VP Message- Diversity Update- February 22

Dear DSA,

I hope you are all recovering from the unprecedented winter storm. I intended to send this message to you last week but Mother Nature had other plans.

While we continue to celebrate Black History Month let’s remember all the achievements of Black Americans who in the face of hatred, oppression and injustice continue to fight for a better country. I hope you will join me in making time to check out some of the Black History Month programs taking place.

As you heard during last week’s Division Meeting, the DSA Diversity Council has chosen its year three goals:

  • Assess the Diversity Council to ensure staff feels we are effective.
  • In partnership with ODA’s training series, develop a guide for best practices for accessibility.
  • Focus on retaining staff:
    • Create a diversity and inclusion onboarding plan for the Division.
    • Create a dialogue series to encourage small group discussions across Division staff.
  • Analyze findings from climate survey focus groups and develop appropriate goals and next steps.
  • Assess the effectiveness of 2020-2021 diversity and inclusion professional development plans and trainings that were consistent across all staff.

Some other important reminders:

  • Don’t forget about the DSA Diversity Library in the Vice President for Student Affairs Office in Hurley, Suite 207. This library contains staff-requested books purchased by the Division, among others. This allows us to share books with more people to encourage and support a healthy dialogue that leads us to action regarding issues of systematic racial inequity. If you have a book you would like to share, or if you are looking for a new book to tackle, please stop by.
  • The Division of Institutional Equity & Diversity announced that they are postponing the annual Equity & Diversity Conference due to the impact of last week’s storm on the presenters and attendees’ ability to access the Internet. They will communicate a new date and you can check the conference website for updates.
  • As we progress through this semester keep in mind your diversity training Personal Development Plan that you completed in the fall. This plan was formulated by our Diversity Council in response to President Smatresk asking each division to determine a required number of training hours for staff to complete related to diversity, inclusion, and equity topics.
  • Please make plans to join the DSA Diversity Council’s open meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, March 22.

Thank you all for your dedication to these important endeavors.

Take care,

Elizabeth With Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs