The RJ Grad Student Leaders have become indispensable to the work of the RJ Center. Graduate students with outside experience in RJ, and those who complete the Graduate Student Inclusivity Training have helped us to expand our services for graduate students at a critical time.
RJ Grad Student Leaders work with graduate student cohorts from all fields and disciplines who want to engage in community building, get together in affinity spaces, work out issues, or just talk about the experience of being a grad student. Over the years, our Grad Student Leaders have worked with STEM students, and students in the MSW (Masters in Social Work); SPH (School of Public Health); GSPP (Goldman School of Public Policy); the Haas School of Business and Architecture programs among many others. RJ Grad Student Leaders also support the RJSL undergrad program with workshops and trainings and co-facilitation of community building and harm circles.
Each spring, the RJ Grad Student Leaders facilitate the Grad Student Inclusivity Training (GSIT). 25 graduate students come together to experience community building, dive deep into issues of inclusivity and equity, engage in inter-departmental dialog about the challenges grad students are facing, and practice restorative responses to conflict and harm. Most years, the training lasts for three Saturdays in Feb-March, while this year we have revised the schedule to reduce zoom fatigue. Participants especially value the practices provided for creating a learning community in the classroom, and inclusive dialog through circle practice and the use of the talking piece. Our aim is for participants to take these practices back to their departments and disciplines to deepen relationships and strategize for creating more caring and inclusive spaces.