Cultural Competency and Anti-Racism Training
As President David Fithian indicated in his June 18, 2020, letter to the campus community, we are committed to implementing training and practices that will make equity, diversity, and inclusion truly shared responsibilities at Clark. Our related steps thus far include the following:
Clark’s Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion (CODI), the Dean of the College, and the Dean of Students are working together to provide anti-racism training before summer’s end for all student mentors (peer mentors, residential advisers, ACE/Connections mentors). Peer mentors would then moderate discussions based on this training with first-year students.
The University is pursuing a partnership with several nearby colleges and universities to expand Clark’s award-winning Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP) on campus and beyond. This program supports cultural competency and awareness-building for staff, faculty, and graduate students. The program typically attracts about 100 to 120 Clark representatives per year. We think it can be readily adapted for an online instructional format and thereby reach more people on our campus more quickly. Nearby institutions have expressed interest in partnering with Clark so that their own community members can join Clark in the program.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) has been in contact with the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) to build an anti-racism training program for Clark, starting with senior leadership (as we pledged in our June 18 email). The model of the NCCJ, a human relations organization that promotes inclusion and acceptance through education and advocacy, helps build inclusive organizations for diverse perspectives. We look forward to growing from the experience.
Updates as of Sept. 23, 2020:
- Four 3-hour trainings were completed with 135 student leaders (ACE Mentors, Connections Mentors, Orientation Coordinators, Peer Mentors, Resident Advisors, and Athletic Team Leaders).
- Facilitators Training with Peer Mentors to support DEI-related discussions with first-year students.
- Partnership with educational tech company, EVERFI, to deliver required DEI module for all incoming first-year students. Module was also made available for all incoming graduate students.
- Clark Navigator DEI unit for first-year students.
- A total of 14 sessions have been confirmed and will be delivered for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Facilitators include internal and external DEI experts across a variety of subject areas. The program will launch in October for all Clark University employees. More information to follow regarding registration. Also, Worcester State has confirmed it will be sending a cohort of 15 employees to participate in the program. Note: Due to social-distancing protocols, the Diversity Inclusion and Certificate Program will be delivered exclusively online.
- Partnered with the NCCJ to deliver two 2-day anti-racism programs for academic, administrative, and staff leadership and the Faculty Steering Committee across the coming months. Topics include foundational learning on race and racism, intersectionality and identity, understanding implicit bias and micro-aggressions, modernizing language, and advocating for change.