Inclusion and Equity - News{3F112A82-2812-4C7D-B6B7-42107FF58413} Excellence Update<p>Change can be the sign of a healthy institution, and a healthy organization and culture is one that includes the entire community and is self-reflective, so that we can learn from what we do. As we reflect on these changes, we are mindful that we all have more work to do to advance our diversity equity, and inclusion. </p> <p>Diversity, equity and inclusion is integral to our culture, who we are, how we live and work, and who we are becoming.</p> <ul> </ul> <p>Do you have questions or want to learn more? Follow us on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="">send us an email</a> or call us at 617-521-3688.</p> <hr /> <h3>Our Department, Mission and Philosophy</h3> <p>In September 2018, we created the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=472A422C5DF54082A772C702AED115BA&amp;_z=z">OCIE</a> to continue and expand the work of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Simmons community. OCIE is dedicated to upholding Simmons&rsquo; commitment of providing a transformative and supportive learning environment. </p> <p>We seek to facilitate fundamental cultural and institutional changes necessary to establish and maintain a fully inclusive campus, and to promote ongoing, meaningful, and engaged diversity. Diversity includes race, color, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status or class/SES.</p> <p>By approaching diversity work in a systemic and multidimensional way &mdash; so it is embedded in all we do &mdash; we will demonstrate the tremendous educational and cultural benefits that equity and inclusion initiatives have served and will continue to serve the Simmons community, the U.S. and the world.</p> <h3>Our Newest Team Member</h3> <p><img height="200" alt="OCIE newest team member" width="200" src="~/media/39EE04B81F5E4F0EB4CC93A3B53E8B31.ashx" class="image-left" />Karene Alexander Thorne joins us as the Executive Assistant in the OCIE Office and is a valuable addition to the team. Her primary role consists of project management and administrative support for all events, initiatives, and matters pertaining to the OCIE mission.</p> <p>Karene is a graduate of Babson College, grew up on the island of Jamaica, and lives in the Boston area with husband Kurt and daughter Lys. Fun fact: She loves designing diaper cakes for baby showers!</p> <br clear="all" /> <h3>The Diversity Equity Inclusion Strategy</h3> <p>Simmons University is committed to building a community that is equitable and inclusive. As an integral part of strategy 2022, we are charged to create the conditions that enable Simmons to be the most inclusive campus in New England.</p> <p>A <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=2F3B7CA737CB453CA5AE4C813F7D8F3B&amp;_z=z">core architecture</a> has been established that identifies the appropriate goals, tactics, implementers, and accountability partners for our work. The following framework identifies how the work is currently outlined in the five-year vision and will serve as our foundation as we operationalize specific tactics and actions.</p> Activities thus far:<br /> <ul> <li>During the fall semester we gathered, reviewed, and presented demographic data of all constituencies to the Student Government Association, Staff Council, and Faculty Senate.</li> <li>In partnership with Human Resources, we convened a committee across departments to establish programs and services that support retention, engagement, and the experience of faculty, staff, and administrators of underrepresented groups (see Partnerships below).</li> <li>We collected qualitative data through focus groups for all constituencies during fall 2018 to assess progress and inform priorities and methods for DEI dialogue moving forward. We plan to publish a report with our findings. </li> <li>We conducted extensive research to identify high-impact practices for civil discourse and respectful dialogue.</li> <li>We introduced fall orientation programming and Simmons PLAN (Purpose Leadership ActioN) course curriculum and reinforced principles of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.</li> <li>This semester we are launching intensive work on respectful discourse. We are calling this work The Journey to Respectful Discourse. This Journey will include inter-group discussions, activities and practices to advance how we mitigate the impact of discrimination, racism, bias while creating a practice of community, belonging and collaboration.</li> <li>Together these efforts contribute to putting Simmons University on the path to inclusive excellence. </li> </ul> <h3>Connecting and Engagement with the Simmons Community</h3> <p>The OCIE team recognizes that we have to be in the community to hear and feel what is going on in the community. Shifting community culture is a tall order and we are taking on the task with fervor and look forward to the participation of every single member of the Simmons community to realize our shared goal.</p> <h3>Fall 2018 Actions</h3> <ul> <li>Community Open House (October 24, 2018): We invited the Simmons community to hear about the office and the work being planned in the community.</li> <li>Fall Social for Employees of Color (October 25, 2018): We hosted a fall social in the Multicultural Center to meet and greet the faculty and staff of color and affirm their presence in our community. </li> <li>Pop Up Meetings: We are committed to hearing from community members in &ldquo;real time&rdquo; on critical topics. In the fall we offered two Pop Ups on October 4, 2018 and December 5, 2018. We enjoyed the conversations and appreciated the feedback about individual experiences and suggestions for collective experiences.</li> <li>Focus Groups: We want to hear from you! In November and December we hosted numerous focus groups for students, faculty, and staff to provide an informed backdrop for the work yet to occur.</li> <li>Online Open House: In a first-of-its-kind event, on December 5, 2018, the OCIE team hosted an online open house/webinar for our students who are members of the nationwide Simmons community. We plan to stay connected with this group as the work continues.</li> </ul> <h3>Partnerships</h3> <p>One of our early partnerships and collaborative work has been with Human Resources and other colleagues. The Committee on Inclusive Excellence in Hiring, Employee Engagement &amp; Experience engages the community in Simmons&rsquo; effort to create and recruit from more diverse pools of candidates and to participate in creating a more inclusive environment that helps us develop and retain employees from under-represented groups. The goal of this committee is to enhance best practices in each area of the employee experience.</p> <p>The committee consists of members from the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity, Human Resources, and representatives from our faculty, staff, student and alumnae/i populations.</p> <h3>Professional Development</h3> <strong>Full-time Faculty</strong> <p>Romney &amp; Associates, Inc., in partnership with the Simmons Center for Excellence in Teaching, continues to provide professional development for faculty to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion in their pedagogy and the learning environment utilizing AAC&amp;U&rsquo;s Teaching for Inclusive Excellence framework. We are currently offering Teaching for Inclusive Excellence Seminars (TIES I &amp;II) to accommodate new faculty and faculty who have not had the opportunity to participate thus far in the series that began in fall 2016.</p> <p>The Teaching for Inclusive Excellence Seminars are participant-centered and utilize a dialogue-based approach to explore equity and excellence in teaching and learning. Faculty will have the opportunity to reflect on how their identities have affected their experiences and will discuss challenges faced by marginalized, underrepresented, and other students for whom attention to equitable approaches is especially important in teaching and learning.</p> <strong>Staff</strong> <p>This past semester and summer, over 150 Simmons staff members participated in a day-long seminar that addressed diversity, equity, and inclusion &mdash; deepening awareness, understanding, and comfort with integrating these concepts into the work that we do. Using a social justice framework, the session explores multiple identities, intersections among identities, and experiences of privilege/oppression, and their impact on our lives and work.</p> <p>For this academic year, HR has identified a new online platform, Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace to assist staff in ongoing personal/professional development in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. A diverse campus must also be inclusive. By focusing on key concepts that shape our world and inform our shared values and experiences, this course explores the nature of diversity and provides practical strategies for workplace inclusion.</p> <p>We are offering this interactive training to further illustrate the benefits of an engaged and inclusive campus community. Please consider this training as introductory and the beginning of our journey together. OCIE will be offering additional support, opportunities, and trainings to build our capacity as a community committed to social justice and advancing an equitable and inclusive culture. While in-person experiences are ideal, this is a self-paced module to allow you to engage in deeper conversations aligned with our mission. </p> <h3>Special Events</h3> <p>On October 29, 2018, the African American Women in New England held their annual (full day) conference at Simmons University. More than 20 faculty and staff were able to participate due to the support of Provost Katie Conboy, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Amy White, and the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion &amp; Equity.