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UTC hosts Bringing Young Minds Together

As modern society undergoes a historic transition from a predominately white society rooted in Western culture to a global society composed of diverse racial and ethnic minorities, young adults need to be prepared to face a changing population as they prepare for college or the job market.

To address this need, Bringing Young Minds Together, the Leadership Chattanooga Youth Diversity Summit was held recently on the UTC campus. High school seniors from the Chattanooga area were given the opportunity to participate in a one-day interactive program where they began to gain an understanding of individual differences by learning and discussing diversity topics. The student group represented a mix of diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Electric Power Board, and TVA sponsored the program, with members of the UTC Freshman Senate serving as facilitators. Leadership Chattanooga through the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has adopted the program, which was modeled after the Bridge Builder Program in Memphis. The National Conference for Community and Justice assisted in the design of the program.

Dr. Ellen Neufeldt, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UTC Student Development is among the team members of the Leadership Chattanooga group to participate in the creation of Bringing Young Minds Together. The goal states:

“Our program places emphasis on coping and adjusting to pluralistic and diverse environments- whether the transition be from high school to college or from high school to work. In this case, diversity can refer to race or ethnicity, as well as others' beliefs, values, attitudes, points-of-view, and behavior. It is the program’s goal to positively affect both minority and majority students and impact student attitudes, feelings, and understanding toward inter-group relations.”

March 19, 2007

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