President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Advisory Council recognizes that our society and its many organizations are challenged by underlying systems of oppression. This oppression can be seen through “isms,” such as racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, cissexism, and classism, to name a few.
The charge to the Advisory Council is to demonstrate inclusive everyday leadership by increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Simmons through action, institutional change, education and development, inspiration, and measurement.
The Advisory Council identifies, creates, sponsors, and advocates for opportunities for members of the Simmons community to do the work associated with inclusive leadership and understand how our multiple identities influence who we are as we practice inclusive leadership.
While social justice is at the core of Simmons’ mission, we are no different from many other organizations in that we must actively work to dismantle these systems, along with policies and practices, that serve as barriers to true inclusion. We recognize the work that Simmons must do to confront these “isms” and change to be a more inclusive and anti-racist university — one that not only welcomes, but promotes and empowers, multiple dimensions of diversity:
- National or ethnic origin
- Religious creed
- Gender identity or expression
- Sexual orientation
- Military or veteran status
- Genetic information
- Professional status
The core Advisory Council consists of faculty and staff from across the university. A subset of the Council co-chairs the following committees:
- Staff Engagement
- Community Engagement
- Student Experience
- Alumnae/i Relations
Overarching Strategic Priority
The Council’s overarching strategic priority is to build a welcoming and inclusive Simmons community where all members feel valued and have the opportunity to thrive in fulfilling the university mission. This is accomplished through the following actions and practices:
- Collaborating with Admission, Human Resources, faculty hiring committees and other entities to ensure the ongoing recruitment, engagement, and retention of students, faculty, and staff of color, as well as other underrepresented groups.
- Working with the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity (OCIE) and other partners to bring relevant training, guest speakers, community reads, and other initiatives to help broaden awareness of issues related to violence, racial injustice, and DEI — and to involve the community in these vital conversations.
- Partnering with the Simmons Institute for Inclusive Leadership on programming and training.
- Community building to acknowledge and support differences as well as to bridge and unite differences.
- Analyzing the Simmons Experience survey data and other DEI metrics to enhance the Simmons culture for all community members.
- Recognizing the connection between wellbeing and inclusion through the ongoing work of the Simmons Wellbeing Initiative.
- Engaging with alumnae/i to leverage their expertise and talents to honor both Simmons’ past while moving the university forward.