‘Cause a shock:’ Regina Platt motivates university to improve diversity efforts


Mia Hennen

Regina Platt, a racial justice advocacy coordinator with YMCA in northeast Kansas, spoke to students, faculty and staff during SGA’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion symposium. Platt addressed dismantling stereotypes and racism in society.

Chants of “I am a winner” reverberated around the RSC’s ballroom as stepologist Regina Platt called the room to action Friday morning. 

Platt, a racial justice advocacy coordinator with YMCA in northeast Kansas, visited Wichita State for the conclusion of SGA’s Diversity Week, where she encouraged all involved with the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program to make a change.

“The Shockers – you’re set apart and you’re meant to cause a shock to something,” Platt said. “You’re set apart and you’re meant to dismantle something. You’re set apart and you’re meant to stand up and stand out and stand there and be in charge.”

During the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Symposium on Nov. 4, Platt would listen to the crowd during her speech, using words of encouragement to motivate them to make a difference.

“Say, ‘I’m a winner,’” Platt said. “Look at the person next to you … say, ‘I am a winner.’ Say ‘you are the solution.’”

As an experienced public speaker, Platt visits communities in Kansas to inspire them to bridge gaps and encourage inclusivity. Platt uses her concept, “stepology,” to motivate communities to change. The four steps to stepology are “step in, step up, step forward, and reset.”

“The first part of stepology is that you’ve got to do is step in,” Platt said. “I reevaluate myself over and over again, not in comparison to nobody else. When’s the last time you compared yourself to yourself?”

Platt said that for Wichita State to effectively serve its diverse population, a change in perspective is necessary.

“You’re not going to affect a new group with an old system,” Platt said. “Come together, and

form a system that is going to work for you now … Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and all those that were before – they worked for that time, and that system thrived for them. But we are stuck looking at history, instead of making history.”

According to wichita.edu, Wichita State has the most diverse population of students. Platt asked the crowd, involved with the school’s diversity efforts, what they are going to do with the diverse population.

“Are you gonna allow [the university] to remain the same? They say in today’s society, we’re in one of the most racist societies ever,” Platt said.

Platt said that when people are uncomfortable with those of different races, it’s because it hasn’t been made to be “normal.”

“It feels uncomfortable because you haven’t made it normal,” Platt said. “Get uncomfortable being comfortable. Our comfort has made these systems remain.”

After Platt’s departure, Marché Fleming-Randle, chief diversity officer at the university, said that although SGA’s Diversity Week is over, diversity still matters.

“Let me be clear to you, diversity is not just one week – it’s every day of the week, seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Fleming-Randle said. “We get this all the time that we’re the most diverse campus in the state of Kansas. We’ll take that as a tap on the back, but we still got a lot of work to do.”