Rockville (MD) Human Rights Commission’s Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, 10/19/19

Once again, I was part of the Rockville (MD) Human Rights Commission’s Diversity and Inclusive Workshop this past Saturday, October 19, 2019. Previous workshops offered by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) are here, here, here, and here.

HRC commissioner Andrew Lin

In the past we have held the workshop in the spring, but seeking to get students involved in diversity efforts earlier in the school year, it was decided to host the workshop in the fall.

The workshop focused first on broadening the notion of diversity to include not only legally protected classes, but notions of different living, learning, physical, and cultural differences. We then looked at the consequences of stereotyping, considering typical stereotypes that students see daily. One of my favorite exercises is creating a “coat of arms” that reflects one’s identity and interests. We take a photo of students with their depictions.

In background, HRC commissioner Alexander Nieves, with Laura Peters from AI to the left

After lunch we had a speaker – Laura Peters – from Amnesty International talk about about immigration issues. We also engaged in improvisational skits on situations where students needed to support others in seeking inclusion.

If you are interested in this type of activity (which runs about 3-5 hours) for your organization or school, let me know at


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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