</p> <h3>Next Steps</h3> <p>Our team is inspired by making a difference in the lives of others, and is excited to facilitate this work with all members of the Simmons community. During this spring semester we will continue to make strides in the operationalization and implementation of the tactics that will accomplish our strategic goals. We look forward to sharing the space, conversation, and work with you as we integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all that we do in and out of the classroom.</p>2019-01-22T00:00:00-05:00{BC21F74A-01FA-4C52-8D9C-7C3D0CF153E3} Welcomes Civil Rights Activist Shaun King to Campus<p>"In the grand scheme of human history, are we the peak of humanity?"</p> <p>Throughout his Community Keynote on November 13, Shaun King continuously posed this question to attendees.&nbsp;A modern civil rights activist, King is&nbsp;known for his efforts in the Black Lives Matter movement and is currently&nbsp;a columnist for&nbsp;<em><a href="" target="_blank">The Intercept</a></em>&nbsp;and a writer-in-residence for the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Fair Punishment Project</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jumping headfirst into the discussion, King began by imploring the audience to take an honest look into the current state of human affairs, both in the U.S. and the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>"We are living in a deeply disturbing time," explained King. Increasingly frequent mass shootings, occurrences of police brutality, the rise of white supremacy, the demonization of immigrants &mdash; it's impossible to keep track of every calamity when they occur at an alarming rate.&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to survive the bleak news cycle, we've learned how to pivot our attention elsewhere. King admitted that he also operated in this way &mdash; until he hit a breaking point. During a typical work day in the summer of 2014, King watched the video of Eric Garner's death.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I can't explain what happened, but I struggled to complete the rest of my day," said King. "I decided that I needed to find out more about this man and tell his story. I thought that if I shared that video, maybe we could contextualize this tragedy."</p> <p>Demanding justice for Eric Garner eventually expanded to include John Crawford, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice &mdash; the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunately the justice he fought for never came, and since 2014 the list of injustices has only grown longer.&nbsp;</p> <p>King paints a bleak but honest portrayal of humanity&nbsp;&mdash; admitting that he'd like to spread a message of hope rather than a list of endless tragedy. But he does this for a reason: to help us understand our place in the grand scheme of human history.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"I believe in you and I'm excited to see what&rsquo;s ahead of each of you," concluded King. "It's going to be hard to move forward, but I feel good about the direction we&rsquo;re going in."</h3> <hr /> <p>"Unlike technology, humanity does not get better and better," explained King. "We like to think that we have evolved upwardly, but are we really the peak of humanity? Depending on where you think we are in history effects the decisions you make."</p> <p>According to King, it's extremely easy to fall into these dips in humanity &mdash; and incredibly challenging to dig ourselves out. In order to overcome slavery there was the Civil War. In order to overcome Jim Crowe we had the Civil Rights Movement. What will it take this time?</p> <p>Even though it feels like we've hit rock bottom, King is still hopeful for our future. Although the quality of humanity isn't continuously on the rise, there is no dip that we didn't overcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I have hope because we're starting to understand the radical effort it will take to shift the direction of our country," said King.&nbsp;</p> <p>As an example, King listed the strides made in the <a href="">midterm elections</a>. From a historic turnout of voters, to a more diverse representation of Americans in Congress, these are significant changes.</p> <p>King ended his message with his hopes for the Simmons students in the audience. Wishing them successful college careers and encouraging them to learn as much as possible while they're here.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I believe in you and I'm excited to see what&rsquo;s ahead of each of you," concluded King. "It's going to be hard to move forward, but I feel good about the direction we&rsquo;re going in."</p>2018-11-15T00:00:00-05:00{6F7FB93B-168E-4F3D-89C9-14334D8F5E4C} Pérez on the True Meaning of Inclusion and Equity<h4>What do the words &ldquo;organizational culture, inclusion and equity&rdquo; mean?</h4> <p>A healthy organization and culture is inclusive of the entire community &mdash; it represents and creates opportunities for the just and fair inclusion of everyone. In an inclusive culture, each individual can participate and contribute their full potential.&nbsp;</p> <p>A healthy organization is also self-reflective. We must always be asking ourselves what did we learn and how can we do better. In my mind, assessment and accountability must also be part of any diversity, inclusion and equitable agenda.&nbsp;</p> <p>The definition of equity is context-specific but it is not equality, where everyone gets the same treatment. Rather, it pays attention to power, privilege and oppression and makes sure that those that are not included, are; those that have been historically ignored are seen; and those that are excluded are included.</p> <h4>What inspired you to work in the area of organizational culture, inclusion &amp; equity?</h4> <p>I've been doing diversity, equity and inclusion work my entire career. I&rsquo;ve seen it done well and I&rsquo;ve seen it done poorly. I believe that diversity is a core strength of any organization, that a diverse organization has a much greater potential for excellence and effectiveness but only if it is inclusive and equitable. There's a large evidence base for the value of inclusion. This includes everything from better decisions made by more diverse groups to increases in profits from more diverse organizations.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve been asked why diversity isn&rsquo;t in my title. Too often diversity is ill-defined or exclusive &mdash; meaning that a diverse organization can be numeric, cosmetic or superficial, but not inclusive or equitable. You can have diversity without inclusion, and what we&rsquo;re trying to achieve is an inclusive culture.&nbsp;</p> <p>What inspires me is making a difference in the lives of others. I have long been committed to advancing social justice, work first in non-profit work and then in philanthropy. I started mentoring and coaching programs for scholars of color and LGBT scholars of color to advance their research and support them in staying in higher education. I've also done a lot of mentoring specifically for mid-career women and people of color interested in public sector leadership through <a href="" target="_blank">National Urban Fellows</a>. What's so great about mentoring is the opportunity to use one&rsquo;s power to lift up others. I often tell my mentees that the best thing about having power is giving it away. We all have the potential to give back as we move forward.</p> On the more personal side, I am inspired by creating a future where my 33 nieces and nephews can live in safe world fully expressing all their identities.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"I&rsquo;ve been asked why diversity isn&rsquo;t in my title. Too often diversity is ill-defined or exclusive &mdash; meaning that a diverse organization can be numeric, cosmetic or superficial, but not inclusive or equitable. You can have diversity without inclusion, and what we&rsquo;re trying to achieve is an inclusive culture."</h3> <hr /> <h4>Why did you decide to work at Simmons University?</h4> As a graduate of a woman&rsquo;s college (Douglass, Rutgers University), I know first-hand the critical role of higher education in building the future leadership for the country and the world. There's nothing more important in today&rsquo;s political, social and cultural context than strong, vibrant, educated and civil leadership. I'm convinced that educating women builds a better world. <p>Simmons University is a leader in social justice education and in leadership. I see a world in desperate need of civil, strong, community-centered leadership. I believe being a part of Simmons will give me an opportunity to support the future leadership of the country that reflects the richness of our heritage and leverages the wisdom of multiple identities.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What is your charge at Simmons University?</h4> <p>Simmons has been very clear about prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion work and has committed resources to establishing this <a href="">office</a> as well as centralizing its work as one of the top priorities for the <a href="">Strategy 2022</a>. Our job will be to operationalize the 2022 goals and objectives and to ensure that we achieve the five-year outcomes. In addition, and simply put, I aspire to make Simmons University the most inclusive campus in New England.