Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Photo of students walking up steps in Hammond Hall

At Fitchburg State, we seek to create and foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This page includes information and resources about our institutional commitment, as well as ways we are encouraging all the members of our campus to build the community we want to inhabit. 

Action Items

The Fitchburg State community is actively engaged in the work of creating a welcoming campus. Here are some of the projects we are working on now.

Action Item Level and Responsible Office New/Ongoing/Heightened Priority Status
Launch a new website that will focus on DEI at Fitchburg State.

Institutional

Leading for Change, Marketing and Integrated Communications

New In design phase
Restructure Leading for Change (our campus-wide committee focusing on DEI) to include students as part of the team and foster specific initiatives for students, staff and faculty, and the curriculum and teaching.

Institutional

Leading for Change

New Done
Report out at least once a semester on the work of Leading for Change and highlights they are aware of from across campus

Institutional

Leading for Change

New In process

 

Action Item Level and Responsible Office New/Ongoing/Heightened Priority Status
Adopt a university-wide set of definitions related to DEI

Institutional

Leading for Change

New In process
Grant received to raise awareness of open educational resources for faculty

Institutional

Advancement, Academic Affairs

New Done
Grant proposal to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence competition to fund professional development for faculty and staff to gain knowledge and skills to build equitable systems that are culturally sensitive and eliminate the achievement gap for our underrepresented student population. The funds if awarded  would be used for professional development on inclusive teaching practices and the creation of assessments of those practices.

Institutional

Advancement, Academic Affairs

New Grant not received
Conduct an annual review, inventory, and gap analysis of academic affairs activities regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion to catalog and assess activities and initiatives

Divisional

Provost's Office

New In process
Report changes in academic departments’ curriculum regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of annual assessment plans

Divisional

Academic Department Chairs

New Due date is Spring 2021
Continue the series of roundtable discussions with students and faculty to discuss areas where the curriculum and teaching could be made more inclusive.

Divisional

CTL, Leading for Change

Ongoing In process
Use an equity lens to set the Division of Student Affairs Annual Goals and Objectives and assess the extent to which we are achieving them.

Divisional

Student Affairs

New In process
Review major policies, protocols, and procedures in Student Affairs to address access and fairness.

Divisional

Student Affairs

New Office of Student Development and University Police are being reviewed in 2020-21
Conduct an annual review, inventory, and gap analysis of the CARE Team and the Student Conduct Process regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion

Departmental

Dean of Students Office

New Will be reported in Summer 2021
Analyze and share the early results of the implementation of the Academic Warning Policy designed to catch students before they hit academic probation

Departmental

Dean of Students Office, Retention and Student Success

Ongoing In process
Action Item Level and Responsible Office New/Ongoing/Heightened Priority Status

Continue to review and update the hiring guidelines to include a stronger diversity lens to engage staff and faculty hiring committees to evaluate beyond the traditional qualifications and review additional engagement activities, publication materials that lend to DEI topics, previously held positions and where they were located and if they come from HBCU. 

 

Continue to explore advertising techniques to include graduate schools that serve a high minority student population, ie. students of color, females in STEM related programs, as well as other underrepresented groups. 

 

Establish additional training related to diversity hiring to provide to all university hiring committees.

Institutional

Human Resources

Ongoing In process
Grant proposal to build a pipeline for counselors of color

Institutional

Advancement, Counseling Services

New Pending decision from granting agency
Action Item Level and Responsible Office New/Ongoing/Heightened Priority Status
Administer the Climate Survey

Institutional

Leading for Change, Institutional Research

Repeat the 2018 survey to provide longitudinal data Administered November 2020
Implement the Bias Incident Response Protocol and Team

Institutional

Student Affairs, Human Resources

New Done
Publicize where single stall and gender-neutral bathrooms can be found across campus

Institutional

Leading for Change

New In process
Provide institutional funding for Latinx Heritage Month and Black History Month

Institutional

Leading for Change

Ongoing Done
Create a BIPOC, LGBTQ, Differently Abled Employee Conversation Group

Institutional

Leading for Change, Human Resources

New In process
Continue the first year Latinx male mentoring program for 25 students every academic year.

Institutional

Academic Affairs

Ongoing Continuing
Create a “special projects grant” category to encourage student-faculty scholarship that explores national, statewide, and local racial justice, inequality, criminal justice reform, and related topics.

Divisional

Academic Affairs

New In process
Establish the Academic Deans’ Anti-Racism Fund. The fund will be a coordinated activity among the four academic Schools and the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library to support campus-wide and community-based anti-racism and anti-bias initiatives. The Fund will support activities including but not limited to symposia, training, library resources, curriculum development, and educational programming.

