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Equity and Inclusion

Institutional Commitments Update, October 2020

October 07, 2020

In June, President Wiewel outlined nine Institutional Commitments the College would pursue as we work to diversify the campus and create an environment where all members of our community are seen, heard, and valued. The commitments reaffirm the importance of this work as one of the six goals in our institutional strategic plan, Exploring for the Global Good. Goal 4 is “strengthen our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.”

Over the last few months, the College has made progress fulfilling the commitments and moving toward achieving the goals we have set for ourselves. Each Institutional Commitment is linked to one of the four strategies within Goal 4 of the Strategic Plan. What follows is a summary of recent efforts to date, beginning this summer.

Strategy A

Build pathways to recruit and retain a diverse community with specific focus on members from historically underrepresented groups.

Related Institutional Commitments
  • Expand recruitment of Black and other students of color.

  • Seek additional scholarship funds to help enhance the diversity of the campus.

  • Allocate additional institutional and philanthropic funds to these and other initiatives.

Recent Work-to-date
College of Arts and Sciences

The efforts to continue to diversify our student body are ongoing. The CAS Admissions Office has created a task force charged with the goal of establishing closer ties with community-based organizations (CBOs) across the nation that provide services to historically underrepresented students who are pursuing higher educational opportunities. Vice President Staab is also adjusting the application policies that tend to hinder low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color from successfully completing their applications for admission, or attaining the financial support needed to enroll at Lewis & Clark College. The College has also partnered with the Washington, D.C. branch of the Posse Foundation, a national student leadership development program focused on serving students historically underserved in higher education. This partnership will guarantee the enrollment of 10 historically underrepresented students every year from the greater D.C. area. The College has received $300,000 in donor support for this program. The first cohort of Posse students will matriculate in the Fall 2021.

In addition, the CAS has partnered with the Oregon Alliance of Colleges on a successful 12-month, $50,000 Teagle Planning grant, aimed at building liberal arts transfer pathways from community colleges to independent colleges in Oregon.

Graduate School of Education and Counseling

The GSEC Diversity Committee is working with the GSEC Research and Assessment Office to review data on BIPOC students at every stage of the admissions process and through program completion. The GSEC’s new Director of Graduate Admissions is working on a new strategic recruitment plan that focuses on building new partnerships and recruiting in new areas to increase student diversity. The Associate Dean, Director of Graduate Admissions, and the Coordinator of the Teacher Pathways Program are working with VP Staab and Dean Figueroa on a pipeline recruitment plan for local and regional BIPOC students.

Dean Fletcher is working to expand the Dean’s Diversity Scholarship by at least $25,000 in support of recruitment efforts for 2021-22.

Law School

The law school has two named scholarships, the Nana Pao Scholarship and Roosevelt Robinson Scholarship, established to aid in the recruitment of students historically underrepresented in law schools.

Campuswide

In addition to working to diversify our student population, we also know the importance of diversifying our faculty and staff. An important step in this process is the recruitment and selection process. The College requires all

individuals who will serve on selection committees to complete Bias and Hiring Training. Over 250 faculty, staff and students have completed the training to date. These trainings, which focus on what bias is, how it

operates in searches, and how to limit it in the hiring process, continue to be offered on an ongoing basis.

Strategy B

Recognize, celebrate, and support all facets of each individual’s identity.

Related Institutional Commitments
  • Address classrooms where students experience marginalization, microaggressions, or intolerance with dialogue and training for faculty and staff to ensure an equitable learning environment.
  • Work with faculty on a more inclusive curriculum that engages the experience of the diverse community of students.
Recent Work-to-date
College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences in spring approved a new General Education curriculum that includes a new requirement titled “Culture, Power, and Identity,” a four-credit course requirement that “invites us to consider how broader structures of power interact with culture and/or identity to operate with respect to the varied histories and experiences within our community.” This fall, under the new General Education Director, Kundai Chirindo, and a steering committee, the CAS is implementing this requirement as part of our expanded General Education.

Graduate School of Education and Counseling

Every faculty meeting (monthly) begins with a “pedagogy hour” that focuses on instructional issues related to equity and inclusion. Faculty work in small groups on actual examples and case studies of classroom practice. Vignettes of students’ experiences (offered by students) are also used in these discussions.

Law School

The law school offers the following course that relate to DEI: Environmental Justice; Jurisprudence: Access to Justice; Poverty, Race, and the Law; Race and the Law; Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and Understanding Racism Dialogue (new this year); and Title IX Advocacy (new this year). 

Campuswide

The following trainings and engagements have been completed:

  • Graduate School of Education and Counseling (GSEC) Staff Trainings on Inclusive Work Environments and Microaggressions. The training focus was on personal biases, how to address them, and how to create an inclusive community.
  • Two CAS departments held discussions on how white supremacy and racism operate in their department and how they can create a more inclusive space for their colleagues and students.

  • The Rogers Research Group Anti-Racism Discussion was focused on racism within Portland and how that impacts their work and research.

  • The Pamplin Fellows Bias Training was focused on how bias can impact application reviews, and how to limit it in the application review process.

Strategy C

Provide opportunities for all members of our community to engage in reflective inquiry and to grow in the areas of inclusivity, respect, cultural curiosity, and cultural humility.

