Dear Community Members,
Fielding’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected in the Strategic Inclusion Plan developed and approved in 2017. A Diversity Work Group was established to create the plan, with the mission of “…preparing scholar-practitioners to address personal, organizational, societal, ecological and global concerns in pursuit of a more just and sustainable world.” The plan was built on past efforts of faculty, students, alums, Board trustees and administrators; thus, these efforts informed and drove the identification of goals, objectives and actions to continue building a more inclusive Fielding.
The plan called for the development of an Inclusion Council to serve as a volunteer advisory body to the President, Provost and the rest of the University, and to offer guidance and to support various elements of the plan. The response from the Fielding community to the initial call for council membership was extremely positive, resulting in the formation of the Inclusion Council, as well as the Building Inclusion Collaborative (BIC). While the Council has been more focused and directly involved in implementing the Strategic Plan, the BIC has a broader role that includes advisory and research functions. That said, both bodies have demonstrated an incredible degree of commitment, responsibility and passion for Fielding’s diversity, equity and inclusion work.
Faculty are critical and central to the quality of education. Fielding’s excellent reputation is driven by its historical commitment to social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. Faculty carry out this commitment by conducting research, teaching students and applying their knowledge and passion to address today’s societal challenges. The focus of Goal 2 of the Inclusion Strategy is cultural humility and intercultural competence of all faculty, administration and staff. Actionable steps have been defined to achieve this goal. As part of these actions, members of the Inclusion Council and the BIC formed a work group to develop a comprehensive resource guide to facilitate the personal and professional development of faculty in these important areas. The introduction to the Resource Guide follows.
I am committed to collaborating and supporting faculty, students, staff, and alumni in their journey to create and build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Fielding. Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance or with suggestions for this guide.
Tomás Leal, Chief Diversity Officer
The purpose of this Resource Guide is to respond to the developmental needs of Fielding Graduate University’s Faculty in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice. Following a faculty needs assessment conducted in 2018, several critical development needs were identified by faculty as priorities for personal and professional development. These included:
Personal Awareness – increasing awareness of my own and sensitivity to other’s cultural identities
Intercultural Dialogue – encouraging, initiating, and facilitating cultural and intercultural discussions
Inclusive Curricula and Inquiry – Creating inclusive curricula and learning environments
When referring to cultural identities, we understand that every individual in this community has multiple identities which collectively define who we are as people, including our ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, social class, age, ability and others. Each of these intersecting identities has its own dimensions of privilege and opportunity, as well as risks for being misunderstood, unseen or demeaned.
Nevertheless, we recognize that the standard of white privilege represents years of domination and subjugation of people of color by whites who have been granted and have maintained freedoms and powers that are not readily available to others. We understand the importance of confronting systems of white privilege, systemic inequities and racist attitudes and behaviors that collude to foster continuation of white domination and power within our society, institutions, communities, and academic environments. Furthermore, we expect our faculty to give voice, power, and opportunity to fellow faculty, staff, and students who are most likely to be denied such privileges by society. For this reason, we include many resources to help faculty to personally understand white privilege and white fragility and to openly challenge white supremacy.
The creation of this online Diversity and Equity Resource Guide was a collaborative effort involving two work teams of Fielding Graduate University’s Building Inclusion Collaborative - the Faculty Cultural Humility group and the Faculty Curriculum and Pedagogy group. Without the expertise and hands on assistance of Abby Rae, the Director of Fielding’s Library Services, the Guide would remain an idea and not a reality. Abby provided technical knowhow; a thorough understanding of the fields of inquiry we wished to promote, and a creative and responsive energy that enlivened our project team.
We consider this to be a living resource that will expand and change as the needs of faculty and other members of our learning community evolve over time. This is Version 1.0 and we look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions for the future.