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Notre Dame College is starting off the new year, spring academic semester and second year of its centennial celebration with the College’s inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Summit.

The summit, “Transformation: Leading Ourselves and Communities Toward a Brighter Future,” features two events free and open to the public, beginning with a Leadership Workshop facilitated by presenter Dartanian Warr, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Notre Dame M.B.A. program, on Wednesday, January 18, at 4 p.m. in the Great Room, located on the third floor of the College’s Administration Building. Participants who complete the seminar will receive a certificate from the College.

In addition, members of the community along with Notre Dame students, faculty and staff are invited to attend a “Dinner & Dialogue” scheduled for Thursday, January 19, from 5-7:30 p.m., also in the Notre Dame Great Room. Attendees will learn healthy disagreement skills that facilitate non-violent citizen participation using the Civil Dialogue® method developed at Arizona State University and detailed in the book “Hot Topics—Cool Heads.”

The dinner and leadership workshop both are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVPs are encouraged using the online form.

The College’s DEI summit week concludes with a Leadership Panel scheduled for Friday, January 20. This event is by invitation only and has a target audience of Notre Dame students, particularly those in the College’s M.B.A. Program, as well as College faculty, staff and alumni.

The summit follows the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Tuesday, January 17. The event opens with remarks by J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D., president of Notre Dame, followed by an address by keynote speaker and Notre Dame alumna Rita Williams ’85, E.M.B.A., and a performance of the College choir.

Civil Dialogue Dinner

Facilitated by Ted Wetzel and Arlin Smith, the conversation and meal gathering hosted by the College as part of its DEI Leadership Summit is one in a series titled “Dinner and a Fight,” but “Fight” is crossed out and replaced by “Dialogue.”

“Dinner & Dialogue” events traditionally begin with five spotlighted director’s chairs at the front of the room. Each chair features a printed sign, from left to right: “agree strongly,” “agree somewhat,” “neutral,” “disagree somewhat,” and “disagree strongly.” Each chair is claimed by one of the dining companions, but no one knows who they will be.

The facilitators encourage attendees to try to understand each speaker, use positive language in responses and be responsible for their own feelings. They contend respectful disagreement can be patriotic and use these disputation dinners to promote civil dialogue as a path to finding common ground on difficult issues like policing, immigration and race relations.

Wetzel, a Northeast Ohio retired small business owner, is the creator of this grassroots effort to help people of all political affiliations disagree constructively to build civic bonds in an era of polarization. His cohost, Smith, also from the Cleveland area, is a retired medical-services executive.

Notre Dame Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office

The MLK celebration and Leadership Summit are designed as signature events for the College’s recently created Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Notre Dame Centennial Celebration.

On July 1, 2022, Notre Dames Sandra Golden, Ph.D., associate professor of education, became the College’s first director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In addition to appointing its first formal director of diversity, the College also updated its diversity statement, expanded and clarified the mission of its diversity committee, and elevated DEI to a prominent role in all aspects of campus life.

The College’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement is “Notre Dame College is a Catholic institution educating a diverse population in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Our identity calls us to respect the dignity of each human being and acknowledge the image of God in one another. We will aspire to the highest ideals embodied in diversity, equity, and inclusion through empowering employees and students to create a more just campus, society, and world.

The week of MLK and DEI Leadership Summit events is co-sponsored by the College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Notre Dame M.B.A. program, and the Notre Dame Centennial Committees.

For more information, contact Golden at sgolden@ndc.edu or 216.373.6471.

College Centennial

Notre Dame is celebrating 100 years of educational excellence in 2022-2023. The College opened in its current location on South Green Road in South Euclid in fall 1922 and its articles of incorporation were signed and filed with the State of Ohio on March 30, 1923. Notre Dame honored the first graduates of its two-year teacher training program in 1925 and its first graduating class of four-year degree students in 1926.

Notre Dame continues to mark its centennial with events throughout 2022-2023. Details are available online.

January 2023

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.