Diversity defenders

North Dakota State affiliates recognized for promoting diversity in the community

Brayden Zenker | The Spectrum
The Tapestry of Inclusion hangs year-round on the second floor of the Memorial Union

North Dakota State affiliates recognized for promoting diversity in the community

The Tapestry of Inclusion is a program to recognize students, faculty, staff and alumni that advocate for diversity. The program is organized by the Student Activities Office and chooses new inductees every year.

The program was established by Dr. Robert Littlefield, the Director of the Institute for the Study of Cultural Diversity, in 1993 to recognized those affiliated with NDSU who are advocating for diversity in the community.

“This program honors people who see other people and want to make the world a better place.”

-Tayler Morris, Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement

Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement, Tayler Morris, has organized and facilitated the Tapestry of Inclusion program for the last three years.

“This program honors people who see other people and want to make the world a better place,” Morris said. “That’s what the [Tapestry of Inclusion] means to me, honoring those people who are out there doing amazing, purposeful and thoughtful work.”

To be inducted to the Tapestry of Inclusion an individual must be an advocate for and promote diversity in the community. Individuals can support diversity among those of all ages, color, gender expression and identity, mental and physical ability, race, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

To be considered for induction into the program, an individual will need to be nominated by three different people, one of which needs to be an NDSU student. The application includes questions about the categories of diversity the individual advocates for and why the individual should be inducted to the program.

“These individuals are going out and doing things beyond a job title or course work to promote diversity,” Morris said.

After being nominated, a committee reviews the applications and determines if the individual(s) meets the requirements. This year the committee consists of NDSU staff, faculty and students.

Every year, the committee determines what the requirements are for applicants. Those chosen to be inducted attend a ceremony where they add to the existing Tapestry of Inclusion.

“[Inductees] chose a piece a fabric that best represents who they are,” Morris said. “It’s a way to honor them during the ceremony but have a lasting reminder of the work they’ve done and why they were inducted.”

“This program honors people who see other people and want to make the world a better place.”

Tayler Morris, Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement

Last year, Assistant Director for Residential Education, Carol Jergenson, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Doctoral Student, Mohsen Tahmasebi Nasab, were inducted to the Tapestry of Inclusion.

Jergenson founded the Diversity Initiative Leaders, an organization dedicated to promoting conversation about diversity. She is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, an organization that endorses diversity outreach programs. She is also the coordinator of the NDSU LGBTQ and Ally Roommate Matching, a program to match LGBTQ students living on campus with other members of the LGBTQ community or an ally to the community.

Tahmasebi Nasab worked as a photographer and interviewer for The World in Fargo Moorhead project and interviewed NDSU students from other countries to share their stories of diversity. He is an active member of the Global Shapers Community and was involved with Fargo Focus, a project to showcase diversity in Fargo. He also organized “Pizza with Aliens,” an event to encourage conversations about cultural diversity among NDSU students from different cultural backgrounds.

Nomination applications for the Tapestry of Inclusion are due by Sunday, Feb. 2. Applications can be found on the Student Activities website at https://www.ndsu.edu/studentactivities/civic/tapestry/. The ceremony for inductees will be held Wednesday, March 4 at 12 p.m. in the Century Theater in the Memorial Union.

Leave a Reply