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 email@example.com
and we encourage you to reach out.
2. Upcoming 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. Details will be shared soon
3. 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 also 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. While working remotely, we also 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 working remotely, so
the college’s Facebook
pages included posts tagged with #fulbright4inclusion, covering topics from video
check-ins, to special graduation messages, to DEI-related activities and messages
of kindness and support during uncertain times. And, we will be launching dedicated
Fulbright College DEI social media accounts this fall.
12. And, we continue to celebrate, promote and encourage recognition of important
cultural events such as the upcoming U of A (Virtual) Juneteenth Celebration
and the rescheduled 16th Annual Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade
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.