Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
Equity, diversity and inclusion. These are more than just three words expressing commitment.
They are integral to our experiences and actions within the College of Humanities and Sciences. Commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion promotes experiences and fuels behaviors that support a welcoming and affirming environment for students, staff and faculty. Whether diversity is based on perspectives, life experiences, cultural backgrounds, social identities and other unique expressions, it makes for a better place to work, to teach and learn, to conduct research and to engage with our local community.
Equity is also expressed in our commitment to and mutually respectful engagement with our local community that has historically faced social inequities in education, health, employment and housing.
We are especially committed to increasing equity for underrepresented minority groups and other protected identities that have historically experienced inequity and lack of representation in higher education.
- New associate dean role with responsibility for EID
- Implemented early roll-out of the university’s strategic hiring plan to increase faculty diversity and inclusion in the College
- Greater recognition of EID work among faculty by including categories for EID (along with community engagement) in scholarship, teaching and service on faculty annual review
- Established Leaders in Inclusive Learning program that uses a train-the-trainer model to train faculty in inclusive pedagogy throughout College
- Appointed a special assistant to review equity issues and make recommendations regarding term faculty
- Convened Community Advisory Council of stakeholders and leaders in Richmond with a focus on equity and diversity
- Developed EID strategic goals for College
- Established EID committees in all but one department
- Established EID website
- Established funding for department EID committees
- Implemented EID programing for Dean's Office
- Recognize time commitment of major EID service in College or university by establishing equity leader’s professional development funds
- Email and town hall communication from dean regarding emotionally difficult and societal events
- Conducted a racial equity assessment (in partnership with leadership group in Grace Harris Leadership Group) to understand and address perceived racial inequities
- Established four College awards for excellence in equity, diversity and inclusion
- Dean’s Office established closer collaboration with IDEC (CHS’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee) to engage students, staff, faculty and community members in timely topics through the Diversity Dialogues and IDEC’s speaker series
- Convened and supported Latinx Faculty/Staff Interest Group to address issues relevant to Latinx faculty, staff and students
- Convened and supported race, racism and antiracism scholarship group for faculty and staff interested in topic
- Established funding to support equity in professional development for staff
- Retained minoritized faculty
- Provided financial support for space for minoritized students to increase inclusiveness and feelings of belongingness
- Collaboration with several units on EID activities
- Include equity, inclusion and diversity statements on all course syllabi
- Develop guidelines that account for equitable rewards for service
- Increase faculty participation in inclusive pedagogy, including decolonization of curriculum
- Implement inclusive hiring practices to increase the number of underrepresented minority staff and faculty
- Provide increased opportunities for involvement and engagement of CHS staff and faculty to help strengthen social equity in the community
- Incorporate assessments of faculty (e.g., annual review, promotion and tenure) to account for inclusion and diversity in teaching, service and research
- Increase student input in equity, inclusion and diversity and community-engaged activities within the College
The College of Humanities and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (IDEC) highlights, coordinates, promotes and institutes efforts across all CHS units that foster respect, greater understanding, engagement and inclusion of all its members.
Visit the IDEC web page for more information.
We invite you to join us in showing your commitment by practicing these values.
Equity is the process of ensuring that procedures and programs are impartial and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. It ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities and recognizes we don't all start from the same place because some groups have more advantages and others face more barriers. Equity corrects for this imbalance.
The concept and practices of inclusion are about providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might be otherwise excluded or marginalized. It involves treating all individuals with fairness and respect. Inclusion involves power-sharing and empowerment, which is honoring and respecting the voices, talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living of everyone.
Diversity refers to practices that involve understanding and appreciating the qualities and experiences of those who differ from us. Diversity recognizes that systematic discrimination creates and maintains privileges for some and disadvantages for others. It, therefore, has as its focus different people working together to eradicate discrimination and social injustice. Diversity includes but is not limited to culture, race/ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, immigrant status and socioeconomic class.
We must be intentional about EID as seen through commitment and behaviors, including:
- how we teach and train students
- how students live and learn
- how faculty, staff and students interact with each other
To this end, the College has devised a list of short-term goals for equity, inclusion and diversity for July 2021 through December 2022. The CHS goals are in alignment with several of VCU's Quest 2025 themes and goals and include strategies and metrics.
Visit the EID Strategic Goals page for further information.
Community Action Council
The overall mission of College of Humanities and Sciences Community Action Council is to advance partnerships between faculty, staff and students within CHS and local community organizations, businesses and governmental entities.
The Community Action Council works closely with CHS faculty, staff and students to:
- set an agenda and prioritize initiatives around community engagement in the community and the College
- identify disparities and social justice inequities within the community and ways to reduce these
- provide feedback to administrators, faculty and staff on activities and initiatives related to community engagement
- identify opportunities for students to work with organizations, and other entities within the metro Richmond community
- help to identify resources for CHS and community organization
Visit the Community Action Council page to view and learn more about its members.
Units with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committees
- Cpt. Ian Ramsey
- Diane Stewart-Frausto
Check out Dr. Belgrave's curated list of resources from academic and popular media to help CHS faculty and staff incorporate equity, inclusion and diversity into their professions and workplaces.
- Call Me By My Name: VCU makes its commitment to inclusion real by recognizing that individuals have the right to use names other than their legal name, to identify with the gender they know themselves to be and to utilize the pronouns that best fit them
- College of Humanities and Sciences Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee: Highlights, coordinates, promotes and institutes efforts across all units within the College that foster respect, greater understanding, engagement and inclusion of all its members
- Guide to pronoun best practices
- VCU Center for Learning and Teaching Success and Faculty Success: Workshops for faculty on inclusion, diversity, equity and social justice
- VCU Climate Report: A diversity and inclusion campus rating system that provides diversity, inclusion and engagement scores for each major unit on campus
- VCU Division for Inclusive Excellence: Leads the university’s efforts to strengthen our core mission and culture of inclusion and diversity
- VCU Iexcel Education: A course and program compendium that is invested in cultivating a university environment that is empowering, fair and supportive for all
- VCU Office of Multicultural Student Affairs: Promotes an appreciation of diversity through events, forums, scholarships and more
- VCU Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity: Provides accommodations to eligible students with disabilities
- VCU Office of the Ombudsperson: An independent dispute resolution practitioner for faculty, staff and students
- VCU policy on preventing and responding to discrimination
- VCU Safe Zone: Workshops to reduce homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and heterosexism at VCU
- Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: A partnership which facilitates programming and workshops to achieve success through inclusion
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Highlights
Jan. 10, 2022
The grant is the largest in the history of VCU’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.
Dec. 7, 2021
Class of 2021: Winfred Walker is an advocate for racial equity at VCU and better representation in comics
The College of Humanities and Sciences student aims to help create a more racially just society through his work in the community and his research.
Nov. 29, 2021
The program honors the legacy of Karenne Wood, a member of the Monacan Indian tribe and a poet, activist, tribal historian and educator who lectured at VCU on many occasions.
Equity and inclusion: our core values
Our diversity makes us stronger as a living and learning community, and we strive to create a College that provides meaningful opportunities for all people and that celebrates diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives.