Ted Scott Bledsoe Discusses New Project, “Diversity Mosaic Experience”

by Evan R. Cain

Ted Scott Bledsoe, PsyD, is the director of the Doctor in Psychology in Clinical Training (Internship) program and an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology. He is the co-author of “Challenges of teacher diversity training,” published in the The International Journal of Diversity in Education in 2017.

What is the Diversity Mosaic Experience and what was its inspiration?

The mosaic—a film compilation of more than 60 testimonies from diverse staff, faculty, students, and alumni—resulted from my participation in the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence’s Diversity Ambassadors Program. The program educates faculty and staff on diversity-related issues. Upon becoming an ambassador, I was encouraged to create a project promoting constructive conversations on campus.

I decided early on that I wanted my project to reflect the part of diversity training that impacted me most: hearing the stories of others at APU. As they bravely recounted their experiences of microaggressions, racism, chronic illness, and other challenges, it became clear how immediate these issues are. Diversity challenges are not faceless concepts. Discussing diversity within the context of lived experiences makes clear the need for action and awareness.

Why do you see diversity central to your work as a Christian and an educator?

APU’s mission is to create difference makers. Jesus was a difference maker who ate with tax collectors, healed both Jews and gentiles, and commended the faith of a Roman soldier. Today, He compels us to go and do likewise, just as He did the first disciples. Like Christ, we must welcome, promote, and protect diversity in our communities. Justice and inclusion were key elements of Jesus’ ministry, and as Christians, it is our duty to carry forth that legacy.

How can these stories transform APU’s campus?

As we listen to stories of hurt and oppression from people we love, there comes a point when we are struck by the full gravity of the issue. Our hearts sink as we begin to grasp the effects of exclusive and oppressive actions and systems. We realize that diversity awareness is not just a buzzword, it is a necessary response to real wounds and pain in our communities. These moments of impact have the power to change our lives, and ultimately, to motivate us toward equitable and just action. I hope that the Diversity Mosaic Experience will create those moments for others in APU’s community, and move our hearts toward continually learning to love, accept, and include one another.

The Diversity Mosaic Experience premieres February 20, 4:15-5:45 p.m., at Azusa Pacific’s Upper Turner Campus Center (UTCC) on East Campus. Please RSVP online. Attendees may learn how to access videos and accompanying curriculum for use in classrooms or professional development across campus. Refreshments will be served.

Evan R. Cain '18 is a senior public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. He is a biblical studies and humanities major in the Honors College.