- Katie Harrington
Meet Our Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Danielle Weisenfeld became our team’s first Director of Diversity and Inclusion this past summer to reinforce our mission to build a better world. Danielle, a civil engineering major with a minor in sustainability and the built environment, joined our design sub-team in fall 2019. She saw an opportunity to build a more diverse team that represents more ethnic and cultural groups. She believes this representation can contribute to the ongoing discussion of how our team can achieve its goals in Maras Ayllu, Peru, as it ensures all voices and ideas are heard. I sat down for a Zoom interview with Danielle to ask her more about what diversity and inclusion mean to her.
How would you define diversity and inclusion?
“Diversity and inclusion goes across multiple avenues. It is not just racial or ethnic. It is diverse in every facet, whether it be gender, sexual orientation or culture. Representation is the most important aspect of it.”
Why are diversity and inclusion important in a student organization?
“I believe the reason why some student groups aren’t diverse is not that these groups are intentionally exclusive, but rather many people/multicultural organizations on campus are not aware of the opportunities accessible to them. It is important to reach out to people. Representation matters and so does member retention and engagement.”
What initiatives are you working on? What are some goals you have?
“Starting with recruitment, we will be reaching out to all types of organization, multicultural and academic. I also want to hold new member workshops where our new members can feel engaged and connected and make friends with other students on the team. These workshops and other team socials can help foster a community of inclusivity. We do not want students to feel left out."
Every teammate is a part of the solution.
Danielle will be hosting meetings, sharing articles with the team and speaking to professionals about how we can enhance our commitment to equity. She emphasizes that our actions to improve are genuine and never performative. Furthermore, her position as Director does not mean she retains the sole responsibility of fostering a diverse and inclusive community within UF EWB Peru, but rather every teammate is a part of the solution.
Some Quick Facts About Danielle
Hometown: Clermont, Florida
Hobbies: Danielle loves working out, participating in UF’s National Society of Black Engineers, watching TikTok videos and crocheting.
Future plans: After she finishes her undergraduate degree, she hopes to continue her education and attend graduate school as well as participate in research.