&nbsp;</p> <p><span> Part of that culture change means that Simmons will empower staff, students and faculty to be their best selves and to achieve their greatest potential. One of the many phrases that I have heard and read about Simmons is &ldquo;<a href="">we are at our best when we put students first</a>.&rdquo; I believe this is especially true of our under-represented students.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>I&rsquo;m delighted to have a committed team working on these matters, and look forward to adding an additional <a href="" target="_blank">team member</a>. With that said, I also want to note that we can&rsquo;t do this work alone. Social justice work requires equity and equity is all of our work to do. It&rsquo;s the University&rsquo;s work &mdash; to be done at all levels. Every person at Simmons should feel responsible to make us the most inclusive campus in the region. It&rsquo;s an institution-wide effort that will take time but there are immediate things we can do to make people feel included.&nbsp;</span></p> <h4>What are you most excited for in your new role at Simmons?</h4> <p> I'm excited about learning from and working with the students at Simmons. They have so much to teach staff and faculty about advancing a social justice agenda and being intentional about being inclusive. I recently met a student activist who spoke of their experience here at Simmons and how hopeful they were about making Simmons a place where the trans community is valued, recognized and rewarded for its contribution to this community and to broader society. </p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"I believe being a part of Simmons will give me an opportunity to support the future leadership of the country that reflects the richness of our heritage and leverages the wisdom of multiple identities."</h3> <hr /> <h4>How do you understand the words &ldquo;privilege&rdquo; and &ldquo;intersectionality&rdquo;?&nbsp;</h4> <p>I&rsquo;d say privilege is the power to change things, but not doing so. And there&rsquo;s a broad spectrum of people who have privilege. Intersectionality is important to understand as it&rsquo;s looking at our various identities and recognizing the impact of how they intersect. As a Latinx cisgender woman of color from the LBGTQ community &ndash; my experience is informed by more than one identity. Also, my identity is strongly influenced by being a first-generation college graduate.</p> <h4>If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?</h4> <p>Unstoppable! If you have purpose, nothing can stop you. One of my favorite quotes is from Sage Patanjali:&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></p> <p>This speaks to the power of possibility. Seeing what no one else sees as doable and doing it. This doesn&rsquo;t mean that there won&rsquo;t be barriers or challenges, there always are. It means seeing&nbsp; your way forward despite them. I often tell my mentees, whether you believe you can or you believe you cannot, either way you're right.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s your favorite book?</h4> <p><em>The Alchemist</em> by Paulo Coelho. It inspires me to believe that everyone has the potential to realize their dreams as long as they believe they can. The universe will conspire to help achieve all our desires. I've seen this happen in my life. It's happening right now.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Tell us one fun fact about yourself</h4> <p>I'm a pretty good salsa dancer and learned how to lead.&nbsp;</p>2018-09-17T00:00:00-04:00{E1EE1165-D596-4BDB-A422-C5731EDB742E} Jo Trigilio Named the 2018 Pride Marshal<p><em><a href="">Professor Jo Trigilio</a> has been an influential activist within the LGBTQ community since 1985 and is honored to be the Pride Marshal for the 48th Annual Boston Pride Parade.&nbsp;</em></p> <hr /> <h3></h3> <h3>How Pride began</h3> <p>Gay Liberation marches began in cities across the U.S. in June 1970 to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which took place in June 1969 outside of New York City's Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn, frequented by working class LGBTQ people, many of whom were people of color and gender non-conforming, was a regular target of police harassment. Although LGBTQ people often fought back when gay bars were raided and all the patrons were forced into paddy wagons, the resistance at the Stonewall Inn turned into a riot that lasted for days. The Stonewall riots are used as convenient marker for the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement in the U.S. In the '80s, as gay culture thrived in many urban centers, the political liberation marches transitioned to celebratory pride parades.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3>The importance of Pride in 2018</h3> <p>The ongoing purpose of Pride Parades is to demand social justice and to celebrate the positive aspects of being LGBTQ. Homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBTQ discrimination are alive and well in every corner of the U.S. Hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people are on the increase. LGBTQ youth have one of the highest attempted suicide rates. LGBTQ people who experience multiple forms of oppression face serious forms of social injustice. Pride is a good time for non-profits and community groups to raise awareness, educate people and solicit volunteers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><span>Pride is also about fun, solidarity and community. For most people, their first Pride is an awesome and unimaginably empowering experience. For one day a year, thousands upon thousands of LGBTQ people congregate in the city. I went to my first Pride march 33 years ago, and I'm still thrilled and awed every year.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <h3>How to be an ally</h3> <p>This is not a special month. I'm queer, gender non-conforming and an LGBTQ activist every day of the year. The worst mistake that allies can make is thinking that they only need to do something during Pride month. Being an ally to a group of people that faces systematic discrimination and social injustice is a full-time job with no vacations. Social justice is about doing the ethically right thing. Doing nothing, acquiescing to the homophobic, transphobic, sexist and racist status quo, is unethical. Allies to any oppressed group can do the following:</p> <ul> <li><span>Continually, proactively educate yourself about different forms of oppression. Many people experience multiple forms of intersecting oppressions, so it&rsquo;s important to learn about all forms of oppression.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span>Listen to the voices of those from oppressed groups. What are they saying they need?&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span>Be humble. Don&rsquo;t be paternalistic, and don&rsquo;t pat yourself on the back for doing the right thing.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span>Reflect on your own privilege and work to change the systems that prevent others from having the same access to the goods and services of society.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <h3>The role of Pride Marshal</h3> <p>I like to joke that I am a professional queer. I've been an activist in the LGBTQ movement since 1985. I've been deeply immersed in LGBTQ community and culture for just as long. I've been teaching courses in LGBTQ studies for over 30 years. I served on the executive organizing committee of the Boston Dyke March for 14 years, growing the march from 300 participants to over 2000. Much of my scholarship focuses on LGBTQ issues. For someone like me, being elected the Marshal of Pride is an incredible honor.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <div> <p><span>But, the real truth is that I was nominated by the 2017 Grand Marshal to use my position to help address the growing tensions between some community groups and Boston Pride. I </span>campaigned and was elected as an activist. Being the Pride Marshal is mostly a ceremonial role, but that is not my interest. Many community groups are unhappy with the rampant commercialization of Pride and the failure to address intersectional oppression at a deeper level. In this political climate, we cannot afford infighting. Simmons colleague, Sasha Goodfriend, and I have been meeting with community groups in an effort to help the Pride committee better understand the nature of the growing complaints.</p> <hr /> <p><em><span class="image-left"><img height="171" alt="Headshot of Jo Trigilio" width="200" src="~/media/F679F00168E24DE996880AC0C1F72185.ashx" /></span></em><em><span class="image-left"> </span></em></p> <em> <br /> <br /> <p style="display: inline !important;">Jo Trigilio is a Senior Lecturer and Program Director of Simmons' <a href="">gender/cultural studies</a> program. Jo Trigilio received a Ph.D. in Philosophy with a concentration in Feminist Theory from the University of Oregon.&nbsp;</p> </em> <p><em></em></p> <p><em></em></p> <em> <p style="display: inline !important;">Professor Trigilio has a special interest in the intersection of theory and practice, specializing in oppression/liberation theories, including feminist and gender theories, race theories, and queer theory.</p> </em> <p><em></em></p> </div>2018-06-07T00:00:00-04:00{285D565B-397F-498C-983B-97E3FD8E6C64} President Cuts Ribbon to New Multicultural Center<p><strong>ON CHOOSING SIMMONS:</strong> In high school, I started a tech-based education reform club called the iSchool Five. We traveled around to different conferences and schools in the Northeast. We attended a conference in 2014, which happened to take place in Boston. Long story short, I fell in love with the city. Yes, I love New York City, but Boston is great as a college student.