Michigan State Employees Forced to Pay for Mandatory Diversity Workshop

teach Michigan

By Celine Ryan

Michigan State University is requiring its “MSU Extension” program employees to fork over $75 of their own money to attend a “Multicultural Self-Awareness Workshop” next week.

“All MSU Extension employees regardless of funding source or appointment are expected to attend this ‘cornerstone’ multicultural workshop which sets an organizational framework for recognizing, understanding, and appreciating differences,” the university announced on its website.

The two-day workshop will take place June 26-27, and will teach Extension employees “ways in which to view interactions with people different from themselves” over the course of 15.5 hours of programming.

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“The emphasis is on differences rather than similarities. The workshop focuses on the individual and helps explore belief systems about multiculturalism to identify feelings and values from a multicultural perspective,” the university explains. “This intensive learning experience focuses on increasing awareness of several areas of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism.”

According to the event description, MSU Extension employees are expected to “participate fully” in the workshop “without phone calls, meetings, and other interruptions which diminish the learning experience for all.”

“Participants are encouraged to reflect on how they’ve learned to think about human differences and on the widespread tendency to view differences within a monocultural view of ‘better than/less than’ thinking,” the description states. “In addition, participants have opportunities to apply what they’re learning to work-related scenarios and explore alternative, more helpful behaviors.”

Notably, each MSU Extension employee will be required to pay $75 to attend the workshop, while non-MSU Extension employees are allowed to attend for $150 per person.

MSU Extension is a division of the university that “helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities, and businesses” through outreach programs intended to provide information about issues like “Michigan’s agriculture economy,” how to use natural resources in a “sustainable” way, and “controlling health care costs by giving individuals the information they need to manage chronic illness.”

MSU Extension did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan

First published at Campus Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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