A commitment to DEI requires lifelong learning, accountability and awareness. Central College strives to infuse inclusivity into all aspects of campus culture, but we know there’s still work to be done. Diversity and inclusion are crucial pieces of Central’s curriculum, which allows students to grow their thinking by examining new perspectives. Faculty and staff at Central also continue their educational journeys by exploring how to better facilitate inclusion within their roles and departments. As we continue to explore ways to enrich Central’s diversity and inclusion efforts, we encourage the entire campus community to learn from and support one another with open minds and open hearts.Culture of Inclusion Students Employees
Central’s Building a Culture of Inclusion initiative team is a partnership between Central students, faculty and employees. The initiative is a broad encapsulation of DEI efforts on campus, and it continues to naturally evolve. The team that leads this initiative works to educate and make recommendations to advance diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life at Central. Programming and events are organized throughout the year by this team to influence student learning and aid employee perspectives as they continue to enhance inclusivity when working with students.
Past events and advancements include a BIPOC+ meet and greet at the beginning of the new academic year, introduction of multicultural spaces on campus and lectures from diversity experts like Eddie Moore Jr. Moore is known for his educational workshops about diversity and privilege with students of all ages and his nonprofit organization, The Privilege Institute.
In an institutional observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Central sponsors an alternative day of learning each January. In place of regular coursework, faculty and students participate in educational opportunities in honor of King’s legacy. These alternative learning experiences include keynote addresses by BIPOC+ experts, faculty lectures, diversity trainings and service projects.
MLK Day continues to grow thanks to the dedication of students who strive to educate themselves and empower underrepresented people.MLK Day Schedule
Diversity, equity and inclusion are integrated into curriculum and campus culture. As first-year students begin their experience at Central during Welcome Week, a mixture of required and optional programming provides opportunities for students to make connections amongst their communities and learn from diversity experts. Central’s liberal arts curriculum welcomes open discussion for students to question privilege on a systematic level as they learn about the value of engaged citizenship. Central students are empowered to think broadly about how diversity and inclusion affect them so they may act in ways that support the betterment of Central’s campus culture.
Yana Rouse ’21 and Marin Harrington ’21 found that there was more work to be done in Central’s DEI efforts, so they worked with campus leadership to make additional change.
Central encourages its students to engage in cultural conversations to increase inclusion and reduce bias both on and off campus. Breanne Ward is a licensed mental health counselor who has partnered with Central to provide counseling services to students of color and create an exclusive podcast series for the campus community.
Central faculty and staff participate in a variety of trainings that provide perspective and education about how to support DEI efforts on campus. Several faculty and staff members on Central’s campus have been appointed to roles that lead diversity and inclusion efforts for their departments and peers. This includes a faculty fellow for diversity and inclusion, who supports faculty development, curriculum and classroom climate as it relates to diversity and inclusion for course development and pedagogy.
Other employee roles that promote DEI include an athletics diversity and inclusion designee, a Title IX coordinator and equity officer and team members of the Building a Culture of Inclusion initiative. The BIPOC+ Coalition provides additional opportunities for employees to make connections with people from diverse backgrounds. This partnership with Drake University, Grand View University, Simpson College and William Penn University supports inclusive professional development for faculty and staff.
Employees throughout each department on campus have representatives certified in diversity and inclusion through eCornell training. This cohort of individuals serves as a resource to campus groups and administration. All faculty and staff have regular professional development opportunities to build upon their background knowledge to support students and each other.