Commitment: Launch a Bias Education Response Team
All reports of bias will be managed by the Bias Education Response Team, which will conduct investigations, adjudicate reports and determine actions and responses to incidents. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has worked extensively across campus to present to campus partners a new vision for Bias Response with more than 15 presentations made to students, faculty and staff.
The committee, made up of faculty and staff, began meeting in September 2020 to review and revise the existing bias reporting process to be adapted by the Bias Education and Support Team (BEST). This new framework was presented to campus leadership in December 2020. Subsequent presentations focused on faculty governance groups including FCC, Advisory and FEHC. Presentations were also held with the DEI Advisory Committee (formerly MCCL) and staff groups, including OPC and Counseling Services. Presentations to Student Senate occurred in April 2021. Feedback from each of the sessions has been incorporated into the drafting of the FAQ’s and this will continue through summer 2021. A final draft was then shared with legal counsel for review in April 2021.
A full-day training delivered by a team from TNG/ATIXA was held on February 22, 2021. Thirty faculty and staff who may serve as future hearing panelists and appeals officers participated in this training, developing their awareness with regard to how issues of microaggressions, bias, and cultural competence impact our campus, along with practical techniques to respond to and de-escalate situations as they arise. This training increased the pool of trained and capable partners in the BEST process, a necessary element in the implementation process. The BEST process has been updated and is now being co-chaired by the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Assistant Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Coordinator.
Commitment: Ensure DEI efforts are reflected in staff performance reviews
The College will ensure that participation in professional development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and efforts toward building an anti-racist Mount Holyoke, are included in annual conversations and performance reviews, and that such efforts by staff are appropriately valued in opportunities for professional advancement.
May 2023 Updates
- Professional development participation continues to increase within the College. The human resources department is exploring the Summit Initiative to leverage performance-management tools in order to ensure DEI efforts are reflected in the professional development of staff.
- Seventy-five faculty and staff members have participated in professional development and training sessions led by the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA) throughout 2022. Below are examples of the sessions:
- Board Strategies to Achieve Racial Equity.
- Centering Racial Equity in Your Student Success Agenda.
- Reducing Implicit Bias in the Search and Hiring Process.
- Dismantling Persistent Racial Equity Problems in STEM.
- Division of Student Life all-staff meetings:
- In September, student life hosted Shawn Ginwright, professor of Africana studies at San Francisco State University and author, in collaboration with the other Five College student affairs areas in early September to discuss his book “The Four Pivots.”
- In February, psychologist and author Dr. Rahimeh Andalibian facilitated training to increase knowledge and understanding of students who are neurodiverse. In March, Trisha Tanner, executive director of the Alumnae Association, discussed the association’s strategic plan and opportunities for collaboration.
- At a bonus meeting in February, Dr. Zoe Ragouzeos — AVP of Student Mental Health, executive director of Counseling and Wellness Services at NYU and president and advisor to the Mary Christie Institute — discussed emerging best practices in mental health and wellness of young adults within higher education.
- All College health services staff participated in BOOM! annually in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
- Monthly College health services staff trainings with a DEI focus, called “Breakfast and Book Club,” were held 2020 through 2023:
- AY ’20–’21 completed “The Racial Healing Workbook” in fall of 2020; “1619 Project” (the Common Read) in spring of 2021.
- AY ’21–’22 “The Fire This Time” (the Common Read) was discussed throughout the year.
- AY ’22–’23 “Braiding Sweetgrass” (the Common Read) in fall of 2022; “Racial Considerations in Health Care” TED Talk series in spring of 2023.
- The College health services director attended two half-day conferences related to diversity and equity in health care in May and November of 2021 and participated in the Posse retreat in February 2023.
- College health services medical providers attend a variety of continuing education programs with a focus on diversity and equity. Examples include: dermatological diagnosis in patients of color, contraception considerations for patients with disabilities, mental health for TGNC patients, HIV/PreP training.
