Equity and Inclusion Plans for Coming Year

From: Antonio Farias
Date: Monday, September 4, 2017 at 4:25 PM
Subject: Equity and Inclusion Plans for Coming Year

Dear Wesleyan Community,

After four years at Wesleyan as the Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX & Sec.504 Officer, I continue to be encouraged by the desire of our living-learning community to expect an educational environment that values and respects everyone and is attentive to those most at risk by the rise in bigotry. I am equally encouraged by the willingness of students, staff, faculty, and alumni to be active partners in the change-making process. Over the years, I’ve gained an increased understanding of the complexity of the Wesleyan community’s needs and aspirations to move the equity, inclusion, and social justice agenda forward in practical, meaningful ways.

Here I offer a brief sketch of what the Office for Equity & Inclusion (OEI) is planning in the coming year. Our goal is to strengthen student support, to establish a clear direction for progress, and to create space for continuous, actionable feedback on how we are doing. We aim to be a more equitable and inclusive living-learning-working community that fully embraces “independence of mind and generosity of spirit,” without forgetting historic and persistent inequality.

What follows is a brief summary of changes that seek to enhance OEI’s ability to serve the campus.

  1. The current criminalization of undocumented students in our country leaves me speechless, but not without hope. Although the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program’s nearly 800,000 beneficiaries is uncertain, our policies and practices are in place to support students, regardless of citizenship status. We have made legal consultations available to students directly impacted by immigration policy changes and we will continue to do so. Please review President Roth’s recent reaffirmation of our continued support of undocumented students here.You can find updated resources here. In addition to chairing the Undocumented Student Support Committee, I will be hosting a Connecticut Students for a Dream (C4D) UndocuAlly training for staff and faculty on September 29 in order to continue to infuse practical competencies in the educational workforce that serves our undocumented students. I am also in the planning stage of bringing back the C4D Educator’s Conference in early December, so stay tuned for more information on how you can attend and participate. Staff and faculty are encouraged to sign up by clicking here. I encourage all who wish to demonstrate their support for those who continue to be marginalized because of citizenship status to continue to make your voices heard. Let’s create a united front with university efforts to create a more equitable environment at Wesleyan and beyond our campus.
  2. In collaboration with and building on the Student Affairs #NotAtOurWes campaign, a team from the Anti-Defamation League’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute Rwill facilitate a student-focused peer advocacy training titled #HowNotAtOurWes during the last week in September. The purpose of this skill-building workshop is to equip students and staff to facilitate dialogue using action-oriented strategies based on the bystander intervention model. Sign-up information will be forthcoming. As a reminder, I previously posted available resources (and welcome your additions) to combat discrimination and bigotry here.
  3. This year, in collaboration with Human Resources, we will run three 2-day Crucial Conversations workshops designed specifically for faculty and staff to learn practical techniques that allow us to have productive, outcomes-based discussions, when emotions are high, views are opposing, and the stakes are high. Those dates are set for October 23/24, January 8/9, and March 19/20. Staff and faculty can click hereto sign-up for a session.
  4. Tailored climate and culture surveys will be sent out to students, faculty, and staff this fall as the initial step in assessing a baseline of where we find ourselves. This data will then be augmented through focus groups, and finally, under the auspices of the Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee (EISC), as well as following the bold pathway set forth by the Equity Task Force Report, will be the basis for developing a comprehensive and timely equity and inclusion campus strategy.
  5. The Annual Report on Sexual Violencewas released early this year, and includes links to a new website as well as information about changes in investigation and adjudication of student cases.  In keeping with past practice, we will be hosting briefing sessions dedicated to explaining the significant changes in policy, new initiatives, as well as what the data is telling us. The dates and locations are:
  1. Tuesday, September 12 (11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.), Judd 116
  2. Wednesday, September 13 (12:15 – 1:00 p.m.), Judd 116
  3. Thursday, September 14 (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.), Judd 116
  4. Tuesday, September 19 (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.), Judd 116
  1. Sixteen months ago, I created a campus-wide accessibility committee dedicated to scanning the campus for continued accessibility barriers in the digital, physical, and educational domains. This committee has representation from staff, faculty, and students, who will, come the fall, be working on creating a comprehensive accessibility strategic plan and accompanying policy changes designed to move us increasingly closer to the principles of Universal Design.

Ultimately, the work of making Wesleyan a more equitable and inclusive community rests on our shared values and willingness to work toward common goals. However imperfect the outcomes may be, what matters is our commitment to continuous improvement, seeking what will work best for us on this unique campus. I very much look forward to continuing to work with you. Even in these troubled times, I’m excited about what is possible at Wesleyan.


