Chalkboards Create Community Conversations

If you have recently been to the upper floors of the Student Life Pavilion, you may have noticed a new addition. Two chalkboards have emerged at the entrances to the third and fourth floors of the SLP. These are not ordinary chalkboards though; they come with a message of changemaking and empowerment.

The new chalkboards located on the third and fourth floor stair landings of the SLP encourage all passersby to write a quick response to the ever-changing topic of the week. Such topics have included: "Who is a woman that inspires you? (besides your mom)" and "What empowers you?" The topics stay up for a week, and all are welcome to share thoughtful responses. It is wonderful to see the blackboards slowly fill up with a colorful explosion of ideas and expression.

The idea for the blackboards started over the past summer, when people from the Center for Awareness, Service and Action (CASA), Graduate Student Life, the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC), the United Front Multicultural Center (UFMC), and the Women’s Center offices explored ways to have the campus community start having conversations around changemaking, a core idea at USD. The team came up with the self-expression chalkboards, and the boards have really been a hit! Anyone can write down their response to the topic, and take a moment to read the other anonymous responses on the boards.

The hope is that these boards will bring energy to the conversations in the building and around campus, and encourage self-expression in the community. According to the director of the Women’s Center, Erin Lovette-Coyler, “Self-expression requires reflection and active engagement. It allows for people to find and use their voices.” USD is a Changemaker campus and these chalkboards help emphasize that.

Anyone can write a thoughtful response, so feel free to stop by the SLP and check out the chalkboards!





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