TWIN FALLS — Black Lives Matter protests nationwide are shining a spotlight on diversity and inclusion issues. One Twin Falls native, who works as a diversity specialist for Google, is using her experience to bring a diversity and inclusion course to the College of Southern Idaho.
"Here in Twin Falls, it's a really interesting space because we lack racial diversity. We also lack the resources to upscale and learn how to navigate this space. So when this racial uprising happened, I think we just realized we have a lot of gap areas, and we have a lot of growth opportunities," Sheree Haggan, Diversity Specialist, said.
After seeing the community's lack of resources, Haggan partnered with CSI's Workforce Development and Training team to create a course that will help people in the Magic Valley learn more about diversity and inclusion.
"We came up with a diversity, equity, and inclusion training series. This is a one time offering since my time here in Twin Falls is temporary, but I'm really excited to offer this to the community and encourage, not only business leaders but students homemakers anyone who is interested in learning how to be an ally," Haggan said.
The course, which will run every Thursday morning throughout September, will not just focus on racial issues but will also touch on the LGBTQ community and other minority groups.
"It's custom-built by myself and by my mentors and custom-built for this community. It's custom-built for Twin Falls, and it's intended to be digestible for people in all areas of understanding within this space," Haggan said.
Haggan has also helped small businesses throughout the Magic Valley learn how to be more inclusive within their workplace.
"If we can make this area inclusive so that when folks come, they can feel welcomed here, they can feel they belong here it's important to lay that groundwork as early on as possible, and I think right now is primetime to be able to do that," Haggan said.
Currently, the course is scheduled to be held in person with a limited class size to allow for social distancing.
"When it comes to trainings like these, it's really important that there's a human connection and sometimes you lose that over video. If we can do this safely, then we will host in person, but if we feel like at any point that's going to put people at risk, then we will make that transition," Haggan said.