Vice Provost Melissa Gilliam: Become Involved in the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

To: Members of the University Community
From: Melissa Gilliam, Vice Provost for Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity
Subject: Become Involved in the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
Date: November 7, 2017

As part of the University’s new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, which President Zimmer and Provost Diermeier introduced in a recent campus message, we are developing new ways for the University community to engage on these issues.  If you have not read the description of the Initiative’s initial activities, I encourage you to do so. We invite you join our listserv to stay up to date on the Initiative as it develops, and visit our website for information and resources. In addition, many of you have asked how to get involved. The campus-wide Initiative is open to everyone. Here are some ways you can start to participate:

Register for Hearing One Another. Hearing One Another is a two-hour workshop that helps participants gain skills in communicating and listening across difference in order to create more cohesive and collaborative environments. Developed by behavioral scientists and The Second City, Hearing One Another is offered by the Harry L Davis Center for Leadership in collaboration with the Provost’s Office. This quarter, Hearing One Another was rolled out to all incoming first-year students. Read about Hearing One Another here and request a workshop for a class, unit, department, or group.

Apply for a small grant. Members of our campus community have insights and ideas for making their local environments and the campus community more inclusive.  A small grants program, open to all members of the campus community, will help the University develop and implement new ideas to promote a more inclusive campus climate. Read the call for proposals here.

Join a working group on student experience. Working groups of key stakeholders will help accelerate change on issues identified in the 2016 Campus Climate Survey, drawing upon human-centered design and solution-oriented strategies. Initial groups will focus on the experiences of students of color, students from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds, and LGBTQ+ students. More groups will roll out over time. Apply to join a working group here.

The activities set forth in the Initiative reflect the University of Chicago’s fundamental commitment to creating a campus that is broadly diverse and truly inclusive. Success depends on participation by the campus community, and we will continue to let you know about opportunities for involvement. Please lend your ideas, effort, and experience to bring this initiative to life.  Join the listserv to stay abreast of the progress and become involved.