- All College Health Services staff members have a minimum of one annual goal that relates to DEI since AY ’21–’22 when the new CHS director began in that role.
- LITS staff participated in extended trainings and facilitated discussions as part of Anti-Racism in Academia (ARIA) https://ariajourney.org/.
- LITS staff have engaged with the Posse Plus Retreat and the first restorative justice retreat.
- LITS all staff meetings in spring 2022 and 2023 featured the SANS Neurodiversity Cybersecurity Summit.
Commitment: Ensure DEI efforts by faculty are evaluated
The Office of the Dean of Faculty will work with faculty governance bodies in 2020–2021 to ensure that faculty anti-racism efforts and professional development are evaluated in the holistic review of teaching and form a part of academic review processes in the future.
A new faculty anti-racism reporting section was added to the Faculty Activity and Service Summary (FASS), which is completed by each faculty member. This form provides the basis for annual conversations within each department and for annual reporting by department chairs. The annual report guidelines for department chairs have been updated to include specific language about anti-racism and are now in the implementation stage. Individual faculty are now asked to include discussion of their diversity, equity, and inclusion work in their Faculty Activity and Service Summary and department chairs will include a summary of their department's efforts in their annual report.
Commitment: Launch employee affinity-based dialogue groups and events
The College launched an ongoing series of employee affinity-based dialogue groups and events in fall 2020. To date, these affinity-based dialogues have been:
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Black: Throughout summer 2020, and in April 2021.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Latinx: September 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogues for faculty and staff who are caregivers: October 2020 and December 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogues for faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ: October 2020, January 2021, and April 2021.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as transgender and gender nonconforming: November 2020.
- Affinity-based dialogue for faculty and staff who identify as Asian/Asian-American/Asian Pacific Islander/South East Asian scheduled for June 2021.
Other affinity based moments for the Fall included our Friday lunchtime Brown Bag Series which brought together faculty and staff groups for the following topic based discussion:
- 1619 Project Dialogue for BIPOC identified faculty and staff.
- 1619 Project Dialogue for White faculty and staff as Allies.
The College will continue to build upon this effort with ongoing affinity-based dialogues expanding the program to support BIPOC and community members from other underrepresented groups to provide ongoing support to diverse populations of community members.
New Affinity-based dialogues will begin in the fall of 2023.
Commitment: Reimagining campus safety
Public Safety and Service is a part of the Division of Student Life and is committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all and to fostering a campus environment that is rooted in understanding and respect.
- With the exception of campus emergencies, Public Safety and Service no longer posts outside campus buildings.
- Implicit bias and other social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion trainings are being reviewed and assessed in the performance evaluations of all staff members.
- New policies and procedures are being created to define when students might anticipate the presence of Public Safety and Service in residence halls.
- In collaboration with the Reimagining Campus Safety Committee, Public Safety and Service developed, reviewed and revised several policies related to student interactions in the residence halls and on campus.
May 2023 Updates
- Public Safety and Service included diversity training as part of the performance review markers in 2022 for staff yearly evaluation. We will continue to work on achievement goals as indicators.
- Public Safety and Service department training 2023:
- Trauma-Informed Policing.
- Responding to Hate Crimes.
- Duty to Intervene.
- Officers Responding to Interpersonal Violence.
- Behavioral Intervention Team Training.
- CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Training — DMH.
Commitment: Expand Counseling Service’s capacity to support and treat BIPOC students
From August 2020 through June 2021, the Counseling Service is conducting a bi-weekly inservice on anti-racism and the treatment of the trauma of racism.
May 2023 Updates
- Counseling Service has continued to work on optimizing opportunities to hire, support and retain clinicians with lived BIPOC experience and expertise in working with BIPOC students and the trauma of racism.
- Counseling Service continues to offer numerous groups for students with marginalized identities. Groups include: TransFormation (students of trans* experience, including those exploring or questioning their gender identities and those who identify explicitly as transgender, nonbinary, agender, +), Living with Chronic Illness and Deeper than Skin (Asian identified students).