by Susan Robertson
In late 2019, a select group of Institute for Public Service employees, as well as employees from UT Knoxville human resources and Office of Diversity and Engagement, UT Health Science Center Office of Equity and Diversity, and the UT Institute of Agriculture, participated in the Opening Doors diversity workshop.
Opening Doors consists of a three-day retreat that focuses on creating a climate for constructive change on diversity for individuals and organizations. Participants examine the cycles of oppression, domination and partnership. They are able to share their diverse life experiences in the confidential environment.
Through the training, participants: increase their understanding of diversity by identifying and learning more about their identity groups and by identifying strategies for facilitating change at their organizations.
IPS first had a group of employees participate in an Opening Doors workshop in 2015.
The institute also held its 2019 annual conference in Memphis for the first time. It’s the only time of the year where all 165 employees meet in the same location. During the three-day conference, employees toured the National Civil Rights Museum and heard from Michael Cody, who served as attorney for a Memphis firm retained by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights movement.