Committee

The Denison Forward Committee was invaluable in the development of this plan. Through their hard work and efforts in campus-wide engagement, we were able to create planning that reflects the insights, challenges, and values of our full community. The committee was asked to be self-reflective and self-critical and to focus on crucial diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work to support students, faculty, and staff who have historically been underrepresented on our campus while adding an antiracism (A) agenda focused on majority groups to this work. We have transposed the DEIA acronym into IDEA to reflect positive forward thought and action.

From this vantage point, the Denison Forward task force assessed the institution from three subcommittee core areas: its people, practices, and possibilities.

The People Subcommittee was charged to research ways to invest in our people (students, faculty, and staff) through training, development, improved skill sets, and capacity-building.

The Practices Subcommittee was charged with reviewing the following: a) assessment of, reporting of, and responding to incidents of racism and other forms of bias; b) a university-wide learning framework for inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism; and c) university-wide policies, pedagogy, processes, and procedures through an equity-minded lens.

The Possibilities Subcommittee was charged with focusing on racial justice efforts that can come to fruition on and off campus, including equipping students of color, first-generation students, and historically marginalized groups with the tools they need to achieve economic and social mobility, and providing majority students with cultural competencies required to succeed professionally.

The subcommittees were asked to identify actions and initiatives to foster an environment where each member of the Denison community can thrive and feel that they have space for their identities, experiences, and perspectives.

We have both an opportunity and an obligation to address inequities on our campus. This work requires us to develop an awareness of existing inequalities and maintain targeted efforts to ensure all students, faculty, and staff have the tools they need to feel connected and valued, and to be successful. It also means we need to be a community where every member sees the IDEA focus as their responsibility and is committed to pushing back against racism and racial bias.

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