Diversity collaborative seeks staff, faculty

The Campus Diversity Collaborative (CDC), which aims to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion issues at Washington University in St. Louis, is seeking new members among faculty and staff.

The CDC was founded in 2007 to make diversity and inclusion of all individuals, regardless of race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or gender, a priority.

“We encourage campus conversations about diversity and inclusion and foster a support network for Washington University professionals who work on diversity issues,” says Saida Bonifield, coordinator for LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership.

The collaborative aims to increase respect and value for diversity issues across the campus; help staff, students and faculty speak with confidence on diversity issues; collaborate with campus partners to reflect diversity in all areas, including curriculum, programming and community relations; and ensure the collaborative is current on theory practice and research on diversity and inclusion.

“We provide resources and tools that empower community members to build a tone of goodwill, along with the ability to talk frankly about issues of diversity, inclusivity and exclusivity,” Bonifield says.

Those tools range from generating conversations around diversity for professional education; diversity training for faculty, students and staff; opportunities for “train the trainer” sessions for those already involved in diversity education; to creating a training manual for those who want to hold their own diversity exercises.

The collaborative also serves students by supporting their diversity and inclusion efforts, acting as a resource and engaging all students on diversity issues.

Recent activities include holding a forum on bullying in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and providing language and questions for marketing and interviewing prospective staff.

The collaborative also launched and maintains a network of members who can respond to inquiries related to hate speech, harassment or discrimination.

Current members of the group besides Bonifield are: Lashawnda Fields, student services coordinator, Cornerstone; Julia Macias Garcia, assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, assistant director, Campus Life; Nicole Gore, assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; Jeff Grim, residential college director; Robin Hattori, program director of the Gephardt Institute; and Naomi Sigg, assistant director, Student Involvement and Leadership.

Faculty and staff who would like to learn more about the collaborative or participate in its efforts can email Bonifield at campusdiversity@wustl.edu or call (314) 935-8029.