Takeelia Garrett, student ombuds, serves as one of the institute's
facilitators. Garrett has led presentations on microaggressions,
implicit bias and a general introduction to diversity, equity and
inclusion (DEI) work. She said the workshops are a two-way conversation.
"Just as much as we are teaching, we are also gaining from
others," Garrett said. "The examples that are shared during
sessions make you think about things that you may not have thought of
before, and that enriches the presentation and discussion."
Marlene Kowalski-Braun, associate vice president for Inclusion and
Equity, said the catalyst for the institute was past
employer-inclusive recruiting conferences, a partnership between the
Division of Inclusion and Equity and the Career Center.
"There are a lot of organizations in the area where one person
is responsible for doing the equity work," she said. "This
was a way for the university to serve the community and offer space
for shared learning around an organization's social justice path."
That led to building what Kowalski-Braun called a "rich
tapestry" of faculty and staff members and several community
leaders who are passionate and committed to facilitating dynamic
spaces for learning. She said the facilitators bring knowledge and
humility to the space, leaving room for each person to show up as
teacher and learner.
Programs offered for the campus community
include Queer and Trans 101; Anti-Racism, White Consciousness; and
Speak Up! Campus Climate Concerns, among others. Custom workshops are available.
Chastity Bailey-Fakhoury, associate professor and program coordinator
of educational foundations, has facilitated workshops and said she
enjoys contributing to expanding a "community of equity-minded
people." Bailey-Fakhoury has led presentations on equity
leadership and creating inclusive spaces, among others. She hopes
faculty and staff see these presentations as a way to move beyond
one's comfort zone.
"I hope that the campus community gains a desire to move out of
one’s comfort zones, to interrogate one’s identities, and to
continuously connect self to systems, structures, histories and the
converse," she said. "Ultimately, my hope is that people
will be ignited to act in ways that are courageous, justice and liberating."
Keep updated with new program offerings and other news from the
Inclusion and Equity Institute by filling out this online form to receive updates and a newsletter.