Divisional

Academic Deans

New Done
Elevate oppressed and underrepresented voices through library collections: general, archival, special collections and digital resources

Departmental

Library

Heightened Priority In process
Hire a consultant with expertise in DEI in the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness to assist with restructuring, accountability, and reporting; integrate programming initiatives; identify partnerships between the curriculum and co-curriculum; and provide professional development and assessment

Departmental

Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness

New Done - Faustina Cuevas will be in place through Spring 2021
Appoint an Athletics Diversity and Inclusion designee to provide support to the department in coaching searches, education, and other diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Departmental

Athletics and Recreation

New Done
Use Residence Education professional staff to facilitate DEI programming in the Residence Halls. These programs will be conducted in addition to Resident Assistant (RA) initiatives.

Departmental

Housing and Residential Services

Heightened Priority Launching an anti-racist initiative in Spring 2021
Train Resident Assistants on DEI-related topics

Departmental

Housing and Residential Services

Ongoing In process
Develop the LGBTQA+ Residential Learning Community (RLC) designed to create a space for residents to find peer support and continue their understanding of sexual identity and gender identity

Departmental

Housing and Residential Services

New Done
Welcome a Latinx fraternity to Fitchburg State’s Greek community.

Departmental

Office of Student Development

New In process - events in Fall 2020 were scheduled to recruit new members
Train Hammond Information Desk attendants on working with Spanish-speaking individuals as a non-Spanish speaker.

Departmental

Office of Student Development

New In process
Create a Council of Equity and Diversity

Student Initiated

Student Government Association

New Done
Launch the Cultural Events Committee

Student Initiated

Fitchburg Activities Board

New Done
Action Item Level and Responsible Office New/Ongoing/Heightened Priority Status
Expand campus and public programs that foster dialogue, engagement, and reflection on urgent topics such as systemic racism, and social and health disparities, with specific focus on the effects of the pandemic and policing on communities of color

Institutional

Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Leading for Change

Heightened priority In process
Facilitate Courageous Conversations around White Privilege, White Fragility, Anti-Racism,Social Justice,  and other topics

Institutional

Leading for Change, Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness, Human Resources

New series, ongoing idea In process
Continue the Human Resources Professional Development Series for all employees.

Institutional

Human Resources

Ongoing In process
Continue Faculty Professional development. Development day topics have included: inclusive teaching, inclusive advising, inclusive assessment, How to talk about Race (this fall).

Divisional

Academic Affairs

Ongoing In process
Continue retreats and workshops of student-facing offices

Divisional

Student Affairs and others

Ongoing In process
Use existing forums for faculty professional development to continue to promote faculty development in inclusive pedagogy in all of its forms. This includes but is not limited to development day, CTL, Chair Workshops, and the newly launched  Faculty Academy for inclusive teaching.

Divisional

Academic Affairs

Heightened priority In process
Develop a guide to academic courses and programs that offer diverse course offerings that focus on social justice, civil rights, responsive citizenship and social awareness

Divisional

Academic Affairs

New In process
Include DEI work in existing student leader trainings such as Orientation Leader, Campus Center Employee, Resident Assistant, and Club and Organizations.

Divisional

Office of Student Development, Housing and Residential Services

Heightened priority In process
Re-examine the Leadership Development Program to ensure that programs are being delivered with a DEI lens

Departmental

Office of Student Development

New Done
Develop three separate mini-certificate programs around the issues of anti-racism, equity, and justice

Departmental

Center for Professional Studies

New Done
Ensure continued professional development opportunities for members of the University Police Department.

Departmental

University Police

Ongoing In process

Learning Resources

We are engaged on this work together, and we have identified reliable sources of information for members of the community to learn more about these topics.

Microaggressions

The term “racial microaggressions” was first coined by researchers in 1978. The definition has evolved to be “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults to the target person or group." 

Implicit Bias

We all have it; implicit - or unconscious - bias exists where we associate stereotypes with others. It is a universal phenomenon, not limited by race, gender, or even country of origin. Take this test to see how it works for you.

DEI Resources

The Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library has created this guide this guide to DEI resources for all members of the campus community. Also, please see the library's guide to information and resources about anti-racism, white privilege, and inclusion.

a photograph of Thompson Hall
a photograph of Thompson Hall

Addressing the systemic barriers to student success will take a campus-wide commitment.

Closing the Equity Gap
Our Next Five-Year Strategic Plan Focuses on Education Justice

Our Commitment

Fitchburg State University embraces a commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice. We honor and accept the uniqueness of each individual on our campus, recognize and respect the differences amongst us, and remain mindful of those things which connect us all. 

