Journey Toward Inclusive Excellence: Diversity and Inclusion Updates
Posted on behalf of Drs. Roger Richardson and Sean Eversley Bradwell.
Dear Campus Community:
As the semester draws to a close, we want to share a recap of some of the events that took place during the semester, and to inform you of upcoming opportunities to get involved next semester.
First and foremost, it is clear we are a nation and campus community with divergent perspectives. From the level of our national election down to our daily interactions, many of us have been acutely reminded of the importance and urgent need for civility, compassion and respectful dialogues. These attributes will be ever more critical as we strive to become a more inclusive campus community.
One significant action we’re please to report is that the Board of Trustees adopted the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) guiding principles on Inclusive Excellence. By accepting these principles as their own, the Board of Trustees committed itself to:
“Leading Ithaca College to a future of Inclusive Excellence that is linked to our core educational mission in learning, teaching, student development, and community engagement. The board created a special committee on “Inclusive Excellence” that ensures the integration of equity and inclusiveness in every area of board oversight. The board also commissions the president and his leadership team to engage the campus community in the creation of an institution-wide strategy, and incorporation of ’Inclusive Excellence’ in our vision and mission statements.”
Ithaca College’s journey toward inclusive excellence is rooted in the advocacy of students, staff and faculty over a sustained period of time. It requires intentionality on all our parts.
With that notion in mind, here are some diversity and inclusion updates associated with our work to build a more inclusive campus community:
--Fall Semester Updates--
The Campus Climate Survey was completed on October 28. Sue Rankin & Associates, our consultants on this project, expressed overwhelming praise for the level of participation by members of the IC community. They will spend the next several months analyzing the data and preparing the report, which will be presented to the campus in April.
Public Safety Review
Margolis Healy, the consultant hired to conduct the independent review of the Office of Public Safety, held their site visit November 7-10. As a result of that visit, the college agreed to add a staffing analysis of Public Safety to the review. A summary of the report should be completed by the end of January 2017.
Community Review Board
In September, Public Safety Director Terri Stewart provided an update regarding the implementation of the Community Review Board. Discussions with the UGSOA Local and International union which represents our officers have been productive, and the work to establish the board is ongoing. A timeline for completion has not been determined.
The body-worn cameras policy draft is under final review and discussion to ensure it follows current best practices and standards. Part of the review process will include an opportunity for the Res Life/Public Safe Workgroup to offer input, probably by late January. The campus community will have several opportunities to attend forums about the policy, for questions and conversation around aspects of interest (such as privacy concerns) prior to implementation. Given these additional important input processes, rollout for body cameras is now targeted for late spring 2017.
Public Safety Satellite Office
The Satellite Office for the Office of Public Safety, housed in the Campus Center, is nearing completion. The open launch date has been set for Monday, January 23 from 10-2 p.m. Please join us.
Diversity and Inclusion Training
Diversity trainer and consultant Craig Clayton provided inclusion training for members of the Board of Trustees during their October meeting as well as to all staff in the Division of Institutional Advancement and Communications (IAC). In addition, IAC is working with Craig Clayton to conduct similar trainings for our alumni volunteers.
The Multicultural Student Safe Space located on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center is being actively used. Students have been working with Jessica Archer, Ithaca College’s interior design coordinator, and additional modifications / changes are scheduled for completion over winter break. A welcome reception will be held early in spring semester. More information will follow.
Symposia on Inclusion, Cultural Fluency, and Global Citizenship
The second annual iteration of this symposia was held this fall. On September 26th, guest speaker Dr. Aziz Rana, professor of law at Cornell University, presented a talk on “Black Internationalism: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement”. On October 24th, a program was held in collaboration with FLEFF (Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival) and participating faculty. The speakers and discussion focused on three FLEFF themes for this year: “Geographies of Inclusion”, “Geographies of Cultural Fluency” and “Geographies of Global Citizenship”.
FLEFF Diversity Scholars Initiative
FLEFF, in partnership with the Diversity Scholars Program, hosted thirteen future diversity scholars to campus for a three day “Inside Look” initiative October 23-25. This initiative was designed to bring graduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups to campus.
