Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism: Progress Toward Goals

Office of the President

Dear Graduate Center community,

As we approach the end of the year, we want to update you on The Graduate Center’s progress toward achieving the diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals that were laid out this past spring.

These include infusing our work with greater awareness of intolerance and injustice; convening safe spaces for dialogue and action; and evaluating our policies to ensure that they align with stated diversity and equity goals.

To achieve these goals, we established three working groups consisting of members of the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and others in our community. The three groups met throughout the fall to develop strategies and actions. They presented their recommendations to the senior staff last week and led a very positive and rich discussion.

Some of the recommendations will be enacted in the coming spring semester. Others will serve to catalyze broader discussion and may require additional planning and resources to implement. We look forward to sharing the recommendations with The Graduate Center community early in the new year, and then to mapping the next steps for implementation.

An important first step in this process is understanding the current climate. We invite you to read the report, “Views and Perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion: Voices of Students, Faculty, and Staff,” which was recently produced by the Diversity and Inclusion Study Working Group on behalf of the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. This report presents the results of a 2018 qualitative study that engaged 46 faculty, students, and staff in focus groups and interviews. The study revealed that despite stated intentions of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, continued and increased effort will be needed to carry these out through our everyday practices, including teaching, recruitment, student support, and overall administration.

Many programs, departments, and centers are already engaged in this important work. They have established committees, policies, and priorities regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. One of the next steps will be to inventory these efforts and create mechanisms for sharing effective approaches and actions.

We are deeply grateful to all who have generously invested time, creativity, and energy into ensuring that The Graduate Center sets the standard for anti-racism, and for creating an inclusive community in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. Important, frank conversations and hard work lie ahead, but we are committed to achieving ambitious and vital goals.

With best wishes,

Robin L. Garrell

Martin D. Ruck
Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity and Inclusion
Professor of Psychology and Urban Education

Submitted on: DEC 16, 2020

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