Professional Development Opportunities

Two Day Multicultural Self-Awareness Workshops

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. 

During this two-day Multicultural Self-Awareness Workshop, participants will explore ways in which to view interactions with people different from themselves. 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. This intensive learning experience focuses on increasing awareness of several areas of prejudice, discrimination and oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism and ableism.  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. In addition, participants have opportunities to apply what they’re learning to work-related scenarios and explore alternative, more helpful behaviors.

Due to the nature of the workshop, you are asked to participate fully in the two days without phone calls, meetings and other interruptions which diminish the learning experience for all. The cost to attend the workshop for MSUE employees is $75. Non-MSU Extension employees are also able to attend at a cost of $150.

March 11-12, 2020

East Lansing Hannah Community Center 
819 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI



May 6-7, 2020

MSU Tollgate Education Conference Center
28115 Meadowbrook Road
Novi, MI



July 22-23, 2020

MSU Extension Tollgate Education Center 
28115 Meadowbrook Rd.
Novi, MI



November 19-20, 2020

Ziibiwing Cultural Center 
6650 E. Broadway
Mt.Pleasant, MI



Leadership in Dealing with Difficult Multicultural Discussions

Many people are concerned about reports of bias-based language and behaviors targeting young people and adults based on differences such as race, national origin, immigration status, religion, gender, sexual orientation and other differences. Have you found yourself wanting to speak up to address hurtful language and behaviors but you didn’t know how to respond at work, at home or in the community? Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where you wished that you could’ve responded in a different way to an inappropriate behavior, remark or joke? Many attendees of the MSU Extension two-day Multicultural Self-Awareness workshop have indicated that they would benefit from opportunities to practice ways to use their voice to take leadership in dealing with difficult multicultural discussions. The purpose of this workshop is to provide frameworks and practical experiences for participants to explore how difficult discussions can become opportunities for transformative dialogue. Participants will learn approaches to positive confrontation and the connections between personal healing, organizational and community change, social justice and authentic relationships across differences. This workshop is open to all MSU Extension staff and community members.

The cost to attend the workshop for MSU Extension employees is $25. Community members and all others are encouraged to attend at a cost of $75. Registration fee includes lunch.

April 24, 2019   

Hannah Community Center – East Lansing, MI


Opening Doors: A Personal and Professional Journey Workshop

Opening Doors is an overnight three (3) day retreat that is held yearly in May that lays the foundation for personal and organizational growth. Through this workshop, participants explore a framework that deepens their diversity awareness and enhances their ability to create inclusive organizations. The workshop addresses personal and professional change as part of an understanding differences initiative of multicultural organizational development.

In the Opening Doors workshop participants will: 

  • Increase understanding of diversity by identifying and learning more about their own identity groups.
  • Identify personal feelings and experiences related to cultural and other differences among people.
  • Examine how practices of institutions, as well as our own personal practices, maintain inequities among people and prevent us all from reaching our potential.
  • Collectively develop a framework and common language in order to facilitate change.
  • Build alliances and networks.

Click here for an Opening Doors brochure

June 10-12, 2020

Kettenun Center, Tustin, MI