Events and Programs

Two attendees in discussion during a break at the 2020 School of Education Research Colloquium.

The planned events and programs of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee are aligned with the structure of the committee's 2021-2022 Plan of Action. By following the plan's structure of curriculum, dialogue and resources, the committee aims to drive tangible transformation for the School of Education throughout the academic year.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Event Evaluation Form

Access the DE&I Event Evaluation Google Form at the link below.

Curriculum

Faculty Workshop: Decolonize Your Syllabi Series
This series will actively engage faculty, instructors and doctoral students in the process of syllabi decolonization; questioning whose voices are represented, identifying power structures, and de-centering Whiteness.

W1: Decolonizing the Syllabus: Now What? - This session will provide a review of the “Decolonize Your Syllabi” series from the 2020-2021 academic year. Faculty who have begun the process of transforming syllabi will model the process to assist with connecting content from the decolonization series to relevant course transformation. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the broader goals of decolonization efforts (i.e., continuing to focus on but also broadening our discussion beyond race-based efforts) to adjusting cultural and linguistic perceptions of power.

W2: Decolonizing the Unwritten Curriculum - This session will focus primarily on the norms, values and communication processes that surface during daily interaction, are powerful agents in shaping students’ and others experiences, and are often a part of the so-called “unwritten curriculum.” Participants will gain a better understanding of how they can apply decolonization techniques to professional practices beyond the syllabus such as writing, mentoring, advising and supervising.

W3: Transformed Syllabi, Spaces, and Relationships - This session will emphasize the power of applying decolonization principles to all aspects of academia. Challenges and successes will be shared to enhance the shift in mindset and practices needed to fully support decolonization efforts. The areas of need within SOE that we identify within Workshops 1 and 2 will further inform the objectives, scope and structure of Workshop 3.

From SOE to the Community: Joining Forces to Foster DEI beyond VCU

Faculty, staff and students who have benefited from participation in DEI events and training (e.g., Becoming an Antiracist Educator Series, Decolonizing Your Syllabi Workshops, UndocuAlly) will be able to apply for community project funds (NTE $500.00 per project); these grants will support projects to advance antiracism and decolonization work - especially work that centers DEI as it relates to the intersectional nature of community members’ identities. Project funds could support curriculum materials, professional learning opportunities, or other related expenses exclusive of payment to faculty, staff and students. Project funding recipients will present a written and oral summary of their work to advance antiracism and decolonization in academia.

Dialogue

Intergroup Dialogue Training/Certification for Anti-Racist Action
The purpose of this initiative is to explore how Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) can be a tool for anti-racist action and other intersecting identities, especially within the School of Education. Part I of this initiative will build upon prior knowledge in this area and will provide an intensive facilitation training for a select group of SOE community members (including staff, leadership, faculty and students) to become certified leaders with this dialogue method. Dr. B. Ratnesh Nagda will serve as the lead facilitator for the training. Part 2 of this initiative will provide an opportunity for newly certified IGD leaders to model IGD skills and facilitate training for other SOE stakeholders.

Book Discussions
The DEI Committee will host informal book discussions around selected books to further dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion. Books will expand equity conversations to include intersecting identities. Trained facilitators from the IGD Institute will model IGD skills as they lead and engage others in the discussions.

Making Meaning Meeting: Embracing Discomfort
The Making Meaning Meetings will provide a space to practice dialogue gleaned from DEI events and workshops and to become more comfortable disrupting discriminatory behavior as it is occurring. Attendees will break into informal small groups to respond to vignettes related to a variety of topics: e.g., white silence, ableism, sexism, not responding out of discomfort, using words and terminology that is not discriminatory, first-generation student needs.

Igniting Progress: Using My Voice to Respond to Resistance
Highlight five local/regional educators who will each give a 5-minute “TED Talk” presentation about their personal stories related to racial equity and resistance in education. Participants will engage in reflective dialogue to discuss how this critical topic impacts their antiracist work in education.

Exploring the Benefits of Affinity Groups
This session will explore the benefits of affinity groups by creating a safe space for dialogue. After addressing the what, when, why and how of creating affinity groups, participants will then participate in an affinity group to further develop ideas for implementation.

Resources

Clarity, Counteraction and CRT
The purpose of this resource (and possible interactive session) will be to provide information relative to addressing the critics of critical race theory. It is anticipated that the DEI Committee will collaborate with SOE leadership who have already started to strategize efforts to educate the SOE community.

Community Engagement Event
This is a collaborative community event with SOE, internal and external community partners. Our goal is to partner with internal VCU partners, community organizations, and local schools to host a collaborative community event to serve the shared needs of the Richmond metro community. This event will feature presentations from each of our community project funding recepients. Topics will center around intersectional identities such as race, disability, gender and sexual identity.

New Student Welcome Event
This annual spring event celebrates and welcomes graduate and undergraduate students to the SOE community who identify as underrepresented minorities.