Diversity Services provides resources and programs


Photo courtesy of Craig Cullinane

The Office of Diversity Services supports an inclusive campus and learning environment, welcoming and valuing all members of the Suffolk community. Providing resources and programs, the office encourages cross-cultural interaction and involvement.

“We celebrate culture and diversity throughout the year,” said Craig Cullinane, associate director of the Office of Diversity Services.

The Office of Diversity Services houses a number of cultural clubs on campus, including the Asian American Association, Black Student Union, Caribbean Student Network, Rainbow Alliance, Hispanic Association, and Vietnamese Student Association. Diversity Services also works with the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement to support the African, Cape Verdean, International, Japanese, and South Asian Student Associations, as well as the Suffolk Step Team.

Safe Zone is an ongoing program of education and assistance to sustain a network of allies for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Training participants must sign up via email: [email protected] Tomorrow’s Safe Zone training will be held in Donahue 403 from 2 to 4 p.m.

A second meeting, “Transgender 101 Training,” will be held on February 16 on Donahue 402.  Facilitated by Gunner Scott, founder of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the meeting will explore what it means to be a person identifying as transgender and how to be their  community ally.

Safe Zone II: Ally and Bystander Training” will be held in Donahue 402 on February 23 to support participants in building LGBT-supporting skills and bias interruption.

“Our office is open to anything,” said Cullinane. “One-on-one mentorship for students, coming out, any issue and any student that needs support.”

Also offered is social justice training, which is general training through S.O.U.L.S. for students with service components. Diversity 101 trainings are given to all SU101 classes.

The residence hall assistants have a diversity training requirement, and a new program in the works will be diversity peer educators. The application and interview process is beginning small, with six selected mentors.

“We’re training students to lead trainings so that they can be mentors to other students,” said Cullinane. “The hope is that RAs will come and ask for mentors to come in and do diversity training.”

Current programs include Finding Our Voices: an empowerment group for women of color, co-sponsored with the Counseling Center and Black History Month events, co-sponsored with Black Student Union.

The “It Gets Better” project is an outlet for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that [bullying and harassment] gets better. “There is a YouTube channel with celebrities telling kids, ‘It’s okay, it gets better,’” Cullinane explained. “Suffolk is developing its own ‘It Gets Better’ campaign. Our filming is open to everybody.”

Diversity Services also hosts a weekly LGBT and their allies dinner, a “support group and hangout time,” in Miller Hall’s first floor lounge at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Unity Week is approaching and Diversity Services will be presenting the fourth-annual Multicultural Summit on February 26 in Sargent Hall’s first floor function room. The workshop will be facilitated by Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group, which is a Baltimore-based multicultural organizational development firm.

“This is an opportunity to develop leadership and diversity skills,” said Cullinane.