</p> <p> When Simmons came on my radar, I was able to check many things off my college must-have list. It was in Boston, the Communications Department offered a great education and I knew that I'd be able to build a great network. When I stepped foot on campus, the energy felt different; I knew that this was where I was going to succeed.</p> <p><strong>ON THE BLACK STUDENT ORGANIZATION (BSO):</strong> As a first-year, I sought out the&nbsp;<a href="">BSO</a>. Being Black at a predominately white institution isn't easy and I wanted the support of others who were having similar experiences. BSO is a community I&rsquo;ve grown to love and where I&rsquo;ve found many of my friends. Moreover, a lot of our conversations allow for support, growth and building relationships with other Black students in the Greater Boston area.&nbsp;&nbsp;<span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Multicultural Center Ribbon Cutting" width="350" src="~/media/8D0F30848D8F4B77887D3FCFB63C5A10.ashx?h=300&amp;w=350" style="height: 300px; width: 350px;" /></span></p> <div> <p><strong>ON BEING BSO PRESIDENT:</strong> It's busy, but I wouldn&rsquo;t trade it for anything. When I was a first-year, I told the current president at the time, <a href="">Morgan Ward</a>, that I'd be the president of BSO by my senior year. Well, I managed to do it by my junior year.</p> </div> <p> My favorite part of the position is taking the role and making it my own. I&rsquo;ve learned that leadership comes in many different forms. I&rsquo;m an introvert so I prefer to get to know people in smaller settings, which is why I love the general body meetings we host weekly.&nbsp;</p> <p>In many ways, being president of the BSO is shaping me as a person. I'm learning to let my voice be heard, it has supported my event planning passions and it has expanded my knowledge of many social issues.</p> <div> <p><strong>ON BLACK HISTORY MONTH:</strong> Black History Month is a time to remember and celebrate the achievements of Black people, past, present and future. The history taught in school is not the only history. This month allows us to show more to the story through our lens. It&rsquo;s a reminder to us how glorious being Black truly is.</p> <p><span><strong>ON HER SIMMONS MOMENT:</strong>&nbsp;This past week the college opened its first ever <a href="">Multicultural Center</a>. This was sparked by the ten demands which were presented to the administration in 2015, my first year at Simmons. I participated in the protest alongside other students of color. In the demands, we stated wanting a multicultural office/center for students of color to create community, feel supported and for others to use as a resource. It is now two years later and our demands are being fulfilled. My moment was <a href="" target="_blank">cutting the ribbon</a> at the grand opening and realizing&nbsp;</span>Simmons is on a journey towards equity. This moment definitely made me proud to be attending Simmons.</p> <div><br /> </div> </div>2018-02-08T00:00:00-05:00{59DF7F31-3BC0-4827-B610-DC632A58FBA9} Celebrates Grand Opening of New Multicultural Center<p>On January 31, Simmons celebrated the grand opening of the Multicultural Center, a new space that offers advocacy, programming, and resources in regards to <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=23BDB3EDDEED46DEA7746EA9DCC37C39&amp;_z=z">diversity, equity, and inclusion</a>.</p> <p>"This moment is truly groundbreaking," said Nasyira Taylor '19, President of the Black Student Organization. "I hope the center will be a hub for students of color on campus and that all of us find a sense of community in the space. This center is the representation of the struggles of underrepresented people. This is where we are centered."&nbsp;</p> <p>The speaking program also included remarks by&nbsp;<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=78AE8F7006AD4533BAC27B910E349D57&amp;_z=z">President Helen Drinan</a>; Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; Noha Elmohands, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs; Morgan Ward '16, former President of the Black Student Organization (BSO); and Celina Fernando '19, from the Like Minds Coalition.</p> <p>Lisa Smith-McQueenie was honored with the first Multicultural Community Award for her commitment to equity work at Simmons; this award will be given annually.&nbsp;</p> <p>The center functions as a multipurpose space for programming, studying, and socializing and includes the Director of Multicultural Affairs' office.&nbsp;</p> <p><em> Multicultural Center is located across from the bookstore, next to the elevator. It is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.</em></p>2018-02-01T00:00:00-05:00{A657551F-0EE4-4810-8375-B7140F2B3E20} Racial Inequity Through Critical Consciousness<h4>What made you make the move to teach at Simmons?</h4> <p>I love to teach, and I knew Simmons to be an institution that valued teaching as an essential function of their faculty. As a teacher educator, I also knew that Simmons had a reputation for producing quality teachers that could hit the ground running.</p> <h4></h4> <h4>Did a particular experience or person inspire you to pursue your career?</h4> <p>I come from a family of Black educators. The importance of education, especially as it related to our sense of racial identity and community responsibility, was instilled in me from a young age in many different ways. As I grew older, I recognized the privileges my education afforded me, while simultaneously recognizing the ways that too many other Black youth were being denied the opportunities that I was afforded. All of this inspired me to go into the field of education to work closely with students and teachers in order to learn about and implement practices/approaches that would help afford students (especially students of color) the opportunities that I had. In other words, my success comes from when subsequent generations succeed.</p> <h4>Tell us about your research of critical consciousness.</h4> <p>There have been so many events and issues that have captured the attention and passion of our nation that speak to issues of power, privilege and justice. My colleague and co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Scott Seider of Boston University, and I are both <a href="" target="_blank">deeply interested</a> in the ways that schools can explicitly give students the intellectual and practical skills to make sense of and do something about these issues. We&rsquo;re defining critical consciousness as both an awareness of oppressive forces as well as a sense of efficacy in navigating and challenging these forces. So we recruited 6 schools in the Northeast, each of whom purport to raise the critical consciousness or civic engagement of their students as part of their mission. We followed students from the Class of 2017 in each of these schools from their first to their senior year of high school. We conducted extensive observations of students in their classroom environments, as well as having conducted yearly interviews and surveys of students. Our research asked 3 things:</p> <ul> <li>What are the different approaches that schools take in terms of developing critical consciousness?&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>To what extent are these approaches producing empirically-verifiable results?&nbsp;</li> <li>What does the process of developing critical consciousness look like over time?</li> </ul> <strong> <h4>What is one of the most interesting topics in your field right now?</h4> </strong> <p>One of the biggest topics in education right now is culturally responsive teaching. In other words, educators, families and policy-makers are looking for teaching approaches that connect the functional and critical academic skills that educators need to build in students while also honoring and building on the knowledge, expertise and values of the communities that our students of color and working-class students come from. Too often for students of color and working-class students, there is either a disconnect between the knowledge and values present in schools and their communities, or a blindness to the real forms of expertise and values that these students and their communities bring to the classroom.</p> <h4>Do you have any advice for students who are considering studying race and education?</h4> <p>Make sure your work is embedded in schools, working directly with young folks. There are so many problems and challenges to overcome as it pertains to race and education. It can become very depressing to do research on these topics from afar. Working with young folks builds my sense of hope because I&rsquo;m always inspired by the ways they are resilient in the face of many challenges.</p>2017-09-26T00:00:00-04:00{676C6186-086A-481B-AE0F-1F2D4EDAB55F} Actions Supporting the 2015 Ten Demands<p>As we mark the one-year anniversary of the ribbon cutting of the Multicultural Student Organization Office, we are pleased to present the work accomplished this year to support the ten demands brought forward by student leaders 18 months ago.</p> <p>We remain appreciative of the courageous students in the Class of 2016 who asked the College to take a good hard look at our campus culture. We are grateful for their activism and we thank all students, faculty, administration, and staff, who have helped ensure progress on making Simmons a more inclusive community.