At Fitchburg State University we will:

  • Commit to go beyond basic tolerance of individual differences, and strive to celebrate the strength inherent in a diverse community. 
  • Foster and maintain a safe environment of respect and inclusion for faculty, staff, students, and members of the communities we serve. 
  • Use inclusive, accessible, and anti-oppressive language and imagery in written, visual, and oral communication. 
  • Practice inclusiveness, seeking out and valuing the unique perspectives, resources, and contributions of all individuals. Strive to incorporate the talents, needs, and life experiences of all into the fabric of our academic institution.
  • Educate the community, social, and cultural supports and venues to foster a socially just environment. 
  • Increase equal access to the benefits and opportunities afforded by Fitchburg State education.
  • Identify and dismantle systems of privilege, inequality, and oppression, and reform our behaviors, programs, policies, pedagogy, and practices accordingly. 
  • Address discrimination and bias directly and thoughtfully. 
  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy for all whom we encounter.

Land Acknowledgement

The Fitchburg State University Community recognizes historical injustices. We acknowledge the legacy of the ancestral homelands and traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples from which they were dispossessed. We are cognizant that we cannot separate the history of our university or our community from the history of colonialism and slavery in the United States. 

We recognize and honor the members of the Algonquian Peoples: Nipmuc, Pennacook, and Wabanaki Confederacy, whose ancestral land we now call the Fitchburg State University campus. We also acknowledge the removal of these peoples from this area and the systemic erasure of their complex and unique history.

We acknowledge the heritage of the African and Caribbean diaspora. We acknowledge the reality of slavery and forced labor that built this area.

The legacy of colonialism and slavery persists today as we continue to work towards racial justice, equity, inclusion, liberation, and community, and strive to dismantle the oppressive social systems interwoven into the fabric of our national and regional heritage.

Resources

Portrait of Jalin Paulino Diaz

 

Leading for Change is the university’s institution-level DEI team, chaired by members of the Fitchburg State community with several lenses:

  • Students (Laura Bayless, Vice President for Student Affairs)

  • Employees (Jessica Murdoch, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Payroll Services)

  • Curriculum and Teaching (Alberto Cardelle, Vice President for Academic Affairs) 

This co-chair structure is deliberate, ensuring that the team is focusing on these key areas. In fact, we have a new committee structure this year that emphasizes this: a core group, and three sub-committees (students, employees, and curriculum and teaching). If you would like to communicate directly with the Leading for Change Team, you may contact any of the co-chairs, or use this email: leadingchange@fitchburgstate.edu

  • Black Student Union (BSU) is an organization that embraces the African/African American culture. We encourage diversity as well. We want people from all different cultures and backgrounds to join our club and bring their traditions and culture to it. We hope to have fun and informative events and activities this year, and we encourage our members to let us know what they would like to see happen. Welcome to our club and we look forward to a wonderful year ahead. Follow BSU on Instagram.
  • Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is for people of any and all sexual orientations and genders who are searching for a fully inclusive and supportive environment. It is a place where people can feel safe, welcomed, and be themselves.
  • Latin American Student Organization (LASO) is an identity-based student organization providing insight into Latin American culture through involvement, leadership, collaboration, and pride. LASO is a premier resource for the Fitchburg State student body that promotes diversity, equity, and involvement. LASO advocates for Latinx/a/o culture by partnering with university constituents to create a more welcoming and supportive community for Latinx/a/o students at Fitchburg State. Please join us at our biweekly meeting or our next event! Follow LASO on Instagram.
  • World Integrated Nations (WIN) is an organization whose goal is to increase international, cultural and ethnic diversity in Fitchburg State University through cultural events, cooking workshops, country presentations, flag day, and other things. Our club includes members from North America, South America, Asia, and Africa. Come join us for a meeting and you just might learn something new. Follow WIN on Instagram.

The university created a Bias Incident Response Team in Fall 2020. To report a bias incident, please visit https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?FitchburgStateUniv&layout_id=10.

The Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness cultivates a welcoming and safe space for all members of the Fitchburg State community and supports each person individually by recognizing and respecting all cultures, perspectives and experiences. Through programming and partnerships, the center provides opportunities for acceptance, understanding and celebration.

The Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library has curated a variety of anti-racism resources that can be found here: https://fitchburgstate.libguides.com/anti-racism

The university conducted a Campus Climate Survey in late fall of 2020, administering the same instrument as in the spring of 2018, with the addition of three new questions. The initial instrument was designed by Bridgewater State University and shared in conjunction with the Leading for Change multistate consortium.

Questions? Get in Touch!