Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion seeks to create a people-centered culture of care within the Division of Student Affairs that affirms and includes individuals of all identities. This office provides leadership and consultation to the Division of Student Affairs in the areas of :
- Training and educational experiences
- Developing DEI goals and metrics
- Reviewing existing policies and practices
- Identifying initiatives to improve the quality of experiences for students and staff
- Providing advocacy and support to community members
Brooke Berry, J.D., Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Diversity Equity Belonging Inclusion (DEBI) Champions
VCU’s Division of Student Affairs stands committed to fostering a community of inclusive excellence. We believe that each member of our community is valuable and that diversity of culture, thought and identity enriches the academic and workplace experiences. We affirm our commitment to equity, inclusion, diversity, social justice, belonging, and antiracism.
- We seek to empower all members of our community by cultivating an inclusive environment through the advancement of our core values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to the development of an inclusive culture of care that is reflected in our day-to-day behaviors by employing antiracist and anti-oppressive practices and being accountable for this shared responsibility.
- We acknowledge that students, alumni, and employees of VCU, especially those who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, queer/ LGBTQIA+, disabled and other historically marginalized groups targeted for oppression continue to be negatively impacted by structural and systemic racism, colonization, injustice and white supremacy.
- We also acknowledge the influence colonialism and discrimination have had upon structural and systemic power and how individuals with marginalized identities may experience VCU.
- As a Division, we recognize the complexity and intersectionality of identity and we are committed to actively working to create a safe and inclusive environment.
This includes facilitating opportunities for understanding and appreciation of diverse people and cultures, evaluating structural systems, policies, communications and business processes for racial bias and discrimination, providing inclusive training and professional development opportunities, requiring that strategic funds are allocated toward diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and implementing safeguards that promote equitable practices in hiring, retention, and promotion decisions.
- In living out our commitment, we recognize that the responsibility of this work must not rest solely with Black and other marginalized colleagues. Those who have benefited from systemic and racialized privilege must take bold steps to become active allies.
In the spirit of humility and transparency, we intend for this statement to be a living document, reflective of our ongoing and progressively evolving commitment to institutional transformation. In 2021 the DEBI Council began the process of authoring this statement of commitment. Following administrative leadership input, the statement went through a public comment period where our DSA Community members were able to share their voices.
Current actions :
- The Diversity, Equity and Belonging and Inclusion (DEBI) Council was formed to support the Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion identify areas of concern and gaps in support, assist with strategic equity and inclusion planning and make recommendations for actionable and strategic improvements across the division.
- Hosted White, Black and People of Color facilitated caucus groups to discuss climate of inclusion within division
- Developed DSA Antiracist Framework and Action Plan (link)
- Established Divisional spend goal of 30% with SWaM vendors
- Relaxed required degree requirements in job postings
- Creation of focus groups to analyze prioritization of DEBI principles in student programming
- Incorporated DEI related tasks into DSA Staff performance reviews
- Hosted Summer DEI Common Read of “The Racial Healing Toolkit” and discussion groups
- Established DEBI Champions group to operationalize strategic DEBI goals
- Developed micro credentialed student leadership course focused on DEI competency