinator
Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, & Access

May 1, 2020 - Bringing It All Together

This session will provide an opportunity to give feedback and discuss ways to implement practices of the Diversity Academy. Participants attending five or more sessions will be recognized. 



SDSU is a public university with a vibrant community of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.  From time to time, members of the university community may host events or invite speakers to campus who hold and espouse views contrary to our institutional values. We cannot intrude upon the constitutionally protected right of individual members of the University community to hold or sponsor those who hold different views.  While we may disagree with one another’s convictions, higher education is a community of scholars who work within the marketplace of ideas; as such, we must respect the rights of individuals to express their views. The creation of public forums for expression of such ideas, which many in our community find objectionable, is not an endorsement of those ideas.