Diversity and inclusion
Diversity is important to us here at the VCU School of Education. We appreciate the unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives that each of our faculty, staff and students bring to the table, and recognize how much we all can learn from one another.
That's why we are committed to creating an welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone, and why we teach our students to do the same in their own classrooms.
Examples of our commitment to diversity include our recent “Race and Education, K-16 and Beyond: Past, Present and Future Possibilities” event, which encouraged discourse — both reflective and forward-thinking — among our students, faculty, staff and the community on the role race plays in schools and in classrooms.
To continue these important conversations, we've also created, "Conversations with the Dean on Power and Privilege", a series of special sessions where Dr. Daire, faculty, staff and students can discuss relevant issues of diversity and inequality.
We're also planning a "teach-in" event for the upcoming fall semester: a week-long initiative during which our professors will explore issues of race, social justice and equality in the context of their courses' regular curriculum.
In addition, our Rainbow Educators at VCU student organization also raises awareness towards LGBTQIA issues that occur within K-12 public schools. Open to all School of Education students, the group provides training and informational sessions to help future teachers make their classrooms a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQIA students.
Diversity and inclusion committee members
- Serra De Arment (Co-chair), Department of Counseling and Special Education
- Brendan Dwyer, Center for Sport Leadership
- Tomika Ferguson, Department of Educational Leadership
- Jenna Lenhardt, Office of Strategic Communications and Enrollment Management
- Hillary Parkhouse, Department of Teaching and Learning
- Adai Tefera (Co-chair), Department of Foundations of Education
- Colleen Thoma, Office of the Dean
- Jeffery Wilson, Department of Educational Leadership
- Melissa Cuba, Department of Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, Culture and Change doctoral student
- Ashlee Lester, Department of Foundations of Education, Educational Psychology doctoral student
- David Naff, Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC)
- Emiola Oyefuga, Department of Educational Leadership, doctoral student
Diversity at VCU
Diversity is far from just a School of Education initiative, however; in fact, it's one of the primary missions of VCU. In 2012, the university established its Division for Inclusive Excellence, an on-campus unit solely dedicated to maintaining a culturally-diverse environment at VCU.
Likewise, the university's Office of Multicultural Student Affairs organizes cultural programs, discussion groups, student organizations and more to help students from other cultures feel at home at VCU. Previous OMSA initiatives include a Hispanic Heritage Month and an LGBTQ discussion group.
The university also sponsors a Recruitment Inclusive Champion program, which trains representatives across campus in a range of hiring process strategies designed to encourage and inform diversity efforts in faculty searches.
Among the most diverse and vibrant campuses in the U.S., VCU received the first-ever Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.