</p> <p>So many people have approached this work with passion and energy because they recognize the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity at Simmons. We believe, and hope, everyone can agree that we are firmly on a path to being the Simmons community we all know we can be.</p> <p>Throughout this academic year, we have shared detailed updates via the Thursday &ldquo;Thoughts from the President&rdquo; message on the progress we are making on diversity and inclusion at Simmons. We hope you read all of the updates. They appeared on:</p> <ul> <li><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=9EF748A0996B4254AA62B50F13F55D04&amp;_z=z" target="_blank">September 15, 2016</a></li> <li><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=40AA7B67A0AD44C6BADC64287BF6ABC1&amp;_z=z" target="_blank">October 20, 2016</a></li> <li><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=B3A6171672D2418FA62113A9FC4B217E&amp;_z=z" target="_blank">December 1, 2016</a></li> <li><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=5F58C6A31D274FEFBB97BAB82F251B9F&amp;_z=z" target="_blank">January 26, 2017</a></li> <li><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=98AE90E5BAD14D72A04DA4132B215A1B&amp;_z=z" target="_blank">April 20, 2017</a></li> </ul> <p>But, while we believe we are making progress, we recognize that we still have a notable journey ahead of us. Since, we could not achieve everything in the ten demands in just one year, we dedicated time and resources to implementing the following Simmons College FY16/17 Diversity &amp; Inclusion goals. As you will read in the update, these goals support the ten demands and all our work benefits the entire Simmons community.</p> <h3>Simmons College FY 16/17 Diversity &amp; Inclusion Goals</h3> <div> <ul> <li>Goal #1 Develop Philosophy &amp; Mission of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence: All Ten Demands</li> <li>Goal #2 Develop New Health Services/Support: Demand One</li> <li>Goal #3 Implement Training for Faculty, Staff and Students: Demand Three</li> <li>Goal #4 Implement Bias Response Protocol: Demand Three</li> <li>Goal #5 Plan &amp; Implement Curriculum Enhancements: Demand Four&nbsp;</li> <li>Goal #6 Hire Diverse Faculty and Staff: Demand Eight</li> <li>Goal #7 Student Recruiting: Demands Six &amp; Nine</li> <li>Goal #8 Create Multicultural Center Proposal for FY18: Demand Seven</li> <li>Goal #9 Develop Strong Programming: Demands Two &amp; Five</li> <li>Goal #10 Make Diversity &amp; Inclusion Prominent in our Strategic Plan, Strategy 2022: Demand Ten</li> </ul> <p>Learn more about actions that support the&nbsp;<a href="~/media/E1D9A32EBF1348A39341C2C0E48F6D9D.ashx" target="_blank">2015 Ten Demands</a>.</p> </div>2017-05-11T00:00:00-04:00{98AE90E5-BAD1-4D72-A04D-A4132B215A1B} & Inclusion Update #5This is our fifth update on our College-wide diversity &amp; inclusion (D&amp;I) initiatives that overlap our work to address the <a href="~/media/B7787FE6BC3A4851AA71073617967600.ashx">Ten Demands</a>. We will provide a detailed progress report on the Ten Demands in a May communication as we mark the one-year anniversary of the May 4, 2016 ribbon cutting of the Multicultural Student Organization Office.<hr /> <h3>College-Wide Diversity &amp; Inclusion Goals &ndash; Overview</h3> <p> We are pleased to say we are making commendable strides on our 2016-2017 goals. We developed our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=472A422C5DF54082A772C702AED115BA&amp;_z=z">philosophy</a> of diversity and inclusion (unanimously endorsed by our Board of Trustees); we provided D&amp;I training for the Simmons leadership team and for many full-time faculty, staff, and students; we implemented a <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=9FCCE80F2197419C8FDEFB8B99EE6B91&amp;_z=z">Bias Response Protocol</a> to enable anyone who has experienced a bias incident to report it and to receive support, resources, and guidance, as appropriate; our Diversity &amp; Inclusion Action Council, comprised of faculty, staff, and student members, meets twice a month to provide feedback on all initiatives before implementation; many faculty are working to substantially enrich curricula with more diverse content; and we've established diversity and inclusion as a prominent goal of our strategic plan, Strategy 2022.</p> <h3> Faculty Professional Development &ndash; Diversity &amp; Inclusion</h3> <p> Our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=A1CAC1A7FA1D4A5094B2813B1C00020A&amp;_z=z">Center for Excellence in Teaching</a>, in partnership with Romney &amp; Associates, designed a one-day seminar experience for faculty to address issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the classroom. The Inclusive Excellence Seminar has been successful in beginning to reach the wide range of areas that contribute to a more inclusive learning experience in the classroom for all students.<br /> <br /> To date, <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=70098ED42ADE46D297F4CF44B2420C41&amp;_z=z">141 faculty</a> have participated in this daylong seminar. Our goal for this year is to provide this opportunity to 160 faculty and we are confident it will be achieved. The ninth and final seminar for this year is scheduled for June 2, 2017. Two additional seminars will be offered in the fall to accommodate new and more current full-time faculty.<br /> <br /> Planning for the next iteration of the Inclusive Excellence Seminar (II) is underway. It will incorporate feedback from faculty and students regarding the classroom experience, inclusive instruction, and curriculum enhancement. And, it will expand upon previous learnings and continue to address topics like managing difficult conversations, equity in teaching and learning, and responsible pedagogy.</p> <h3> Staff Professional Development &ndash; Diversity &amp; Inclusion</h3> This January, we required all staff to complete four online training diversity and inclusion modules:<br /> <ol> <li>Diversity Benefits for Higher Education Employees</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: The Power of Respectful Language</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: Transition to Respect</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: Uncovering Implicit Bias</li> </ol> To date, 70% of staff have completed the four modules. We will continue to send reminders to remaining staff until they have completed the modules.<br /> <br /> Currently, THCS is developing plans for training opportunities to include experiential sessions with trained facilitators. We hope to offer the first opportunity to student-facing staff members this fall. <h3> Student Training Opportunities &ndash; Diversity &amp; Inclusion</h3> <p> Student Affairs and Diversity &amp; Inclusion partnered to create a multiple-session, undergraduate student leader training series. Aspiring student leaders were required to participate in the Student Multicultural Leadership Conference in January and will remain on campus after finals in May to participate in training designed to address inter/intrapersonal awareness, cultural humility, and inclusive excellence. The third (and traditional) training opportunity occurs in August, annually. Kudos to all the RAs, OLs, and organization leaders who have or will participate! Opportunities for graduate students are being developed.<br /> <br /> The Like Minds Coalition is currently sponsoring a series of Campus Conversations on Race. This five-week series brings students together to discuss issues of race and related matters. It is peer co-facilitated by those who are trained to facilitate conversations using a case study model.</p> <h3> Bias Response Protocol</h3> <p> We are in the pilot implementation phase of the Bias Response Protocol. About a dozen reports have been received through the online&nbsp;<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=CA1F31440C7B4F2AB3E8DF4C527F60B8&amp;_z=z">bias report form</a> or the <a href=";override=yes&amp;agreement=no&amp;violationtypeid=44822&amp;companyname=Simmons%20College" target="_blank">EthicsPoint</a> report form. The issues raised in the reports include matters of racial/ethnic, gender identity, and ability bias. Our Community Advocates and Bias Response Team have met regularly to ensure that all reports and involved persons are being given the attention they deserve.</p> <h3> Campus Activism</h3> <p> On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Simmons students walked out of class and/or engaged in a sit-in and speak-out in Common Grounds attended by many members of the community. We were heartened by this activism and solidarity. The demonstration raised awareness about the lives and experiences of trans and gender non-conforming students and provided an important reminder for us all to honor the humanity, dignity, and individuality of each member of our Simmons community.</p> <h3> What&rsquo;s next?</h3> <p> Many of us have become conversant in matters of diversity and inclusion. And, while we have accomplished a great deal this year, we have so much more to do. Our students and other community members are constantly pushing us to move even faster and to be even more diverse and more inclusive in all we do.College-Wide Diversity &amp; Inclusion Goals &ndash; Overview<br /> <br /> We are pleased to say we are making commendable strides on our 2016-2017 goals. We developed our philosophy of diversity and inclusion (unanimously endorsed by our Board of Trustees); we provided D&amp;I training for the Simmons leadership team and for many full-time faculty, staff, and students; we implemented a Bias Response Protocol to enable anyone who has experienced a bias incident to report it and to receive support, resources, and guidance, as appropriate; our Diversity &amp; Inclusion Action Council, comprised of faculty, staff, and student members, meets twice a month to provide feedback on all initiatives before implementation; many faculty are working to substantially enrich curricula with more diverse content; and we've established diversity and inclusion as a prominent goal of our strategic plan, Strategy 2022.