With gratitude,

Antonio Farias

Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX & Sec. 504 Officer


Next Steps: Title IX

Dear campus community,

The Title IX assessment previously posted on the Equity & Inclusion website has been converted into a working flow chart that parses out each individual recommendation or area of concern and assigns responsibility and timelines.  Please note, this is a working document subject to changes in priorities as the various campus offices and Title IX committees continue to work on the recommendations. Faculty, staff, and students continue to be part of this thoughtful and deliberative process, as they have from the beginning.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly.

Antonio Farias
VP for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX and Sec 504 Officer

Title IX External Assessment

Dear campus community,

Please follow this link to access the full report from the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC).  The report was generated with the robust participation of faculty, staff, and students who took part in the two-day onsite visit by VRLC February 8-9, 2017. A strategy for engaging with the recommendations is currently being developed, one that continues to include, as well as increase representation from across the campus and local community. If you have immediate questions, please don’t hesitate to call or stop by.

With gratitude,
Antonio Farias
VP for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX and Sec. 504 Officer

Title IX External Assessment Team Site Visit Feb 8-9, 2017

Dear Wesleyan Community,

As noted in the all-campus email you received, an external Title IX assessment team from the Victim’s Rights Law Center (VRLC) will be on campus February 8-9.  The comprehensive schedule is listed below. We have consulted with and listened carefully to the various campus community members and so the external assessment team has the expertise to work with faculty, staff, students – especially those from marginalized communities. Bios of the three-person team are forthcoming.  If you have questions about the site visit, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With gratitude,

Antonio Farias
V.P. for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX and Sec. 504 Officer
Wesleyan University


VRLC Visit Team

Lindy Aldrich, Esq.

Deputy Director, Victim Rights Law Center

Lindy Aldrich has been with the VRLC since 2007, beginning as a staff attorney and becoming Deputy Director in 2010. Given that almost 50% of the VRLC’s clients are under the age of 24, Lindy and other VRLC staff attorneys work to ensure that sexual assault victims stay their educational course, including helping to curtail and ameliorate the often devastating impact of the assault on the victim’s safety, housing (dormitory or off-campus housing), employment (after school, on or off campus job), scholarship and extracurricular activities.

As a trainer on the VRLC’s national Technical Assistance grant, Lindy trains around the country on a number of topics including Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault Policies and Response. Lindy and other VRLC trainers remain at the forefront of this national discussion through consultations and trainings with state and national agencies, universities, and other legal service providers. She has been a Resource Team member and trainer for the OVW Campus Program Training and Technical Assistance Institute since 2010 and a recent presenter for the Project STOP NOW! conference for campus administrators from historically black colleges and universities. Lindy collaborates with the Clery Center for Security on Campus on webinars and conferences as a Title IX expert. In February 2014, Lindy was invited, by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, to lend her expertise on Title IX and victim confidentiality.  She is also an Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Training and Technical Assistance Center trainer and, in partnership with OVC, has delivered webinars and live chats on sexual violence and education. Lindy is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School.


Amanda Walsh, Esq.

Education Program Senior Attorney, Victim Rights Law Center

Amanda Walsh, Esq. returned to the VRLC in January 2017 as an Education Program Senior Attorney.  In this role, Amanda provides training and technical assistance to Office on Violence Against Women campus grantees.  From 2011-2015, Amanda was a VRLC staff attorney, focusing primarily on the representation of high school and college students who have been victims of sexual assault.  In addition to Title IX, Amanda represented clients seeking disability accommodations within the education setting and special education benefits under an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  She also trained colleges and universities nationally on Title IX and campus sexual assault response.  Before returning to the VRLC, Amanda was the inaugural Title IX Program Officer at Brown University.  She was responsible for implementing Brown’s sexual and gender-based harassment and violence policy and complaint procedures, building Brown’s flagship Title IX Office, and overseeing all related complaint investigations.  In August 2014, Amanda was invited by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to lend her expertise on the unique issues facing K-12 sexual assault victims and their remedies under Title IX and IDEA.  In 2012, Amanda was recognized for her work in public interest and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award – Gold Level for her sustained commitment.  Amanda is a graduate of Northeastern University and Roger Williams University School of Law.


Candi N. Smiley, Esq.

