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Diversity Institute


Our business hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

We love to hear feedback from our students, faculty, candidates, and visitors. Tell us how to improve Diversity Institute and build better leaders!

What is the Diversity Institute?

Old Dominion University is a unique and vibrant institution. Did you not know that one of the primary reasons most incoming freshmen select ODU is our diverse community? As you prepare for an academically rigorous environment, in order to be truly successful one most possess specific skills that will lead to positive and authentic interactions with diverse individuals.

Corporations, institutions, companies, and organizations have spent billions of dollars to ensure that their workforce is prepared to lead and thrive in a global society.

The Diversity Institute at Old Dominion University enhances awareness, commitment, knowledge, and skills that are needed to develop leaders as change agents in a culturally diverse world.

How can DI help me?

The benefits of the Diversity Institute are numerous:

  • Learn professional requirements related to operating in a diverse, multicultural, and/or global setting.
  • Excellent resume-builder.
  • Develop empathy and ability to operate and promote an inclusive climate.
  • Develop communication skills needed in a pluralistic setting.
  • Create an understanding of your own identity and how it impacts your interactions with others.
  • Minimize the opportunity for trends of prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, and bias to continue.
  • Gain recognition by ODU community as being committed to the opportunities and challenges of working in a global community.

Program Format

The Diversity Institute entails all of the following:

  • Semester-long commitment, modules meet every week for approximately 2 hours.
  • The Institute will begin with a retreat for participants to begin the process of group formation/cohesion.
  • Program capacity 20-25 students. Small group discussion will occur in groups no larger than 10 participants.
  • Participants are selected based upon completed application and interview with the selection committee.
  • Those to be admitted will consist of a diverse group that reflects various aspects of cultural diversity and competency.
  • Modules will be designed so that students' backgrounds and experiences are shared to demonstrate the issues.
  • Individual modules will focus on the "-isms"
    • Racism
    • Sexism
    • Classism
    • Creedism
    • Ability-ism
    • Heterosexism

While a module's overall theme is one of the "-isms", it will be taught through an examination of the political, economic, familial, and regional causes and impacts.