GSE is committed to creating an equitable, diverse, just and inclusive community of faculty, students, staff and administrators where all feel welcomed, included, supported, empowered and have equal access to supports, services and opportunities that ensure learning and success.
The reality is that to truly create this environment – to make it more than an aspirational goal – individually, we will each have to invest the time, attention and effort needed to prioritize these efforts. This also requires that we work together in collaborative and effective ways. In the spirit of shared responsibility, we encourage each department, each unit, student group and each individual to do your part.
Whether we are in a school-wide event, a large class or small seminar, a faculty or staff meeting, walking from one office to another, or sitting in a lounge eating lunch, every GSE space is part of our learning community. As educators, we know that for students to succeed and demonstrate their full potential, they need an environment where they feel safe, seen, valued and respected. Anything less will become an obstacle to learning.
Too often, we hear an insensitive comment, witness microaggressions, or see a racist, sexist or homophobic slur written on a desk or bathroom wall but fail to act. Perhaps we don’t know how to respond or dismiss it as too minor to report. We must remember that no incident is too small as research has shown (CITE) that such events lead to more significant acts of bias or discrimination. Additionally, they contribute to a harmful, hostile and unwelcoming climate for anyone targeted by those actions and damage our ability to create an affirming, inclusive and just community.
Be conscious of the words you use and avoid making stereotypical comments and speak up about any harmful language used by others.
Speak out immediately to interrupt biased language, jokes and slurs. When you are silent or do not respond, you communicate agreement or support which is quite harmful. Not laughing is not enough.
Report any graffiti that is offensive or harmful and ask it to be removed in accordance with university policy.
Read widely in professional and popular literature that increases your multicultural competence and actively include works written by authors from diverse backgrounds, particularly people of color.
Increase your knowledge so you are able to share helpful and accurate information to reduce myths, bias and stereotype. Discuss the negative impact of these stereotypes and their impact on prejudicial attitudes and behavior.
As faculty, ensure that your syllabi explore these topics and include authors of color and white women.
As students, challenge your faculty to explore these topics and include authors of color and white women.
Initiate classroom discussions of terms such as anti-Blackness, transphobia, racism, intersectionality, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, equity and bias.
Step outside your comfort zone to enhance your relationships with others and increase your awareness and ability to learn about EDJI.
Contribute positively to an affirming and welcoming environment that will enhance discussion of EDJI issues.
Participate in a wide variety of EDJI events and programs sponsored by GSE and elsewhere in the University.
Make equity, diversity, justice and inclusion central to your work. Encourage respectful conversations and ability to engage in difficult dialogues.