<br /> <br /> </p>2017-04-20T00:00:00-04:00{7F7424A8-DB4C-4F31-8A5A-0E8AF48B2FBE} for Transgender Students<p>I am writing today to reflect on the recent reversal of the Education and Justice Department&rsquo;s joint guidance directing school districts and colleges to enable transgender students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity. This move will place such determinations at the state level.</p> <p>While I am deeply troubled by this action, I am reassured by existing Massachusetts law and want to reassure you amid these changes at the federal level, that here at Simmons we remain fully committed to the inclusion of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.Massachusetts laws will continue to provide equal rights protections to transgender individuals in all areas of education, employment, housing, lending, and public accommodation. Governor Charlie Baker has also offered reassurances that transgender students will be <a href="" target="_blank">protected and safe</a> in Massachusetts.</p> <p>At historic women&rsquo;s colleges, traditional notions and expectations about gender have always been challenged. Women&rsquo;s colleges strive to be communities that support individuals who have been marginalized because of their gender. In recent years, women&rsquo;s colleges have played a leading role in the support and inclusion of transgender students through increased transparency in admission policies, expanded services, and community education. These actions have offered an important example for higher education and our nation, and have resulted in new pathways for transgender students to pursue their education in an environment most conducive to their learning.</p> <p>Simmons is proud to be an educational institution that strives to create a culture in which transgender and gender non-conforming students feel safe, supported, and fully included and are availed equal opportunities to education.</p> <p>As we have throughout our history, Simmons College is committed to creating a culture of inclusion; one that signals to the world that we are a welcoming place where a full range of gender identity and expression enriches our community and is most welcome.</p>2017-02-24T00:00:00-05:00{0F8C607B-D9C7-4340-B3DB-9FAC88E580C7} Lewis '17 On Women-Centered College Week<h4>What's your major at Simmons?</h4> <p><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=05229EB401D243DCBBA2BC9DAFBC158B&amp;_z=z">Political science</a> and <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=459275C726AC4D91B12EB21C96CF509B&amp;_z=z">business management</a>.</p> <h4>What made you choose Simmons?</h4> <p>Simmons has always been a household name because my grandmother, mother and aunt all went here. Being a stubborn and very independent teenager, my first instinct was to not attend the same school as my relatives. However, with some convincing, I decided to apply to Simmons.&nbsp;</p> <p>Simmons instantly caught my eye when they sent me a personalized acceptance letter. When I finally visited, I knew that I wouldn't just be a name in a huge database, but that I would be a part of a community that would allow me &mdash; an introvert &mdash;to build lasting relationships and become a leader.</p> <h4>What student organizations are you involved with at Simmons?&nbsp;</h4> <p>I've been involved in the&nbsp;Student Government Association&nbsp;(SGA) since sophomore year. I started as the Senate President and I now serve as the Student Body President. I'm also in the middle of my second year as a Resident Advisor (RA).&nbsp;</p> <p>My favorite part of being involved on campus is meeting all the great people. I feel like I'm among the future leaders of this generation. The trust, confidence and reassurance they have poured into me is remarkable and I'm so thankful for these relationships.</p> <h4>Tell us about Women-Centered College Week! What kind of events are happening?</h4> <p>Women-Centered College Week will take place from Saturday, February 25th to Thursday, March 2nd.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><strong>Saturday</strong>, we're hosting a <a href="" target="_blank">kick off party</a> open to all college students. A special focus will be on connecting with other women's and women-centered colleges in the area.</li> <li><strong>Monday</strong>, we're having a second kick off celebration with a cake cutting and photo booth by the Fens. That evening, there will be a panel discussion from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Kotzen Room titled: <em>Breaking Trends</em> featuring fashion bloggers and online influencers <a href="" target="_blank">Danielle Cooper</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Sara Geffrard</a>, two black queer women navigating the men's fashion world.&nbsp;</li> <li>Writer, speaker, and advocate <a href="" target="_blank">Tiq Milan</a> will discuss <em>Reimagining Black Masculinity </em>on&nbsp;<strong>Tuesday</strong>&nbsp;from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in M501-502.</li> <li><strong>Wednesday </strong>will be a busy day with two events, <em>Women in Politics: When They Go Low, We Go Local</em>&nbsp;from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Center and a panel discussion on the importance of intersectional feminism with a few Simmons professors from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Kotzen Room.</li> <li>The week concludes with the Excellence Gala on <strong>Thursday</strong>&nbsp;from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m in the Linda K. Paresky Center. This will be a catered dinner celebration and <a href="">Sandra Cotterell</a> '79 will be our keynote.</li> </ul> <h4>What's the theme of the week?</h4> <p>"Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present and Shaping the Future." Each event showcases how we as a community and generation should learn about our history, giving honor when due, but not succumbing to past mistakes and failures. This is the time to act, lead, educate, empower, reflect and resist. If we take advantage of the present, we can shape a better future. </p> <h4>Who is welcome to attend events?&nbsp;</h4> We're extending an invitation to the entire Simmons community, which includes friends and loved ones! <h4>Why is Women-Centered College Week so important?</h4> <p>I want to showcase and uplift voices we don't usually hear in dominant culture and society. It's important to celebrate all of our accomplishments and hard work. This is a week we can all get together and celebrate and invest in our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=23BDB3EDDEED46DEA7746EA9DCC37C39&amp;_z=z">diverse and inclusive</a> community.</p> <h4>What's your Simmons moment?</h4> <p>When I gave my election speech for President at the SGA forum. We were running low on time and I had written a 5 minute long speech, but I had to compress it into a few minutes. When reciting my speech, I got a few moments of applause, but when I finished I got a standing ovation.&nbsp;</p> <p>At that moment, I saw my vision for myself come true and I knew I had picked the right career path.</p> <br> <p><em>From Left: Danielle Cooper, Taylor Lewis '17 and Sara Geffrard</em></p>2017-02-24T00:00:00-05:00{7DCFAF3F-CA39-4516-AFD9-D048FB30E6BC} Partisan Speech on University Campuses2017-02-09T00:00:00-05:00{DCA5BD19-8BBA-4FD5-9413-4084A4E07D45} Order on Immigration: Simmons Responds<p>The events of this past week have been felt deeply within our Simmons community and our nation&mdash;as well as across the globe. Recent actions at airports across the country left many with feelings of disbelief, uncertainty, isolation, and fear.</p> <p>Simmons espouses values of inclusion that make it impossible for me not to react to these discriminatory actions that threaten the very fabric of our community. Indeed, Simmons is made up of individuals of a rich abundance of racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, hailing from many countries of origin. The College community also includes individuals who are, as I am, proud descendants of earlier immigrants to this country. All of these individuals are welcome here and will continue to be welcome here as essential members of the Simmons family.</p> <p> </p> <p>For members of the community who are feeling scared and worried, please know that we are here for you and stand ready to support you in any way that we can. I pledge the cooperation of every office on campus; all doors are open to you, and I encourage you to reach out if you believe we can assist you.