Related Institutional Commitments
  • Expand training for staff and faculty
  • Provide more opportunities for faculty to share research related to diversity, equity, and antiracist advocacy.
  • Increase campus events, workshops, speakers, and opportunities for engagement on issues related to equity, inclusion, and antiracism.
Recent Work-to-date
College of Arts and Sciences

This summer, Student Life had a diversity, equity, and inclusion in-service for the entire division and continues to work on development and planning efforts in this area, led by the newly formed Student Life Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The committee has established goals and objectives in line with the institutional strategic plan and has established expectations for staff engagement around DEI.

Graduate School of Education and Counseling

The Graduate School’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) offers a robust schedule of programming related to diversity and inclusion, directed at a variety of audiences, from practicing professionals to the general public. The CCE also houses the TransActive Gender Project, a national leader in providing professional development, policy analysis, and family support for gender diverse youth.

Graduate School staff focused their annual retreat on equity and inclusion with a presentation by Tori Leder, Assistant Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. GSEC staff also invited Jenn Burleton, Director of the TransActive Gender Project at our Center for Community Engagement, to conduct a workshop with them over the summer. Both were very successful and engaging professional development activities.

Law School

Three webinars this summer and fall deal with issues arising from or relating to police violence and protest against it: one on criminal justice, one on the First Amendment and protesting, and one on the relationship between police reform and collective bargaining agreements.

Additionally, two to four Opt-In sessions are offered annually which focus on diversity and inclusion topic. One webinar held in September was focused on Restoring Voter Rights. At least one faculty colloquia each year is sponsored by our DEI faculty committee.

Campuswide

The following trainings and engagements have been completed:

  • Summer Anti-Racism Discussion Groups offered twice weekly. The focus was on creating an anti-racist lens through dialogue about that week’s assignments. All assignments can be found on the Equity and Inclusion website.
  • Resident Advisor (RA) Training offered in collaboration with the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. The focus of the training was on power and privilege, identity, bias, and how it might influence the RA role.
  • Dismantling Racism Workbook Series. The focus of this series was working through the Dismantling Racism Workbook to empower employees to create cultural change that eliminates racism from their organizational environments.
  • Fall Anti-Racism discussion groups have started and will continue throughout the semester. These discussions are similar in focus to those offered during the summer.

The ONE L&C Employee Engagement Committee, an institution-wide committee charged with promoting a sense of community and belonging for employees of Lewis & Clark, is also collaborating with offices across campus to provide opportunities for professional development around issues of equity and inclusion.

The institution’s Committee on Equity and Inclusion has begun meeting and will be working on training and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. A schedule of training and professional development opportunities will be made available this fall.

Strategy D

Develop external partnerships that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Related Institutional Commitments

Support initiatives in all three schools, including the law school’s plans to partner with other law schools nationwide to establish a center and clinic on police accountability.

Provide incentive funding for faculty to partner with communities of color to address their areas of need through teaching and research projects in Portland and elsewhere.

Recent Work-to-date
College of Arts and Sciences

In Spring 2020, the Mellon Foundation announced that Lewis & Clark (along with the four other Northwest liberal art colleges in the NW5 Consortium) had received a $900,000 grant to increase collaboration with the communities outside our campus, working as partners with (not as experts on) the various challenges our communities face. As part of our initial efforts, the Consortium has hired a Program Coordinator (based at Whitman College), as well as identified a Lewis & Clark liaison for the Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Project Committee (Professor Joel Martinez). This committee is charged with provide intellectual and strategic input to identify campus and community issues of interest. Members will also help to plan the seminars/workshops, annual symposia, and other project-related activities.

Graduate School of Education and Counseling

The Graduate School currently partners with 78 schools (in 38 districts) and 85 mental health agencies, clinics, and community organizations throughout Oregon. All student placements in clinical sites help enact the Graduate School’s social justice mission in support of individuals, families, and communities. This is also true of faculty research, grant seeking, and service activities. Current examples include offering an Equity for School Leaders certificate program in collaboration with the nonprofit Center for Equity and Inclusion; peer/family support groups facilitated by the Graduate School’s TransActive Gender Project; our Community Counseling Center, which serves low-income and marginalized communities by providing low cost, culturally responsive mental health services; and a Meyer Memorial Trust funded research and evaluation project undertaken in collaboration with the Center for African Immigrants and Refugees Organization and Resolutions Northwest.

Campuswide

We have begun work to formalize partnerships local community organizations focused on racial justice work. This racial justice partnership program is a collaboration between the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Portland Advisory Group, Advancement Office, and Student Leadership and Service. This program, funded by the Office of the President, will provide grants to faculty, staff and/or students who wish to develop a program in collaboration with one of our community partners. The grant program is expected to launch later this fall or early spring.

Next Steps

As we move forward in our work to fulfill these commitments, we will provide regular updates to the community. We will also develop a website to track and document activities and accomplishments. This page will reside on the Office of Equity and Inclusion webpage and will be available this fall.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion will continue to work with members across our campus community to create opportunities for engagement and support of our commitments. If you are interested in working to support these efforts or have ideas you would like to share, please contact our office at diversityinclusion@lclark.edu. Thanks to all who have helped with efforts this summer and early fall.

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