Maverick Diversity Institute

The Maverick Diversity Institute offers challenging and unique workshops and programs that will help you to become a diversity certified expert on inclusivity, access, and equity in your workplace and classroom environment. Simply register and attend four (4) of the selected programs over the course of the academic year, write a short reflection, and have your Diversity Passport stamped by a Diversity & Inclusion staff member. At the end of the semester, bring in your passport and receive a certificate of completion that can be used as part of your professional development plan or report. We can all play a role in making Minnesota State University, Mankato a welcoming and inclusive institution to work, learn, and grow.

All questions about the Maverick Diversity Institute should be directed to Liz Steinborn-Gourley at

Below are Spring 2021 sessions 

Amplifying Black Voices Project: Mondays in February at 7:00 pm

Mason Bultje and Laura Riness, Founders of Amplifying Black Voices
This short film series features the experiences of current and former Mankato residents and promotes understanding, reflection, conversation, and examination of racism. Participants are encouraged to attend at least 2 sessions in the series for their passport. Register on Zoom:

    • February 1: Growing Up Black
    • February 8: Microaggressions
    • February 15: Overt Racism
    • February 22: Systemic Racism
    • March 1: “What’s Next” series summary

Trans Ally Training Session for Students: Tuesday, February 23 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Skye Vang, Policy and Organizing Coordinator from OutFront Minnesota (they, them, theirs); David Gardner, Director of the LGBT Center
Attend on Zoom:

Trans Ally Training Session for Faculty/Staff: Thursday, February 25 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Skye Vang, Policy and Organizing Coordinator from OutFront Minnesota (they, them, theirs); David Gardner, Director of the LGBT Center
Attend on Zoom:

Culinary History Lecture: Thursday, March 18 from 6:30-7:45pm

Michael Twitty, Author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
Register here:


Intro to Inclusive Teaching: Tuesday, March 23 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Elizabeth Harsma, Instructional Designer/Technologist
Participants will be able to:

1) Identify at least one reason inclusive teaching is necessary

2) Define inclusive teaching in their own words

3) List the framework for engaging in inclusive teaching practice: self-inquiry, taking action, and leaning in

4) Identify at least one self-inquiry practice, teaching method, or other practice that can help take the next steps in inclusive teaching practice.

Attend on Zoom: Passcode: MDI

Healing the Ripple Effect of Sexual Violence: Clinical Applications in Higher Education: Thursday, March 25 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Laura Schultz – Director of the Violence Awareness Response Program and Lindsay Murn, PhD – Assistant Professor in the Counseling Center

Sexual violence is a painful traumatic event that affects college students at alarming rates. In this workshop, the presenters will define the scope of the problem of sexual violence, discuss common effects of this trauma, and provide a framework for engaging in effective healing work with victims and survivors. This training is based on tools developed during our work at MNSU and our recently published article.

This is a free virtual training opportunity for MNSU faculty, staff, and graduate students in mental health and related fields.

Register here:


Cross-Cultural Customer Service: Thursday, April 1 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Alissa Morson and Jacy Fry, Kearney International Center
We serve over 1100 international students at the university. As Linda Stokes states “providing the same quality service to ALL customers frequently means adapting our personal delivery style and usual business practices to meet individual customer’s needs. The key is in understanding the role of culture.” Come to this session to learn practical customer service skills that will improve daily interactions with all students. Attend on Zoom:  Passcode: MDI

First-Generation College Students: Thursday, April 8 from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Kristi Treinen, Margaret Hesser, David Engen, and Susan Schalge, Mavericks First
Drawing on research and personal experience, panelists will discuss common characteristics of first-generation students, explore best practices for working with first-gen college students, and examine the more general topic of social class and college. Participants will receive a bibliography featuring research about first-generation students and learn about the work done by Mavericks First, a grant-funded initiative on campus working to celebrate and build a community for first-generation students. Attend on Zoom: Passcode: MDI

Past Maverick Diversity Institute Workshops

Past Maverick Diversity Institute Webinars