Temple University Rome (TUR) Student Life Coordinator, Benedicta Djumpah, was invited to participate in Diversity Abroad's dialogue on Bridging Diverse Realities and Contexts: Faculty leaders supporting experiences across different contexts, histories, and contemporary realities.

Djumpah presented on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) initiatives at Temple Rome. This included a background on TUR's context in Rome and a brief background on the change and advancements in Italian law from the 1940s to today. She touched upon how Temple Rome prepares students to navigate their identity while studying abroad, citing activities from pre-departure orientation, student arrivals, and campus events hosted throughout the semester. Djumpah noted that Italy and the United States have different perceptions and contexts; this can directly effect a student's experience and how their identity may be reflected or shaped while abroad. 

During this dialogue, the importance of acknowledging that students will have different experiences, especially underrepresented populations, was discussed and recognized. It is our job as an institution to not shy away from conversations that some may consider uncomfortable. Djumpah mentioned the strength of the Temple Rome program is paying attention to student feedback and taking active steps to ensure that the conversation happens at different stages in the study abroad process. She continues:

"DEI work is not an imposition from the U.S. and our students are not simply too sensitive; they are asking for accountability and it is on us educators, faculty, and staff to ensure that we contextualize the matters of diversity and inclusion so we can truly create a cross-cultural understanding and acknowledge global struggles, but also resilience."

Learn more about Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at Temple Rome, including our Peer Mentor and Culture and Identity Envoy programs.