People who go through the experience tend to come out as agents for change within their sphere of influence. You see individuals go back to their workplaces and bring with them the lessons learned, strategies learned from Opening Doors and feel empowered to affect change where it might be needed.Whenever I have been at a table talking about the university and the role that diversity plays in; curriculum, student orientation, leadership, etc., what I have observed is that there is more than one voice speaking the same language about the role diversity should play. I recognize the people as having attended Opening Doors.
Jose Picart, Vice Provost for Diversity
North Carolina State University
Opening Doors was an incredible experience for me personally and professionally. Not only did it encourage me to ‘go deeper’ in my own personal development, it provided me with a new skill set/understanding as it relates to my work as a student affairs professional. Since the experience, I have found that I am better suited in my role as a Director. I find myself using the skills/insight I learned to significantly support our Division’s priority of Diversity and Inclusion. I highly recommend participation in the workshop if you are interested in understanding your personal feelings and experiences so that you might more effectively facilitate change in your various environments.
Karen M Podsiadly, Director
Dept. of Community Development
The College at Brockport
Bringing Partnership to our organization has made a dramatic difference in the level of communication, collaboration, trust and consideration among staff. It also gave me the language and the skills to effectively and genuinely support staff in resolving conflicts and problem-solving. Knowing that there is someone there that I can call and get support from when issues arise, which they always do, has been invaluable.
Margaret Gutierrez, Director
Mid Hudson Migrant Education Outreach Program
Opening Doors is a powerful resource and impetus for diversity initiatives within Cornell Cooperative Extension at the individual, team and organizational levels. Participants in Opening Doors routinely identify it as a profound growth experience… that certainly was the case for me.
Michael W. Duttweiler, Assistant Director
Program and Professional Development
Cornell University Cooperative Extension
The Opening Doors Program was selected as a model for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) due in great part to how well it addresses the construct of oppression theory and the subsequent cycle of oppression. The training… serves to best address the long-term systemic change process. Personally, I have found no better tool to accomplish this level of understanding on these issues than Opening Doors.
Harvey Lineberry, Assistant Dean for Personnel
CALS, North Carolina State University
Opening Doors changed the course of my life…I thought that I hadn’t learned the behaviors and prejudices — I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I thought that I was immune. After Opening Doors, I became really sensitive to innuendo, insidious behaviors, racism — IT WAS LIKE PULLING A BLINDFOLD OFF.
Mid-Hudson Migrant Education Outreach Program
I also felt like I hadn’t learned the isms and Opening Doors changed how I looked at the world. Betty’s words about whether she challenged her daughter enough — asking herself ‘Am I expecting enough of her?’ — stays with me all the time in my adult ESL classes.
Oswego Migrant Education Outreach Program
This workshop greatly expanded my understanding of how differences in race, gender, class, and age are reflected in personal, professional and institutional power relationships.
Jane Mt. Pleasant, Assistant Professor
Crop and Soil Science, Cornell University
I feel that everything, including the simplest phrase contributed something to my life. A great experience to have felt like a family, since based on our emotions, feelings, and experiences we discovered that we all are great human beings. Once more, thank you for making this dream, goal, and achievement possible for me, since I am convinced this is another step on the ladder of my life that I have reached. I leave happy for having received this gift, because I feel privileged.
~translated from Spanish
It is a personal journey. You learn a lot, and you get a lot out of it. The experience is worthwhile and everyone reacts differently. You will not be judged on how you feel or what you feel. It’s okay to be happy, it’s okay to be sad, angry; all of your feelings are okay. Whatever you say stays there. It is confidential and it is okay to be yourself.
I now know that my journey has begun and I would like to say that this has been the most inspiring and fulfilling training I have ever attended. If I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate for a moment.
Regina Suárez, Section 8 Caseworker
ROI, NY Division
Opening Doors levels the playing field; it shows that we are all in this together. It was challenging and it was non-threatening. We all got to see our part in it, both the oppressed and the oppressor.
Gail Horton, Coordinator
Suffolk Migrant Education Outreach Project
The most useful part was being given a framework and language to understand oppression, the communication and sharing with very engaged, committed and enthusiastic people… for 3 days.
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
This was the most powerful and personally rewarding workshop I have ever attended.