Our work to create an inclusive, anti-racist campus and world is crucial.
Here are some of the ways College of Arts and Sciences has been working to look deeper,
and to address old and ongoing wrongs.
We do this in the hope that together we can make our college, our community, and our
world a more just, accountable, equitable, safe and peaceful place for all – regardless
of the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality or other identities.
Some of these projects have been in the works for years or months, and some are new
initiatives, but all are intended to help us learn more and take positive action to
foster safety, belonging, justice, equity and peace.
1. Hiring a full-time Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Romona West, last fall
to lead us in these vital efforts. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we encourage you to reach out.
2. June 2020 Town Hall meetings with our dean and associate deans to make sure our
students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends have a voice, can connect with us, and
are being heard.
3. In a coordinated effort with other units on campus, the college will be purchasing
a new eLearning module called “Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts” to provide tools to help
us identify hurtful stereotypes and respond appropriately. The training will take
no more than 30 minutes to complete and we will be making it available to all faculty,
staff and students soon. Details will be shared soon.
4. In partnership with the U of A’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Vice Chancellor Yvette Murphy-Erby, each of the college’s three schools, 16 departments,
and the Dean’s Office created individualized Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plans
to fit their area’s unique needs and challenges.
5. We created a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which is comprised of
14 members – including students, faculty and staff – who serve as representatives
identifying, recommending, supporting and advising the college and its leadership
team on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues and key strategic programs and initiatives.
6. In partnership with the U of A’s IDEALS Institute
, we’ve been hosting a series of workshops multiple times each that are open to all
in the college, and include topics like “Facing Bias: Exposing Blind Spots/Engaging
in Action” and “Microaggressions: Matching Your Values to Your Actions.”
7. We hosted Cultural Competence workshops where participants were invited to complete
the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment and attend a virtual workshop,
to begin developing the capability to shift cultural perspectives and adapt or bridge
behavior to cultural commonality and differences.
8. We encouraged our faculty and staff to complete Safe Zone Allies training to gain
a deeper awareness, understanding and comfort with the topics and issues that impact
the LGBTQ+ community, and have the opportunity to be designated as an ally to the
LGBTQ+ community on campus.
9. We launched a new DEI Hour Conversation Series
, which consists of weekly Wednesday open conversations hosted by Romona West. The
conversations are for anyone connected to Fulbright College to join in and include
different topics with comments and open discussion.
10. When COVID-19 hit, we wanted to still be inclusive while work ing remotely, so
the college’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages included posts covering topics
from video check-ins, to special graduation messages, to DEI-related activities and
mes sages of kindness and support during uncertain times. And, this fall we launched
dedicated Arts and Sciences DEI Facebook and Instagram accounts.
11. We are gathering and actively sharing resources such as Counseling Resources,
COVID-Relief Food Resources, Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send,
Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching
12. And, we continue to celebrate, promote and encourage recognition of important
cultural events such as the MLK Recommitment Banquet, U of A (Virtual) Juneteenth Celebration
, Plaza De Las Américas, Annual Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade, International Education
Week, Indigenous People’s Day, Disability Awareness and monthly heritage celebrations.
But this is only the beginning...
We must continuously keep asking ourselves what we can to do to be agents of positive
change, and we know much more is needed.
We invite anyone who desires to share their story, experiences, perspective or feedback with us on their experiences of
racism on campus, and to let us know how we can do the necessary work to creating
an even better future for us all.