promoting campus diversityEarlier this year, we recorded a podcast with Dr. Lisa McBride: Managing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: A Five-Part Model. In it she discussed her five part diversity model to effectively implement and manage diversity and inclusion in higher education.

The five steps she defined are as follows:

  1. Share a common vision and a common destiny for managing diversity and inclusion
  2. Speak a common language to work toward this goal
  3. Establish a diversity framework and the measures for success
  4. Establish clear roles and accountability
  5. Celebrate and recognize achievements often

So once you’ve put a formal diversity plan is in place on your campus, how can students, faculty and staff promote it? How can all constituents of the campus follow these guidelines to ensure diversity is promoted and celebrated?

Promoting Your Diversity Plan

For some students, the transition between hometown, and the comfort of their family and friends, to college can be difficult – especially when it’s their first exposure to different cultural groups.

Knowing the pressure these students face, how can faculty and staff promote diversity to make it part of the culture? How can students promote it? How can all students feel empowered to feel part of the culture, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or disability?

How Students Can Become Ambassadors for Promoting Diversity

One way to promote diversity is to turn to the students to become ambassadors for promoting diverse cultures. As such, it is important to create tenets to share with students on a regular basis (vs. just during their orientation).

  1. Confidence. Students should be confident in themselves, despite their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic status, religion, etc.
  2. Culturally curious. Encourage students to be come curious about other cultures, and nudget them out of their comfort zone to learn about other cultures.
  3. Campus events. It’s an opportunity to meet new people and to learn more about what is happening to address the issues facing the campus culture. Organized campus events are a great opportunity to learn about what is happening.
  4. Respect others. It is critical that students don’t assumptions about others based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic status, religion, etc. Rather, it’s important to learn more about others, and in the process learn more about themselves.
  5. Stay informed. Be aware are of the key issues on campus
  6. Be curious. Encourage them to ask questions. Remind them college is a great time to explore and learn more about themselves and their fellow students, staff and faculty.

Promoting diversity on campus is a joint effort: it takes the administrators to create the framework and tools for the campus, however students need to be advocates to help support and promote these efforts.

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