IC Journey Toward Inclusive Excellence Webinar
On November 10 a webinar was conducted for Ithaca College alumni. This webinar was intended to explore campus efforts to create a more inclusive campus community. Participants included: Dr. Brian Dickens (moderator), Marieme Foote ’18, Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Dr. Belisa Gonzalez, Dr. Roger Richardson.
The Center for Faculty Excellence has been actively engaged in retention initiatives geared toward ALANA faculty early in their careers. In late August, the CFE implemented a New Faculty Institute featuring a half-day program on Creating Inclusive Classrooms facilitated by Dr. Sherry Deckman. In November, two additional workshops, Addressing Challenges to Inclusion in Higher Education: Handling Microaggressions, were held for faculty and staff. These sessions were facilitated by Dr. Maura Pavalow and Shane Lloyd.
This fall, 50 inclusion workshops were piloted for first-year students through the Ithaca Seminar Program. The goal of these pilot workshops was to introduce our students to the language / concepts used on campus in our work towards more inclusive spaces.
Diversity Workshops and Trainings
Under the leadership of Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of programs and outreach, a series of diversity and inclusion programs, workshops and training initiatives were implemented for faculty, staff, students, and alumni. If you would like to discuss the possibility of diversity and inclusion workshops or trainings, please contact Dr. Eversley Bradwell.
Campus Gathering: Let's Talk Over Food
On August 31st and November 2nd, “campus gatherings” were held to provide members of the campus community an opportunity to share a meal and share conversation. Feedback was gathered at each event. A spring campus gathering will be announced early next semester.
Discussion Panel: Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
On September 13, members of the campus community participated in a panel discussion regarding diversity and inclusion efforts on campus and the progress made on proposed initiatives thus far. Panelists included: Dr. Roger Richardson, interim chief diversity officer; Dr. Wade Pickren, director of our Center for Faculty Excellence; Terri Stewart, director of Public Safety; Dr. Brian Dickens, vice president of Human Resources; and Mary Knapp from DIIS. Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell moderated.
"The New Jim Crow" Ithaca Area Book Read
In addition to on-campus programming for IC students, faculty, and staff, members of the IC community are participating in a community book read of "The New Jim Crow" by Michelle Alexander. The book takes a hard look at the modern system of mass incarceration in the United States. The next event, “The Color of Justice”, will be hosted by Dr. Nia Makepeace, on Monday, December 12, 5:30pm at Greater Ithaca Activities Center. Please contact Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell for additional information or book requests.
"Whistling Vivaldi" Campus Book Read
A campus-wide book read of "Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do" was held throughout the fall semester. The book examines stereotypes and explores ways to mitigate and reshape American identities. This book-read was facilitated by Nicole and Sean Eversley Bradwell and had more than two-dozen participants comprised of students, faculty and staff. Another book read is being planned for spring semester.
Diversity & Inclusion Discussion Circle
Discussion Circles are held weekly and open to the campus community. These circles focus on a range of topics through conversation and presentations. In September, Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, in collaboration with Nicole Eversley Bradwell, presented a workshop entitled: “Listen. Learn. Leverage.” In October, he presented on the book The New Jim Crow in a program titled “From Chains to Prison Bars,” while November’s presentation was on “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Ballot”.
In anticipation of spring semester, we are excited to undertake additional programs and initiatives.
One such program includes a partnership with Father Carsten Martensen and professor Chris House in the Department of Communications Studies to provide additional faith services at Muller Chapel. This service is part of our wider efforts to increase inclusivity on campus, particularly given the broad diversity of members in our faith communities. The pilot program for the Christian Community Church will launch on January 29 at 3p.m. in Muller Chapel. For additional information, please contact Dr. Chris House.
We wish you all a productive close to your semester and safe travels.
In Partnership Always,
Dr. Roger (Doc) Richardson
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell
Director, Programs and Outreach
Originally published in Intercom: Journey Toward Inclusive Excellence: Diversity and Inclusion Updates.