Build a diverse, equitable and inclusive community

The group’s scope includes:

  • Recruitment, retention, and development of faculty, students and staff
  • Campus climate
  • Thriving of constituents on campus
  • Inclusion and belonging in all learning environments
  • Fostering inclusive communities on and off campus

Group Members

Juan Baena ’06, Office of Alumni Relations
Ethan Barron, Department of Athletics
Leticia Haynes ’99, Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Gretchen Long, Department of History and Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Molly Magavern, Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Tarun Yadav ’21, Student

The college has, over the decades, diversified its student body, faculty, and staff. We aspire to be diverse because understanding and respect across cultures throughout the world is essential and because “encountering differences is at the heart of the educational enterprise.” We aspire to be equitable so that all members of our community may take full advantage of the educational opportunities and resources that the college has to offer. We aspire to be inclusive so that the members of our community are welcome, valued, and supported and feel a sense of belonging. We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably intertwined with educational and institutional excellence.

This working group is charged to develop higher-level goals and strategies concerning:

  • What it means for our initiatives, programs, curricular, co-curricular offerings and built environment to serve our diverse community;
  • How we embrace optimal practices for engaging members of the community in ways that respect the identities, experiences and needs of community members so that they have a strong sense of belonging;
  • What it means for our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to reach in and beyond the classroom and include the broader Berkshire Country and neighboring communities where our students, faculty and staff often engage and live.

The working group will consider the following questions:

  • How do we come to understand the experiences of all members of our community?
  • How do we encourage and support meaningful discourse so that we highlight challenges for consideration and emerge with opportunities for action, and while maintaining a safe and inclusive community?
  • How can we ensure that all members of the community are heard and represented?
  • How can we best study and highlight the college’s history, particularly regarding evolving understandings of its mission and who it serves?
  • How do we facilitate or support learning about identities and experiences so that all members of the community are engaged lifelong learners and citizens?
  • How do we empower members of the community to engage in meaningful exchange and action around issues of local, national and international import that impact our sense of belonging?
  • How do we facilitate communication with individuals on and off campus regardless of ability, language, or opportunity to access information?
  • How do we ensure our built environment reflects our principles of inclusivity such that buildings and spaces are accessible and welcoming to all?

Like all working groups, we will collaborate with the Office of the President on a list of resources needed for its work, including internal data sets and models from peer institutions. In addition, we will:

  • Develop an open and inclusive process for gathering input from all sectors of the campus;
  • Develop a communications strategy throughout the fall and early spring of 2019-20;
  • Coordinate with other relevant working groups and the Coordinating Committee as necessary;
  • Recognize that resources are limited and thinking carefully about ways to achieve programmatic change without necessarily increasing total spending;
  • Operate with the understanding that new initiatives may replace existing ones and thus an inventory of possible reductions/eliminations should be developed.