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Become a GatorLEADER

New Diversity Leadership Training Curriculum for UHD Students & Staff

The Center for Diversity & Inclusion is launching GatorLEADER—a workshop-based diversity leadership curriculum for students and staff leading to an official certificate of completion.

More than ever, employers are recognizing the value of diversity and the importance of inclusive practices in the workplace. GatorLEADER is an in-house, professionally designed and delivered certification program that assists UHD students to be more competitive in the job market. Also, UHD staff members who complete the program will be valuable advocates in their units/departments for inclusive practices that leverage the University’s diversity that ultimately will benefit the campus community.

Courses in the GatorLEADER program consist of:

  • workshops lasting no more than 90 minutes that are divided into core workshops (required)
  • elective workshops (participants must choose)
  • two-hour service project coordinated with the Center’s director*
  • capstone paper

Student participants have the option of substituting one additional elective workshop for the service project, which may prove to be difficult to arrange logistically. *

Staff participants can arrange with the Center’s director to carry out a service project in their work unit/department (pending supervisor approval).*

Core Workshops

  • Diversity 101 – An introduction to diversity—its value and benefits, its challenges and opportunities—with a view to making the most of the opportunities it presents.
  • Inclusive Language – Language has the power both to exclude and to include. How do we use language as part of a strategy of inclusive excellence? How do we encourage the use of inclusive language in the face of resistance based on perceptions of so-called political correctness?
  • Power & Privilege – An introduction and exploration of the dynamics of power and privilege. How do we “check” our privilege? How do we use our privilege to the benefit of those who lack privilege? How can privilege be used to work toward greater social justice?
  • LGBTQ Awareness – An introduction to the diversity inherent in sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This workshop will also explore issues of concern to and challenges faced by LGBTQ people, as well as the impacts of homophobia and heterosexism in society as a whole.

Elective Workshops

  • DreamZone Ally Training – Prepares a cadre of students, staff and faculty who are committed to making our Dreamers, DACA, immigrants and perceived immigrant students who are welcome on our campus. This training introduces participants to the variety of current immigrant statuses, and provide the latest update on important developments in state and federal law of concerning immigrant population. Also included are discussions of ways to provide support for our students, including information on resources, listening skills and on-campus advocacy.
  • Gator Ally Training – Formerly the UHD Safe Zone Program, the Gator Ally Program trains a cadre of students, staff and faculty who wish to become effective LGBTQ Allies and who share a desire to make our campus a safe and welcoming place for all—especially the LGBTQ members of our campus community.
  • Diversity 201 – A continuation and extension of Diversity 101, Diversity 201 examines diversity—both its challenges and opportunities—in greater detail, with a focus on how inclusive practices unlock the full transformative potential of diversity.
  • Cross-Cultural Communication – Workplaces today increasingly require cultural competence, including effective cross-cultural communication awareness and skills; the workplace of tomorrow will demand such skills to an even higher degree. This workshop also offers a brief survey of cross-cultural communication pitfalls and effective strategies for avoiding them, and introduces key cross-cultural communication skills to build a foundation for further skill development.

Students and staff are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to develop diversity leadership skills, while earning an in-house certification denoting completion of the required curriculum.

The GatorLEADER schedule is available via the Center’s website or office, One Main Building, Room S370. An inclusive excellence program for faculty will launch in this fall.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.