Resources to combat discrimination and bigotry

Dear Wesleyan community,

With the uptick in incidents of bias and harassment on college and university campuses nationwide, a dual concern and deep interest from individuals from marginalized groups for personal and psychological safety, as well as a general desire for sense-making in general has arisen. It is our personal responsibility to continue to educate ourselves and remain firmly committed to Wesleyan’s welcoming and inclusive values, seeking community when needed, challenging our internal biases as necessary, and remaining intellectually and emotionally open the difficult task of building an inclusive community in the face of bigotry and fear-mongering.

The Office for Equity & Inclusion serves as a hub that provides a broad range of prevention and response resources to address these challenges as a community. We don’t have office hours because you are always a priority and we welcome you to stop in, although we do appreciate prior appointments.

We cannot take action to address incidences of bias, hate, and discrimination unless you report.  It’s easy, it’s anonymous if you prefer not to give your name, and it’s only a click away. We take all claims seriously and have strong relationships with law enforcement in the event the incidents rise to the level of criminal behavior.

While we have internal workshops, programing, and interventions we provide, these electronic resources below are just one way you can start to make sense of your own personal challenges and knowledge gaps as you continue to strive to be an ally against all forms of bigotry and hate.

If you have additional resources, stop by, we’d like to sit and speak with you,

Antonio Farias North College 317

Teshia Levy-Grant North College 122

Debbie Colucci North College 112

Patricia Stephenson Gordon North College 318

Racism:

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) https://www.wkkf.org/what-we-do/racial-equity/truth-racial-healing-transformation

Advancing the Mission: Tools for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

http://www.aecf.org/resources/advancing-the-mission-tools-for-equity-diversity-and-inclusion/

The Danger of a Single Story

https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbdxeFcQtaU

Race Forward

https://www.raceforward.org/videos/RaceAnd

Southern Poverty Law Center

https://www.splcenter.org

http://www.tolerance.org

Hate Crime Laws

http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/hate-crimes-law/

http://www.adc.org

Racial Equality Tools

http://www.racialequitytools.org/fundamentals

Gender Bias:

Gender Values: Meeting the Challenge for STEM Gender Diversity

http://www.aacu.org/gendervalues

Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES)

http://www.aacu.org/tides

Understanding gender bias

http://www.aauw.org

Civic Engagement and Diversity:

Research on engaging across different points of view

http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/15/13595508/racism-trump-research-study

Diversity & Democracy

http://www.aacu.org/diversitydemocracy

Why social equity and justice are hard

https://www.compasspoint.org/sites/default/files/documents/CompassPoint-Theory-of-Change.pdf

Homophobia/Transphobia:

True Colors Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services:

http://www.ourtruecolors.org/About/index.html

Transgender Resources:

http://www.glaad.org/transgender/resources

Anti-immigration:

Post-Election: Recommendations for School Administrators, Educators, Counselors, and Undocumented Students

Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism, and Interfaith Dialogue:

Interfaith Outreach, Anti-Defamation League: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/interfaith-affairs/

Connecticut Muslim Coalition:

http://www.muslimcoalitionct.org

Yale Center for Faith and Dialogue:

http://faith.yale.edu/reconciliation-project/reconciliation-program

 

Annual Report on Sexual Violence and Next Steps in Promoting Equity & Inclusion

From: Antonio Farias
Date: Friday, September 16, 2016 at 2:36 PM
To: Campus Community
Subject: Annual Report on Sexual Violence and Next Steps in Promoting Equity & Inclusion

Dear campus community,

I write to let you know about next steps in promoting equity and inclusion on our campus that include a new committee structure, an overview of sexual assault on campus in 2015, and efforts to continue the work to diversify our faculty and staff. The President’s Equity Task Force completed its charge and made its recommendations, and now we will build on that momentum. Already we have members of our community working on staff diversity, Title IX, and accessibility. Now a new Wesleyan University Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee is being formed to coordinate these efforts and others such as the Resource Center and the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff.

The Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee is comprised of the vice president for equity & inclusion, the faculty vice chair, the WSA president, and the chair of the Board of Trustees’ Campus Affairs Committee. This Steering Committee will build on the work of the Equity Task Force—including following up on its call to collaborate with students on the Resource Center—report on progress in all related areas, and make actionable recommendations on how to continue to build a more equitable and inclusive campus community where all may thrive. We are eagerly looking for volunteers to work with the Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee. Click here to sign-up now, and please encourage others to do the same.

Reports of sexual violence at Wesleyan decreased in calendar year 2015; you can find the annual report on Wesleyan’s Response to Sexual Violence here. The work is far from done, and we are continuing to improve our support for survivors, as well as our reporting and adjudication procedures. Each and every one of us must strive for a campus free of sexual assault, and I take this opportunity to issue the reminder that all faculty and staff, except those who have confidential status, are required by law to report incidents. While nearly all faculty and staff have undergone a two-hour Title VII/Title IX workshop, our goal is for 100% participation. We continue to update our website as a resource for information on reporting incidents and accessing resources.

Wesleyan is rolling out a new program for opportunity hires that should enhance efforts already underway to increase faculty and staff diversity. We will miss staff and faculty who have recently gone on to other positions, and we will work to ensure that all our employees can flourish here and contribute to the rich living-learning environment that our students count on. I encourage you to visit http://equity.wesleyan.edu/, where you’ll find timely data and communications pertinent to campus climate and culture concerns, including trend lines on employee diversity over the past five years.

Our collective embrace of the work ahead will enable us to build a university where all may succeed, and with that in mind we encourage you to join us for a yearlong conversation on Love and Justice, which will begin with a campus dialogue at Memorial Chapel, September 19th at 4:30 pm, with professor David Kyuman Kim, on the topic of Love & Justice: A Radical Love Approach. RSVP here.

Best wishes this semester,

Antonio Farias

Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX

What does our workforce look like?

A diverse staff and faculty is only the beginning of a long-term process of ensuring the difference we bring to the workforce is seen as a value-add.  In order for diversity to work, all members of the campus workforce must feel a sense of belonging and that they can thrive professionally and as human beings who can contribute to the educational mission of the university. This data serves as a baseline from which to continue the dialogue.

Click to download work force demographics data

Love & Justice: A Radical Love Approach

Welcome back from what I hope was a productive and rewarding summer. I invite you to join us for an interactive town hall discussion with Professor David Kyuman Kim on the topic of Radical Love, to be held on Sept 19th.  Please encourage colleagues and your students to attend what will be the start of a yearlong conversation around “Love & Justice.”

Warm regards,

Antonio Farias

V.P. for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX Officer

 

Love & Justice: A Radical Love Approach

Explore the idea of Radical Love and how, if we embrace it, the world will change.

SAVE THE DATE: Sept 19, 2016

Memorial Chapel, 4:30-6 pm

Refreshments and conversation with Prof. Kim to follow immediately after in the Zelnick Pavilion.

Please RSVP by clicking here.

David Kyuman Kim is a teacher, cultural critic, philosopher of religion, and scholar of race, religion, and public life. In 2003, Kim joined the faculty of Connecticut College where he is Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies. He has also taught at Harvard University, Union Theological Seminary, and Brown University. Published widely on religion and public life, political theory, and the Asian American religious experience, Kim is author of Melancholic Freedom: Agency and the Spirit of Politics (Oxford, 2007), and co-editor of The Post-Secular in Question (New York University Press, 2012) and Race, Religion, and Late Democracy, a special issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Sage, 2011). With John L. Jackson, Kim is co-editor of the Stanford University Press book series RaceReligion.

