The Center provides consultation services which focus on multicultural concerns/issues to the MU campus, public schools, and the broader Columbia community. We have established on-going relationships with: (a) Columbia Public Schools’ teachers and administrators, (b) MU’s Teacher Development Program (TDP), which trains pre-service educators, (c) Multicultural Center at MU, (d) Vice Provost for International Programs and Faculty Development, (e) International Center, (f) Academic Retention Services, (g) Career Center, (h) Cambio Center, (i) MU’s Asian Affairs Center, and (j) local Mid Missouri Schools (such as Moberly Area Public Schools Centralia Public Schools, and Booneville Public Schools). We are also building relationships with various student organizations, local churches and community organizations (e.g., PRISM) in an effort to extend diversity services through other groups.
In Fall 2009, the Center for Multicultural Research, Training, and Consultation—directed by Drs. Puncky Heppner and Lisa Flores—secured a $1,000 training grant from the Missouri Parents Association to devise and implement diversity programming for K-12 students in Missouri. In Spring 2009, Spring 2010, and Spring 2011 staff from the Center for Multicultural Research, Training, and Consultation (CMRTC) conducted three diversity workshop for 315 total students in 4th and 5th grades at Chance Elementary in Centralia, Missouri. Staff implementing the workshop were led by two counseling psychology doctoral students, and were a diverse group of domestic, international, and dual-degree master’s and doctoral students in ESCP and ELPA. Workshop activities were designed to meet several goals, including: reduce and prevent prejudice, increase interest in diversity, increase students’ knowledge of other cultures, and promote behaviors supportive of diversity. All students participated in three separate brief interventions designed by CMRTC staff, including the Global 100 Game, The Sneetches, and a First Impressions exercise. Qualitative evaluations were administered and collected at the conclusion of the workshop and students were lead in a wrap-up exercise to reinforce lessons learned and promote specific behaviors to reduce prejudice and intergroup bias.
Outcomes based on a review of student evaluations are listed below:
“I will treat everyone equal and take action and be part of the solution, not the problem.”
“I will use what I learned today to help people with needs.”
Knowledge of Others and Other Cultures
“I learned that some people don’t have access to clean water and computers.
The most important thing I learned is how more people lived in Africa than in Europe.”
“I learned a lot about other people’s culture.”
“We are privileged and shouldn’t make fun of people.”
“We might have more privileges than most people and to be thankful for what we have.”
“I will not judge people from other places because you need to get to know the person.”
“I will not think oh you’re weird or oh you smell funny after my first impression.”
Interest in Diversity
“Even if you come from different countries you can still be friends.”
“Every person is a little different but that’s something to celebrate about but not to argue about.”
“I will learn a new language.”