Title IX Coordinator, Howard University

Candi N. Smiley, Esq. currently serves as the Title IX Coordinator for Howard University. Ms. Smiley coordinates the University’s response, prevention and education initiatives pursuant to Title IX and related statues and regulation. She also conducts and oversees investigations for complaints alleging sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and gender-based discrimination.  Ms. Smiley previously served as a corporate attorney working on various matters involving federal agencies, private corporations and non-profit organizations. She has been a dedicated volunteer with organizations committed to assisting individuals suffering with drug addiction, alcohol abuse and domestic violence.   Ms. Smiley received her Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.


Wednesday, February 8
Time Location Group
8:00 – 9:00am Usdan 136 Debbie Colucci, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Antonio Farias, Title IX Officer
9:00 – 10:00am Usdan 136 Debbie Colucci, Investigator
Paul Verrillo, Investigator
Rick Culliton, Dean of Students
Kevin Butler, Assistant Dean of Students
10:00 – 11:00am Usdan 136 Administrative Hearing Panel members
11:00 – noon Usdan 136 Lunch with the Deans
Louise Brown, Class of ’17
Renee Johnson-Thornton, Class of ’18
Jennifer Wood, Class of ’19
David Phillips, Class of ’20
Laura Patey, Student Academic Resources
12:15 – 1:45pm Shanklin 107 All Campus Open Forum – Faculty, Staff, Student
2:00 – 3:00pm Usdan 136 CT Alliance / Women & Family Services Staff
3:00 – 4:30pm Usdan 136 TIX Core Committee*
4:30 – 5:00pm Usdan 136 TIX Student Advisory Committee*
Thursday, February 9
Time Location Group
8:00 – 9:00am Woodhead Lounge TIX Policy & Education Committees*
9:00 – 10:00am Woodhead Lounge TIX Athletic Committee* and coaches
10:15 – 10:45am Woodhead Lounge Angel Riddle, student Title IX web site
Rebecca Hutmann, WSA President
additional WSA students
10:45 – 11:45am Woodhead Lounge Women’s Faculty Caucus
11:45am – 12:45pm Woodhead Lounge Lunch with Residence Life Student Staff
1:00 – 2:00pm Woodhead Lounge Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (FCRR)
2:00 – 3:00pm Woodhead Lounge Academic Affairs
Joyce Jacobsen, Provost / VP Academic Affairs
Mark Hovey, Associate Provost
Sheryl Culotta, Associate Provost
Marc Eisner, Dean of  Social Sciences
Ellen Nerenberg, Dean of Arts & Humanities
Joe Knee, Dean of Natural Sciences & Math
3:15 – 4:15pm Woodhead Lounge Sexual Violence Resources
Alysha Warren, Therapist and SART Coord.
Lex Spirtes, SART Intern
Invited student survivors
4:15 – 5:15pm Woodhead Lounge Middletown Police: Captain Gary Wallace

Resources to help you support undocumented students

Dear Colleagues,

On the issue of supporting undocumented students, I’d urge to consider the resources provided by CT Students for a Dream (C4D), the undocumented student-run organization we brought to campus November 4th to have just the kind of conversations and address the concerns being raised on this list serve.  Over 150 educators and experts from around Connecticut were on campus in what, through hindsight, became a just-in-time event.

As educators, you’ll find this link an invaluable resource: http://www.ct4adream.org/educator-resources

Both Student Affairs and OEI are open to brining back elements of the C4D team to conduct a focused 2-hour workshop for Wesleyan educators. If you’re interested, please sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/y9gLJAcEJB87CCU62

The Office for Equity & Inclusion along with a network of support offices on campus has been discussing the issue of how to create a robust network of support, and build educational competencies to support DACA students since President Roth’s announcement in May.  If you are interested in learning more and being part of the ongoing CT-based network of educators, please indicate your interest in the query form above.

Also, as a reminder, the campus has a wide array of resources and professionals in Human Resources and the Office for Equity & Inclusion,  whose daily work is to combat discrimination, bigotry, and workplace harassment while we work on creating an inclusive educational work environment – we are a phone call, office drop-in, email away.

On the self–service shelf, you’ll find resources here as well: http://equity.wesleyan.edu/2016/11/17/resources-to-combat-discrimination-and-bigotry/

With gratitude,
Vice President for Equity & Inclusion/Title IX Officer

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


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


The Danger of a Single Story


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race


Race Forward


Southern Poverty Law Center



Hate Crime Laws



Racial Equality Tools


Gender Bias:

Gender Values: Meeting the Challenge for STEM Gender Diversity


Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES)


Understanding gender bias


Civic Engagement and Diversity:

Research on engaging across different points of view


Diversity & Democracy


Why social equity and justice are hard



True Colors Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services:


Transgender Resources:



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:


Yale Center for Faith and Dialogue:



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.

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