</p> <p> We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops over the coming days. In the meantime, I will repeat the values I committed to in December 2016. We will:</p> <ul> <li>Uphold the federal and state privacy rights of students and employees in the event that law enforcement authorities request that we disregard them</li> <li>Ensure that Simmons Public Safety Officers have no access to, and make no inquiries about, the immigration status of an individual</li> <li>Confirm that Simmons Public Safety Officers do not enforce immigration laws or participate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in their work</li> <li>Avoid discrimination of any kind on the basis of immigration status</li> <li>Continue our legal employment practices which have never included the use of E-Verify, a government website used for checking the legal work status of an individual</li> <li>Require government agents, including ICE, to follow applicable procedures for obtaining access to private information (including immigration status) about students and employees</li> <li>Decline to provide private information to government agents unless compelled to do so by a valid warrant, a judicial order, or both, and only then after the determination of our legal obligations to comply by our General Counsel and external legal advisors</li> <li>Provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all members of our community</li> </ul> <p>More than ever, we affirm our values and join together in solidarity for everyone in our community.</p>2017-01-30T00:00:00-05:00{5F58C6A3-1D27-4FEF-BB97-BAB82F251B9F} and Inclusion Update #4<p><em>This week, Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Cheryl Howard, and I are sharing our fourth update on work underway to reach our goal of <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=472A422C5DF54082A772C702AED115BA&amp;_z=z">inclusive excellence</a>.</em></p> <hr /> <p>As we start a new year, a new semester, and a new age in America, let us recommit to interpersonal engagement and to taking an active part in the work required to make Simmons a more inclusive community where all members feel valued.</p> <h3>FY &rsquo;17 Diversity &amp; Inclusion Goals</h3> <p>Last summer, eight goals were identified as follows:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>Develop the Philosophy and Mission of Diversity &amp; Inclusion at Simmons</li> <li>Implement Diversity &amp; Inclusion Training and Professional Development</li> <li>Launch a Bias Response Protocol</li> <li>Start curriculum enhancement</li> <li>Support diversity in faculty and staff hiring</li> <li>Support diversity in student recruitment</li> <li>Propose a Multicultural Center</li> <li>Implement a comprehensive communication plan</li> </ul> <p>This fall, we made notable strides toward achieving these goals, having started necessary work on all eight of them.</p> <p>Highlights of the work completed thus far include:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>Development of our Statement on Inclusive Excellence</li> <li>Participation of the President&rsquo;s Operating Team in three-day Diversity &amp; Inclusion Training</li> <li>Participation of deans and senior leaders in two-and-a-half-day Diversity &amp; Inclusion Training</li> <li>Developed and offered professional development (&ldquo;Teaching for Inclusive Excellence&rdquo; one-day seminar) to all full-time faculty from November to March (required)</li> <li>Offered online diversity &amp; inclusion training modules to all staff (required)</li> <li>Offered online diversity &amp; inclusion training to all who are hiring (required)</li> <li>Implemented the Bias Response Protocol pilot roll-out</li> <li>Implemented communication plan</li> </ul> <h3>Faculty Professional Development &ndash; Diversity &amp; Inclusion</h3> <p>Since November, 90 faculty have participated in the &ldquo;Teaching for Inclusive Excellence&rdquo; seminar designed and presented by our <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=A1CAC1A7FA1D4A5094B2813B1C00020A&amp;_z=z">Center for Excellence in Teaching</a> in partnership with Romney &amp; Associates.</p> <p>Faculty participants reported they experienced &ldquo;good discussions about diversity&rdquo; that offered &ldquo;useful insights&hellip;on creating an inclusive classroom.&rdquo; They reported an appreciation for &ldquo;conversations with colleagues from [their] disciplines about curriculum&rdquo; and &ldquo;translating the concepts into direct teaching practice.&rdquo; The vast majority of participants reported they found the pre-readings helpful.</p> <p>Additional sessions, scheduled for March 16, 22, and 23, are at full capacity with a waitlist. We will schedule more dates in 2017 to accommodate all full-time faculty and we are planning for the next phase of diversity &amp; inclusion professional development.</p> <h3>Staff Diversity &amp; Inclusion Training</h3> <p>On January 18, important required training in several areas for staff and faculty was launched, including training in diversity &amp; inclusion. We hope these modules will inform and be a catalyst for conversation as we engage with one another to address the dynamic, evolving issues of our community and our world.</p> <h3>Student Training Opportunities</h3> <p>On Friday, January 27, 2017, the Like Minds Coalition will host the 10th Annual Multicultural Leadership Conference from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in S183. This year, in conjunction with Student Life and Diversity &amp; Inclusion, we are including opportunities for students to learn more about inclusive excellence at Simmons and the role of student leaders in deliberately enacting inclusive leadership through their various roles on campus.</p> <p>All undergraduate and gradutate students are welcome to attend. Please contact for more information.</p> <p>The conference will be immediately followed by the spring semester Colors of Success Welcome Back Reception hosted by the Like Minds Coalition at 5:00 p.m. Open to all.</p> <h3>Bias Response Protocol</h3> <p>As noted in previous communications, we are implementing a <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=9FCCE80F2197419C8FDEFB8B99EE6B91&amp;_z=z">Bias Response Protocol</a> to inform, instruct, and support those who have been affected by bias. Resources and referrals will be offered, as appropriate.</p> <p>Members of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Council (DIAC) hosted a community meeting on December 8, 2016 to launch the protocol and discuss rollout of a six-month pilot implementation.</p> <p>An online <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=CA1F31440C7B4F2AB3E8DF4C527F60B8&amp;_z=z">bias incident report form</a> has been developed as a starting point in the protocol process. Should you submit it, you will be contacted by a Community Advocate from the Bias Response Team who will support you in the next steps of the protocol. If you believe you have experienced or encountered bias, harassment, or discrimination, you may also contact a member of the Student Life or Residence Life Professional Staff, an academic dean, a Public Safety Officer, or Bias Response Team Community Advocate. An anonymous report of a bias related incident(s) may also be submitted via <a href=";override=yes&amp;agreement=no&amp;violationtypeid=44822&amp;companyname=Simmons%20College" target="_blank">EthicsPoint</a>.</p> <p>Lisa and Cheryl have begun meeting with key stakeholders and appropriate adjudicating bodies across campus to ensure seamless integration with existing protocols, policies, and practices. Protocol presentations and &ldquo;workshops&rdquo; will be conducted throughout the spring semester.</p> <p>Following the pilot phase, we will assess progress and implement any necessary changes before the formal launch in fall 2017.</p> <hr /> As we continue to work on these important goals, we are so heartened to see a genuine commitment across the Simmons community to make progress on becoming a truly warm, welcoming, inclusive community that appreciates, values, and respects the humanity, dignity, diversity, and contributions of all its members.2017-01-26T00:00:00-05:00{09CF74F1-F0DE-4759-985F-A4FE355498C1} on Sanctuary Campus Status<p>On Thursday, December 1, 2016, I communicated about a petition circulating on social media, addressed to the Members of the Simmons College Board of Trustees and myself, seeking the designation of Simmons College as a "sanctuary campus."</p> <p> At that time, I shared the fact that the Simmons College Board of Trustees Executive Committee was scheduled to meet on December 7, 2016, and that I would take that opportunity to review the petition with Executive Committee Members. My report on those deliberations follows.</p> <h3> Commitment to Social Justice</h3> <p> The Executive Committee Members discussed the petition, my 12/1/16 message to the community, legal advice we sought specific to Simmons College, and guidance on the topic of sanctuary campuses prepared by the American Council on Education (ACE).</p> <p> With our College's history of social justice ever present in their minds, the Executive Committee Members strongly reconfirmed the commitments to Simmons students and to Simmons employees identified in my first communication, which are to:</p> <p> <ul> <li>Uphold the federal and state privacy rights of students and employees in the event that law enforcement authorities request that we disregard them</li> <li>Ensure that Simmons Public Safety Officers have no access to, and make no inquiries about, the immigration status of an individual</li> <li>Confirm that Simmons Public Safety Officers do not enforce immigration laws or participate with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in their work</li> <li>Avoid discrimination of any kind on the basis of immigration status</li> <li>Continue our legal employment practices which have never included the use of E-Verify, a government website used for checking the legal work status of an individual</li> <li>Require government agents, including ICE, to follow applicable procedures for obtaining access to private information (including immigration status) about students and employees</li> <li>Decline to provide private information to government agents unless compelled to do so by a valid warrant, a judicial order, or both, and only then after the determination of our legal obligations to comply by our General Counsel and external legal advisors</li> <li>Provide a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community</li> </ul> </p> <p> In addition, the Executive Committee concurred with our recommendation to support Simmons students dealing with immigration status challenges in two ways. First, a Simmons student needing legal advice because of DACA status, or similar issue, is invited to reach out to our General Counsel, Kathy Rogers, or our Assistant General Counsel, Gretchen Groggel-Ralston, who will arrange a meeting for the student with an immigration lawyer in the new year at Simmons&rsquo; expense. Second, our Enrollment Management team will provide special financial consideration related to college expenses to students whose immigration status may negatively impact their continued eligibility for federal financial aid.