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Office of Inclusion & Equity

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The Office of Inclusion & Equity, led by the Assistant Vice President for Inclusion & Equity, provides leadership for the implementation of the University’s ongoing work to improve the campus climate and build a culture that lives up to its values of access and diversity through the pursuit of inclusive excellence.

Inclusive Excellence (IE) is the recognition that a community or institution's success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni constituents. More than a short-term project or single office initiative, this comprehensive approach requires a fundamental transformation of the institution by embedding and practicing IE in every effort, aspect, and level of a college or university. The goal is to make IE a habit that is implemented and practiced consistently throughout an institution.


Diversity Center Initiative

The Diversity Center Initiative Committee was formed in November 2015. At that time, President Ali Malekzadeh stressed the importance of the center being a safe space for all identities as well as a safe space to explore and discuss topics concerning identity and issues of inclusion. Members of the committee include representatives from academic affairs, student affairs, finance and administration, and student leaders from a number of student organizations as well as the Student Government Association. The final proposal for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion was submitted to University leadership in April 2016. The Asst. VP for Inclusion & Equity continues to work with Institutional Advancement, Marketing, and the Office of the President on funding opportunities.

A “Realizing the Dream” reception, with displays of physical space architectural renderings and future center programs, took place during the RU American Dreams conference on September 12, 2016 at 3:15pm-4:30pm in the Auditorium Building Michigan lobby and AUD suite 104 (future home of the center). The committee highlighted future programs and initiatives in the areas of:

  • Academic & Co-curricular
  • Advocacy
  • Celebratory
  • Community/Corporate Partnerships
  • Educational
  • Multicultural Support Services

The Diversity Center Initiative Committee also hosted the university’s first (in recent years) Diversity Week on February 27-March 4, 2016. Throughout the week, over 200 people attended and participated in events. See calendar of events here [link to pdf].

Campus Climagte Committee

The CCC was formed in March 2016 as a result of campus climate round table discussions during the University’s first “Diversity Week” (in recent years). After analyzing qualitative data gathered during the campus climate round table discussions, the committee identified a number of inclusion challenges that needed to be addressed most urgently. A collaborative decision was made to form task forces to begin over the summer addressing the challenges. And, in the future, a more comprehensive campus climate study would be completed.

To kick off the 2016 American Dream Reconsidered Conference, the Committee on Campus Climate and the Office of Inclusion & Equity lead A National Call to Action brown bag lunch discussion. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Congress Lounge on September 12, 2016. During this session, the task forces gave updates their on their progress in changing the Roosevelt campus climate.

Task Forces

All Gender Bathrooms Task force

Co-Chairs – Jackson Newsome & Calandra Babey

The Gender Neutral Bathrooms Task Force will strive to make restroom facilities at Roosevelt University more accessible to all members of our community, regardless of one's gender identity. The team will determine the appropriate steps to attain this goal by identifying prime locations for gender neutral bathrooms, determining the required processes for making this change, and choosing appropriate signage for these locations. Then, steps will be taken to promote the use and knowledge of these bathrooms (e.g., location, rationale for the change).

Faculty Cultural Competency Training & Pedagogy

Chair –  Jeannine Love

This task force is charged with the development of faculty training and workshops related to cultural competency. Discussion will focus on crafting a shared understanding of cultural competency, and will develop training and resources to support faculty in building cultural competency into their pedagogy. Our goal is to find ways in which faculty can be more conscious of the dynamics of cultural interactions, develop cultural knowledge, and provide a learning environment that is inclusive.”

Preferred Name and Preferred Gender Task force

This taskforce will identify the limitations of current policies and procedures related to name and gender and find solutions that allow all members of the Roosevelt community to be recognized by their individual identities.

Staff Cultural Competency Task force

Chair – Sarah Willis

This task force is charged with the development of staff training and workshops related to cultural competency. Discussion will focus on crafting a shared understanding of cultural competency, and will focus on ways staff can effectively incorporate cultural competency into supporting our student population. Our goal is to find ways in which staff can be more conscious of the dynamics of cultural interactions, develop cultural knowledge, and provide service that is inclusive.

University Inclusion Statement & Action Plan

Chair – Jamar Orr

This task force is charged with developing and facilitating a university-wide process to create a statement and action plan that reflects RU’s commitment to diversity & inclusion, compliments the RU mission, values, and strategic plan, and further prompts all faculty, staff, and students to directly engage in inclusive practices by incorporating those practices both formally and informally based on their roles on campus.

Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development Resources

For Students Staff & Faculty:

  • Privilege Walk
  • Circles of My Multicultural Self
  • Multicultural Competence Self-Assessment

Inclusive Resources for the Faculty & the Classroom:

  • Center for Teaching & Learning
  • Sample resources from other institutions: (The Taskforce on Faculty Cultural Competency and Pedagogy is in the process of developing Roosevelt-specific resources. In the interim, faculty may find the below resources helpful):
    • Diversity Checklist: Guidelines for Course Planning (Penn State)
    • Making the Classroom a Safe Space (Flinders University)
    • Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon)
    • Eighteen Ways to Warm Up the Chilly Climate: Recommendation for Faculty Members (Bernice Sanders)
    • Humboldt State University Resources for the Classroom
    • Sample Inclusion Statements for Syllabi
Additional Resources
Policies and Procedures Addressing Discriminatory Behavior