The Kaleidoscope Effect: A Reflection of Race and Identities
Wednesday, February 21 | 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Shapiro Campus Center

Scottish inventor Sir David Brewster created the kaleidoscope in 1815 when he was doing experiments on light polarization. He came up with the name “kaleidoscope” by combining several Greek words that meant “observer of beautiful forms.”

The key to a kaleidoscope‘s beautiful patterns and images is the concept of multiple reflections. Using several mirrors attached at specific angles, unique duplicate images of whatever objects are inside the kaleidoscope can be created as a colorful pattern.

We are all kaleidoscopes – we see the world in different forms, colors, identities and views. During this year’s conference, you will continue to explore your personal identity and how it relates to you and your work at Brandeis. You will also work to understand that the way you look through your kaleidoscope may be very different than others, maybe even more different than students. As a division, we will explore how we can better support our students and provide resources as they continue to discover more about themselves, their community and the world as they see it.

Schedule of Events

9:15 am: Light Breakfast (Atrium)
9:30 am: Welcome/Kick-Off
(SCC Theater)
9:40 am: Screening of “13TH” (SCC Theater)

11:25 am: “13TH” Debrief (SCC Theater)
As a documentary focused on the state-sanctioned intergenerational disenfranchisement of, and violence against, African Americans, the documentary “13th” (a reference to the 13th amendment of the constitution prohibiting slavery) explores the historical record that has led to the mass incarceration of Black people today. In keeping with the Brandeis tradition of knowing truth, even to its innermost parts, we seek to create a conversational learning community where people across race can come to engage this topic deeply, authentically, and without fear. Participants will have an opportunity to a) learn about the historical context for the prison industrial complex, b) engage with other staff who may be new to the issue in a supportive environment, and c) reaffirm an overall staff commitment to life-long learning as a strategy to effectively support students from marginalized populations.

Discussion Leads: 
1. Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
2. Jamele Adams, Dean of Students
3. Allyson Livingstone, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training, Education, and Development

12:45 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Brandeis CARE team presentation
Caring for students who are in distress or behaving in a disruptive manner may seem unsettling. Together, we can be intentional about intervening early to assist our students.  The Brandeis University Care Team exists to assess and manage potentially unhealthy situations that students may experience.  Let’s discuss the team and our collective ability to empower ourselves and our community to be informed, provide resources and participate in a community of care.

Discussion Lead:
1. Stephanie Grimes, Assistant Dean
2. Brian Koslowski, Director, Academic Advising
3. Monique Pillow Gnanaratnam, Associate Dean
4. Joy Von Steiger, Director, Brandeis Counseling Center

2:15 pm: Divisional Updates/ Share-out
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Social Activities
The end of the day will consist of light refreshments, activities and prizes. Don’t miss out on the chance to socialize with your colleagues in other offices across the

Speed Networking (2:30 pm, Atrium)
Get to know your colleagues with this interactive activity of networking. Find out
what you have in common and how you can collaborate!

Heads Up (3:00 pm, MPR)
From naming celebrities, to singing, to silly accents – guess the word on the iPad that’s on your head from your friends’ clues before the timer runs out!

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. Contact Lucas Malo: for additional information.

13TH Synopsis

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.. (via rotten tomatoes)

Photos from the 2018 Conference: