Advancing Campus Work On Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dominican University of California will close on Friday, June 18, in observation of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery.

When Dominican’s senior leadership declared Juneteenth – June 19 – a University holiday last year, they affirmed that “making Dominican a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community” was a campus priority and would guide further planning and professional development offerings. Each year, the Dominican community is urged to devote the day to reflection, action, and education about dismantling racism and racial inequity.

Juneteenth memorializes June 19, 1865. On that day, a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they had been freed — more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The University is committed to engaging in anti-racism conversations, outreach, and training to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus and beyond. Much of this work is driven by the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), in partnership with the Diversity Action Group (DAG) – a standing committee of faculty, staff, and students. ODEI also partners with the Associated Students of Dominican University (ASDU) to support the student experience in three primary areas: programming, education, and advocacy.

"The leadership teams of ODEI, DAG, and ASDU have engaged the campus in critical discussions about race, identity, and belonging. This work, so clearly aligned with Dominican’s mission, has established safe spaces that invite reflection, candid conversation, and deep learning," says Dominican President Mary B. Marcy. "It is essential that this work continue, and I am grateful for the vision and insight of our campus leaders who have laid the foundation for continued growth and reconciliation."

This past academic year, ODEI Director Stacy Davidson collaborated with DAG to finalize the University’s five-year Strategic Diversity Plan (SDP). Released in April, the SDP highlights seven key dimensions essential to the University’s work in creating an equitable and inclusive institutional environment by 2025. These are: community; vocation; structure; training; language; uplifting unheard voices; and celebration. Within each of the seven dimensions, the plan identifies the 2020 starting point, the 2025 target, and the offices responsible for guiding the work.

Advancing campus work on diversity, equity, and inclusion was the central topic of Dominican’s faculty and staff retreat last fall. Following the retreat, all full-time faculty and staff were required to attend at least one professional development event on diversity and equity.

In the past year, ODEI Director Davidson has produced more than 15 diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings/workshops attended by more than 400 faculty, staff, students, and Trustees. Workshops have covered a wide variety of issues, including cultural appropriation, conversations around race, gender identity, identifying and combating microaggressions, and intercultural communication.

ODEI Director Davidson also has developed a Bias Incident Reporting Process and Bias Incident Report form that anyone who has experienced or witnessed a hate, bias, or racist incident can submit a report to the University.

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