Our Collective Responsibility

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.

How can we achieve this?

An Equitable, Diverse, Just and Inclusive Community is Our Individual and Collective Responsibility

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 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.

What steps can you take?

Bullet number 1.

Be conscious of the words you use and avoid making stereotypical comments and speak up about any harmful language used by others.

Bullet number two.

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.

Bullet number three.

Report any graffiti that is offensive or harmful and ask it to be removed in accordance with university policy.

Bullet number four.

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.

Bullet number five.

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.

Bullet number six.

As faculty, ensure that your syllabi explore these topics and include authors of color and white women.

Bullet number seven.

As students, challenge your faculty to explore these topics and include authors of color and white women.

Bullet number eight.

Initiate classroom discussions of terms such as anti-Blackness, transphobia, racism, intersectionality, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, equity and bias.

Bullet number nine.

Step outside your comfort zone to enhance your relationships with others and increase your awareness and ability to learn about EDJI.

Bullet number ten.

Contribute positively to an affirming and welcoming environment that will enhance discussion of EDJI issues.

Bullet number eleven.

Participate in a wide variety of EDJI events and programs sponsored by GSE and elsewhere in the University.

Bullet number twelve.

Make equity, diversity, justice and inclusion central to your work. Encourage respectful conversations and ability to engage in difficult dialogues.