Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Learning Opportunities with Example Goals

The University of Colorado Denver has the strategic priorities of becoming an equity-serving institution and a best place to work. CLAS has adopted these priorities as part of its strategic plan, and equity, inclusion, and belonging have always been values central to our college.

Our strategic plan emphasizes that:

CLAS will build and nurture a culture where inclusiveness is the norm, not an initiative, and where difference is valued and recognized as a strength. We strive to create an anti-oppressive, equitable, and just campus, city, and world purposefully. Our strategic priorities acknowledge that systems of inequality exist and impact faculty, staff, and students. These priorities emphasize that higher education institutions perpetuate discrimination and disenfranchisement without clear expectations and accountability. CLAS members will take responsibility to challenge existing practices and discourses that marginalize different communities of students, faculty, and staff. Inclusion and justice are not the responsibility of a select few people in the college but belong to everyone.

This document aims to provide resources so that we can continue to enhance our capacity "to purposefully create an anti-oppressive, equitable, and just campus, city, and world." While these resources are designed for individual learning, the College also plans to offer periodic trainings for our teams.

We recommend that supervisors allow at least eight hours a month for professional development activities, including all forms of professional development. You could also think about this as a minimum of two hours each week, e.g., to set aside weekly time for a course.

Places to Look for DEI Professional Development at CU Denver

The CU Denver | CU Anschutz Office of Equity has a self-guided Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 101 guide that provides important definitions, tools, and resources for understanding concepts like identity, implicit bias, tokenism, and more.

The Center for Identity and Inclusion sponsors many events throughout the year that provide rich professional development opportunities. The best way to find out about these events is to consult the center's events web page.

The CLAS Council on DEI's Interdisciplinary Exchanges offer presentations and discussions highlighting the DEI-focused research and creative work of CLAS faculty, staff, and students, as well as forums to discuss current events and issues from interdisciplinary perspectives. Usually offered twice a semester. Look for announcements in CLAS Deans Notes.

CU Denver departments and schools and colleges frequently host speakers and run workshops on DEI topics. There is unfortunately no centralized place to look for these events, but for CLAS, Deans Notes is always a good place to start, and CU Denver News has select university announcements.

Some Online Professional Development Opportunities

Coursera Courses–FREE

Other Resources–Mostly Free

Implicit Bias Training: The UCLA Implicit Bias Video Series offers short videos (less than an hour total) that introduce you to implicit biases and how to combat them. One video focuses on the Harvard Implicit Association Test, a valuable tool to help you understand your own implicit biases. Many different iterations of the tests allow you to explore your unconscious beliefs about race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and other identity categories. Building awareness of your own unconscious biases can inform your attitudes and decision-making. Also, consult Project Implicit.

The Equity Literacy Institute has many resources, including free and low-cost professional development courses online. These courses range from 90 minutes to four hours.

In the two-hour video "Microaggressions in the Academy," Derald Wing Sue, the originator of the term, defines microaggressions, gives examples of microaggressions in university settings, and provides suggestions for addressing microaggressions in different contexts.

The organization Right to Be (used to be Hollaback) offers a variety of free bystander intervention trainings (from 30 to 75 minutes) to help you stop harassment when you witness it.

Goal Examples

Supervisors and employees should discuss their professional development goals, including those related to equity, inclusion, and belonging. In considering your opportunities and goals, identify and discuss places within your job responsibilities that would connect with your day-to-day. For example, how does equity play out among our community, whether students, staff, faculty, or emeriti? Where do you see opportunities to contribute to becoming an explicitly equity-serving institution and a best place to work?

To aid in your discussions, the following are example goals for consideration.

  • Training: Attend at least three different training workshops offered by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion or CLAS on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics. Report to the team with summaries or discuss how this relates to the team's responsibilities.
  • Policy review: Evaluate policies and procedures that may disproportionately and unfairly impact members of underrepresented individuals in the unit. Bring these situations to the attention of administrators to discuss and consider changes to policy and procedures.
  • Representation: Study the demographics and personal backgrounds of students in your department or program. Consider ways to address potential biases and misunderstandings from a mismatch with staff and faculty's demographics and personal backgrounds.  
  • Team culture: Organize professional development trainings for your team that explore differences in work style and communication that may lead to misunderstandings and friction without understanding each other.
  • Environment: Study your environment for ways to improve the inclusiveness and belonging of students, staff, and faculty. What are ways to highlight and celebrate your community? Is there a safe and confidential mechanism for identifying problems and concerns without adding duress to the reporter?
  • Communication: Take a training on accessibility, e.g., An Introduction to Accessibility and Inclusive Design (University of Illinois, 15 hours). Evaluate ways in which your unit communicates, including public facing websites, e-mail, and student other student resources. Are revisions needed to be accessible and inclusive? Consult the CLAS Digital Accessibility and Inclusive Design website for assistance with the Drupal Web Express platform used in the college and contact the CLAS Drupal System Administrator Tim Stalker for assistance.