A journey launched through Husker Dialogues has helped Nebraska’s Saisha Adhikari develop leadership skills, an increased understanding of inclusivity, and a greater desire to give back.
Started in 2017, the Husker Dialogues program helps first-year students dig into the roots of individual beliefs while learning from the stories of peers. Presentations and small-group interactions help students engage in meaningful conversations that cultivate greater inclusivity across the Husker community.
Plans for a virtual 2021 Husker Dialogues experience are being developed. Students are being sought to share their personal stories that will encourage first-year students to take the next step in their inclusive excellence journey. Learn more here.
When she participated in 2017, Adhikari was drawn deeper into the Husker Dialogues conversation. She left inspired and wanting to learn more.
“I come from a predominantly Caucasian school and often felt like I was the only one outwardly different in the classroom,” Adhikari said. “One of the speakers was a vibrant woman of color who talked about the discrimination she faces in school, and that resonated within me.”
Then, in small-group discussions that followed speaker presentations, Adhikari found she shared similar experiences and worries with others.
“Learning that you have these shared experiences that are understood by others was reassuring,” Adhikari said. “And it was also cool getting to learn from the perspectives of others.
“The whole event was inspiring.”
The experience led Adhikari to become a student organizer for the Husker Dialogues program. She is in her third year as a volunteer, helping lead and expand the program. She said the stories are what draw her back every year.
“It’s just a tremendous opportunity for students to make lasting connections and to start thinking bigger,” Adhikari said. “The Husker Dialogues experience is an opportunity to learn and grow — two things that could benefit each of us.”
Husker Dialogues is organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services. The planning committee is seeking students to share their stories for the next event, tentatively scheduled for September. Preferred stories exemplify inclusive student excellence and highlight steps taken on an individual’s anti-racism and equity journey.
Applications are being accepted through April 2. Those selected will be notified by April 9. The final student speeches will be recorded this spring and aired during the fall event.