The DEI Office invests early in our next generation of leaders and their support systems through educational initiatives. Some of them are described here. Thank you for your partnership, collaboration, support, and active participation.
The DEI Office offers a diversity of instructional design opportunities tailored to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members. If you are interested in hosting or participating in some of the opportunities listed below, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t find here an educational topic in which you are interested, please contact Dr. Sari Pascoe directly at email@example.com to explore options for access. Thank you.
Exploring our continuous development is of core importance to our personal and communal growth because it allows us to effectively function within and across cultures. It promotes our ability to respect and value other cultures, and can reduce cultural barriers between professionals and with their constituents. When we interact in cross-cultural situations, a lack of awareness can lead to poor or detrimental decisions. Our investment in multicultural sensitivity development can increase cultural awareness that could result in making more insightful, productive, and respectful decisions as we interact with others.
From research and practice we recognize intergroup dialogue as a promising practice for cross-cultural engagement that could result in respectful and life-long human connections. Understanding how students and professionals can learn and perform better in diverse groups and environments makes the development of able intergroup dialogue skills instrumental in our ability to succeed as individuals and communities.
Unconscious bias happens by our brains making incredibly quick judgments and assessment about people and situations without us realizing it. Unconscious bias are pervasive. Everyone possess them, even people who are trained for objectivity such as judges and scientists. Unconscious bias can be a vast setback in creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace and learning environment. Better understanding our own biases and those of others can greatly increase our ability to collaborate and reach shared visions.
Leading change toward diversity –and its equity and inclusion– is an area of expertise with its own knowledge base and professional practitioners. Diversity refers to the combination of dimensions that we all, as individuals, represent. The most important tenant in addressing this work is taking time in learning who you are and being able to make that explicit to others while learning about others with respect. Learning how to talk about diversity from our own perspective and lens enriches our ability to learn from each other while developing trust: a critical element in our ability to reach common goals.
In educational environments, enhancing our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues can help reach our goal of improving student learning and outcomes. We know from research and practice that students benefit from seeing themselves mirrored in their faculty, staff, and academic leadership roles. Diverse representation and inclusive learning environments can provide inspiration and aspiration that help students believe they can achieve their highest potential, as well as exposing students to richly diverse ideas, experience, and information. If and when securing access to role models for students is not possible, every member of the organization must learn how to become an ally to those most disenfranchised in the system to secure their success in reaching their potential.
Because addressing conflict about our diversity is about our identity and how that intersects with those of others, taking an impartial approach to each element of the conflict is very important. Facilitating consensus agreement about DEI issues between parties requires reaching a voluntary and mutually acceptable resolution of some or all the issues of their dispute/conflict. The DEI Office can assist with such processes.
The DEI Office hosts and collaborates on selected campus-wide events annually, for example, Incoming Drew Student Orientation, the Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, and the Baccalaureate Celebration.
The 2019 Orientation session included a two-hour DEI session with two goals: 1) practicing how to engage with one another in respectful ways based on our identity (intergroup dialogue exercises), and 2) learning about the Launch Identity/Affinity Communities. Here are some pictures from Orientation 2019 at Drew University. Pictures by Parker (Huan Sheng Lu).
The DEI Office has provided modest financial support to outstanding student projects and cross-unit collaborations. Here are some projects co-sponsored by the DEI Office. If you are interested in applying for a DEI Office financial sponsorship award, please complete the Sponsorship Form below.