Thursday, September 2, 2021

Vanderbilt Employs "Feelings Wheel" For Diversity Training


Vanderbilt University is offering a 10-day diversity training program during which, on day one, participants are asked to journal their emotions using a "Feelings Wheel" as a reference. Enrollees are instructed to “Start with one of the seven core emotions and then work your way out to dig deeper into its derivatives. Or identify a higher-level feeling and track it back to the core emotion.” 

I wonder if the emotion I’m feeling right now is represented on that wheel.

The seven core emotions at the heart of the wheel are "happy," "sad," "disgusted," "angry," "surprised," "bad," and "fearful." The core emotions branch out and connect to two additional rings making for a total of 130 feelings. These additional feelings include "awful," "cheeky," and "confused."

First off, “bad” isn’t a feeling. People often say they “feel bad,” but that’s because people often say stupid things. People often say they “feel like shit,” too, but “shit” isn’t a feeling, either.

               The other nine training days are titled, "Contextualizing Intersectionality — Our Narrative, Our Stories," "White Privilege and Whiteness," "Understanding the Link Between Race, Ethnicity, and Sexualization," etc., etc.

The university has also issued a statement reading, “Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and care where every community member feels supported and experiences a strong sense of belonging. As part of this commitment, university leaders are actively working to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias, along with implementing new educational opportunities for community members to meaningfully engage with this issue.”

Vanderbilt is committed to making every community member feel supported and experience a strong sense of belonging? Conservatives? The unvaccinated? Are university leaders also actively working to mitigate the effects of conscious bias?

              Let’s go to the outer ring of the wheel and see if we can find an emotion that accurately describes how I’m feeling now. Yes, there it is!


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