CDS Faculty & Staff Participate in Diversity Training
Before our students return in September, CDS faculty typically participate in some type of professional development. This year, all faculty and staff took part in a full-day of diversity training led by Alden Habacon, one of Canada’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists. Born in Manila, raised in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Regina, and married to a Chinese Canadian, Alden now lives in Vancouver with his wife and two young sons.
Alden is highly regarded for his 14 years of impact and innovative work around inclusive leadership, unconscious bias and intercultural training. He has worked with leadership in a wide range of professions and sectors throughout Canada, including the legal community, social services, the public sector, first responders and large private corporations.
Over the last few years he has delivered professional development to faculty and staff in almost every university in British Columbia and currently works with many universities across Canada, the U.S. and Hong Kong. In 2010, Alden was appointed by UBC’s President to lead the University’s commitment to intercultural understanding and has served as both the Director and Senior Advisor, Intercultural Understanding.
Topics he presented on throughout the day included the stages of getting from a Mono-cultural Mindset to an Intercultural Mindset as an inclusive workplace: comprehension, mindshift, adoption and culture change; how as individuals we must continue to work toward improving upon our thought diversity and understanding of inclusivity through intent, design and intervention; building the capacity for courageous conversations; and the importance of being an active bystander and witness.
The biggest takeaway of the day was Alden’s ability to help us realize that the journey to intercultural awareness is a process that involves discussion, openness, acceptance of ambiguity and a willingness to take action. Individually, we may all be at different stages in the journey, but collectively we can work to achieve the end goal of an inclusive workplace and lasting culture change for all.