What is Radical Love?  Read on…

This radical love fosters community and emerges through it. Radical love is a love that gives the benefit of the doubt, that affirms and questions, that holds its skepticism at bay to allow a raw thought to develop, that understands accountability not as a zero sum game, that doesn’t draw lines in the sand, that doesn’t believe in (to borrow a phrase from Edward Said) solidarity without criticism, that understands that rifts can heal and that we need not divide ourselves from one another during that healing. It also understands that there may be moments when toxicity reaches such a level that, out of self-care and self-love, one has to pull back and find new alliances. A radical love can foster and enrich community.” http://www.browndailyherald.com/2015/11/04/rodriguez-on-teaching-radical-love-and-community

Click here to download event flyer

update on inaugural E&I report

Members of the Wesleyan community,

This past November, I outlined prior equity and inclusion work completed regarding staffing and strategy development.  I also mentioned an inaugural Equity & Inclusion report would be completed in the spring of 2016. This was prior to the creation of the Equity Task Force (ETF), which was charged by the President with delivering a report on or about May 1st.  Because of the significance of the ETF report, I will defer from publishing the Equity & Inclusion report until fall 2016, in order to incorporate key aspects and concerns brought forth by the ETF report.

Sincerely,
Antonio Farias
V.P. for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX Officer

EQUITY: NEXT STEPS

Members of the Wesleyan community,

In these troubling times, when campuses across the nation are grappling with institutional racism, I continually ask myself what more we can do to ensure that the lives of all of our students, and in particular our students of color, are free from discrimination that harms their experience at Wesleyan.

Two years ago, I was hired as Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Officer, stepping into a position that President Roth created in 2008 when he recruited Sonia Mañjon to Wesleyan.  My first task was to reorganize our operations into a new Office of Equity & Inclusion, whose efforts extend to the entire campus community. Our intention from the start was to expand our focus from sexual violence to encompass all discriminatory behaviors that affect members of the Wesleyan community.  We hired a full-time senior Director for Equity Compliance and a part-time Dean was made full-time. Both Dean and Director serve as equity advocates and have done a great deal to support students of color and marginalized communities. My hope is that students, faculty and staff will become more aware of this work and actively join us in these efforts.

All our staffing and reorganization efforts have resulted in a strong foundation for advancing equity and inclusion goals. Following President Roth’s recent message to the campus community on next steps, I briefed the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and student organizers on how the Title IX Core Team will be expanding its purview to include oversight over all discriminatory behavior and the creation of a positive social climate that enables all students, faculty, and staff to thrive in our community.  We will be scheduling recurring community town halls, forums, and focus groups in order to take a robust accounting of current needs as well as to tap the vast community expertise we possess in the service of creating sustainable and significant changes designed to enhance our individual and collective ability to thrive. This Equity Next Steps webpage will be updated on a recurring basis in order to keep the campus community informed as to progress and will serve as a historical record of change efforts.

We cannot fix what we cannot see, and it is apparent from the heartrending stories I’ve heard from marginalized students that our system of documenting and investigating instances of discrimination is not sufficiently understood and used across the campus. Reporting is an essential first step to get at the root causes of discriminatory behaviors that are caustic to the learning process. We currently have a draft bias protocol designed to educate the community about keywords, definitions, and expectation of process and outcomes pertinent to our anti-discrimination policies. We also have developed an incident reporting database we call Maxient. Our Equity Compliance Office has investigated all reports of bias incidents and allegations of discriminatory behavior, and will continue to do so.

To make these efforts more visible, I have discussed with members of the OEI Student Advisory the desirability of creating an annual report to the campus community similar to the Annual Report on Sexual Violence, beginning in April 2016.  The report will detail our efforts regarding policy, education, investigations, and initiatives. This document will be available via our public website.

We anticipate filling the open position of Dean for Equity & Inclusion in February. The Dean will continue to engage with students from historically marginalized communities, with a particular mandate of increasing underrepresented and gender equity in STEM fields.

I look forward to working with the entire Wesleyan community to address the damage caused by prejudice, discrimination and marginalization and to build on achievements characterized by openness, courage and perseverance. As many of you know, my staff and I have an open door policy, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of it even as we proactively reach out to our broad and diverse community.

Sincerely,

Antonio Farias

V.P. for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX Officer