Aspiring student leaders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have an opportunity to learn  how to incorporate diversity and inclusiveness into their leadership skills.

UNL student leaders are invited to apply for the Inclusive Leadership Retreat on Sunday, Nov. 10, from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Willa Cather Dining Complex. The deadline to turn in an application is Thursday, Nov. 8, and there is only space for 150 students. 

Martha Florence, retreat coordinator and the director of community engagement for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, said that through roundtable conversations students will discuss implicit and unconscious bias, what it means to be an inclusive leader and goals for UNL. 

Attendees will also discuss their experiences with diversity and inclusion, according to Charlie Foster, the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and the director of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center. Foster added that 134 students have applied for the retreat.

“It is our deeper dive following Husker Dialogues,” she said. “It is different in the sense that we are seeking to prepare inclusive leaders on this campus.” 

Florence said over the course of the five-hour retreat, students will be split into small groups to discuss diversity and inclusiveness. The small group discussions will be intercut with presentations from current student leaders and university faculty. Florence also said participants will develop a plan for diversity and inclusion they would like to see implemented in the spring semester.

According to Florence, the final part of the retreat will be a mock situation for student leaders to create a conversation about diversity using the skills they have learned.

Florence said she has worked in various roles related to diversity and inclusion on campus for 15 years. She said she feels the need to give back to the UNL community and thinks the retreat is an important opportunity for up and coming leaders. 

“[Student leaders] have a responsibility to make UNL the best campus ever,” she said. “It is their role to deliver the message of diversity and inclusion to their clubs, sororities, fraternities, communities and friends.”

Both Florence and Foster said the training students will receive at the retreat will be useful outside of on-campus leadership, including in their future careers.

“We live in a global society now, much more global than when I was starting my career,” Foster said. “So you have conversations with people from around the world, and you need to be able to manage those relationships.”