Curiosity and Belonging – Essay from the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee Corner

Essay written by: TNSM parent and DCE committee member, Claudia López


When I used to be at Miami University, the Center for American and World Cultures, of which I was part, had a Diversity Calendar maintained by yours truly. I visited the Center’s site and couldn’t find anything. It might still exist. I don’t know if I had to dig a bit more deeply.

A fast Google search gave me as first result – this calendar –hosted by the Truckee Meadows Community College. Certainly, well-ranked. April is Earth month, Autism Awareness Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Tartan Heritage Month, and Celebrate Diversity Month. Some of these celebrations I knew about, some I didn’t. I’m curious by nature, and I’ll keep checking this calendar for opportunities to learn and bridge my own gaps.

I didn’t know, for example, we have a specific month dedicated to celebrating our beloved Earth! Earth constantly prompts us to remember the nature we share regardless of our differences. A central reminder in this commitment for diversity and community engagement.

In celebration of Autism Awareness Month, here’s an invitation to watch Intelligent Lives, a documentary by Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper who contextualizes the lives of three young American adults with intellectual disabilities through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

They offer a wealth of resources on the documentary’s website, among others, this helpful guide to the concept of Circles of Support to foster genuine belonging for people with disabilities.

Have fun exploring!


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