Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CHEL 104) Available May 2020

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CHEL-104)

Despite years of focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, many institutions have made little progress in creating real opportunity for people from low-income and diverse backgrounds. For example, corporate boards remain predominantly white and male. In an article from the New York Times on January 15, 2019, it is pointed out that, “The percentage of minorities and women on the boards of the largest public companies in the United States has edged up in the last two years, but ‘advancement is still slow’ and the bulk of corporate directors at such firms continue to be white men.” Also as noted in Inside Higher Ed, "A new analysis from Pew Research Center says that while racial and ethnic diversity has increased among U.S. college faculty over the past two decades, professors are still much more likely than their students to be white. In 2017, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics and looked at by Pew, 76 percent of all college and university faculty members were white, compared to 55 percent of undergraduates. By ethnic group, just 5 percent of faculty members were Hispanic, compared to 20 percent of students. Six percent of professors were black, compared to 14 percent of their students. Asians were the exception, making up 11 percent of professors and 7 percent of students." 

While it’s clear that some progress has been made, the political and social climate has clearly become more difficult since the 2016 election. White nationalism has reared its ugly head in places like Charlottesville and Richmond Virginia, as well as in the never-ending series of attacks on black people and other ethnic minorities across the country. A report released by the FBI in 2018 showed a 17 percent increase in hate crimes against religious and racial minorities, the largest increase since the terror attacks of 9/11.

This course provides participants the opportunity to explore their own areas of bias, and to develop an understanding of the divides that impact people's lives, as well as opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to advance in both higher education and the corporate sector. Participants will be encouraged to determine strategies that can be used on their own organization to address issues of bias, particularly in areas of hiring, and supporting co-workers and students.

Course Objectives

To provide  participants with evidence-based tools they can use to begin a process of understanding their own unconscious/implicit bias using the framework of radical empathy:

  • One: Willingness to be vulnerable
  • Two: Becoming grounded in who you are
  • Three: Opening yourself to the experiences of others
  • Four: Practicing empathy
  • Five: Taking action
  • Six: Creating change and building trust

Participants will be given an initial assessment in order to allow the instructors to determine the best approach for that group to address the issues they may be seeing in their personal lives and practice.

The course will use a combination of story-telling and conveying research results to educate participants in the following areas:

Racism and Privilege - The Impact of History

Patterns and Impacts of Racial Segregation 

Internalized Oppression

Educational disparities