</p> <p> At this time, without a common definition of a &ldquo;sanctuary campus," Members of the Executive Committee indicated they cannot endorse such a status for Simmons College because of the potential for unintended consequences particularly related to our reliance on the federal government for substantial financial aid and Pell Grant funds that make it possible for hundreds of our students to obtain a Simmons College education.</p> <p> Since my first communication on sanctuary campuses, I have signed the Statement of Support for Deferred Action in Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, organized by the President of Pomona College.</p> There is no question that Simmons College intends to sustain its long-held values of fairness and inclusion while also supporting the development of legal processes that will continue to be an inspiration to so many people across the world. We will work toward these ends, purposefully, together.2016-12-16T00:00:00-05:00{B3A61716-72D2-418F-A621-13A9FC4B217E} and Inclusion Update #3With the anticipation and the uncertainty of a future in a changing social and political climate, let&rsquo;s recognize that academic, co-curricular, and institutional demands compete with the need to take care of each other and ourselves. As we enter the last month of 2016, our value of honoring the humanity, dignity, and individuality of each member of our Simmons community and of those in different societies that surround us is more important now than ever before.<br /> <p><br /> </p> <p>This week, Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Cheryl Howard, and I are sharing our third update on work underway to make Simmons a more inclusive environment that is welcoming of diverse perspectives and encourages all to grow and learn, together, as we weather seasons of change. We hope everyone will affirm Simmons as a community that is striving to create an environment free from bias, prejudice, discrimination, and hurtful/hateful acts that can prevent each member from thriving. Let&rsquo;s honor our commitment to inclusive excellence.<br /> <br /> </p> <h3>Faculty Professional Development/Training</h3> <p><br /> </p> <p>This past Monday, faculty members participated in the first &ldquo;Teaching for Inclusive Excellence&rdquo; seminar designed and presented by our Center for Excellence in Teaching in partnership with Romney &amp; Associates. Faculty experienced an engaging, research-based, collaborative, one-day session utilizing an inclusive excellence framework. The training provided context and tools to support the development of courses with more diverse content, create an inclusive learning environment, and facilitate difficult conversations on critical issues. To date, 149 full-time faculty have registered for 160 available spaces in eight sessions running through mid-March. More training sessions are being planned for the summer and fall to accommodate additional faculty. Online training for our part-time and online faculty is in the planning phase now. We will also be preparing the next phase of diversity and inclusion professional development for faculty, which will be offered starting in fall 2017.</p> <h3>Simmons College Bias Response Protocol</h3> <p>As noted in our 10/20/16 update, we are implementing a <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=9FCCE80F2197419C8FDEFB8B99EE6B91&amp;_z=z">Bias Response Protocol (BRP)</a> to inform, instruct, and support those who have been affected by bias. The BPR is designed to educate and to raise awareness in our community about bias and hate incidents at Simmons that detract from our goal of an inclusive community that is affirming of all members. A draft of the BRP has been shared widely with many constituencies&mdash;student leaders, faculty, and staff&mdash;in more than a dozen sessions hosted by Lisa, Cheryl, and members of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Council (DIAC). Thank you to those who participated for your time in reading, reviewing, and offering input, insights, and questions that have been invaluable to the development of this new BRP process. The BRP draft incorporates feedback from all sessions and supports our desired learning outcomes for our community. Lisa and Cheryl will continue to work on addressing various questions that were raised in the feedback sessions. </p> <p>On December 8, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in SOM 501/502, members of the DIAC will host a community meeting to launch the Bias Response Protocol and to discuss the six-month pilot implementation. All are invited to attend.</p> <p>During the six-month pilot phase, Lisa and Cheryl will continue to meet with key stakeholders; ensure appropriate support for those affected; begin a secure data collection process; and work on a seamless integration with existing practices and protocols. At the close of the pilot phase, an assessment of progress will be made and any necessary changes will be implemented to bring us to a &ldquo;final&rdquo; Bias Response Protocol by fall 2017.</p> <h3></h3> <h3>Post-election Events and Programming</h3> <p>On November 9, 2016, the community gathered in Common Grounds to be together and to process responses and reactions to the election outcome. There were many speakers&mdash;students, faculty, and staff&mdash;who shared a variety of perspectives, observations, and concerns. Directly after the community gathering, a post-election discussion panel &ldquo;What Just Happened?&rdquo; was presented to a standing-room-only audience, eager to understand the election cycle and implications of the outcome. The presentations of Professors Abel Amado, Mark Bellamy, Kristen Dukes, Denise Horn, and Lena Zuckerwise and the follow-on discussion with audience members provided a start to the process of navigating critical challenges and issues. We hosted a 2016 Election Recap Webinar for our Simmons Alumnae/i Network, and our Student Life division hosted three lunchtime sessions open to all students the week following the election to address post-election concerns. There was staff present to offer support to students and assist in facilitating conversations.</p> <h3></h3> <h3>Upcoming Programming</h3> <p>The Office of the General Counsel invites you to attend a panel presentation on Civil Rights Law designed to help you learn more about your civil rights. You will have an opportunity to pose questions to lawyers Jessie Rossman and Sophia Hall, both of whom work in the area of civil rights law. There are five topics expected to be addressed in their presentation&mdash;the Muslim Registry, Stop &amp; Frisk, Mental Health Rights, Responding to Hate Crimes, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The presentation will be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the MCB, room C-103. </p> <p><strong>Student Spotlight: Like Minds Coalition Upcoming Programming</strong></p> <p>The Like Minds Coalition is a student group committed to promoting an equitable community that values and respects the diversity of human experiences. Like Minds Coalition strives to create a supportive environment on campus where individuals and groups are empowered to address issues around race, class, gender, and all other forms of social bias and oppression. Upcoming programming includes:</p> <p> <ul> <li>Campus Conversations on Race (CCOR) &ndash; a six-week module that engages participants in deep conversations around issues and impact of race on a college campus. CCOR will give students a new perspective of communities of color around them and equip them with the skills to talk about race in the classroom and beyond. This program will run from week of January 23rd to week of February 27th. Student facilitators are trained prior to the sessions and paired with a peer to lead conversations.</li> <li>Annual Student Multicultural Leadership Conference (January 27, 2017) &ndash; a day of workshops and experiential activities designed to provide current and future Simmons student leaders the tools to learn the inclusive leadership skills necessary to be informed and inclusive not only in their roles at Simmons, but beyond.&nbsp;</li> <li>Multicultural Week (March 27-31, 2017) &ndash; a new collaborate program series. More details will follow in the next semester.&nbsp;</li> </ul> </p> <p>As we work on these important initiatives, we find a genuine commitment across the Simmons community to make important progress on becoming a truly warm, welcoming, inclusive community that appreciates, values, and respects the humanity, dignity, diversity, and contributions of all its members.</p>2016-12-01T00:00:00-05:00{40AA7B67-A0AD-44C6-BADC-64287BF6ABC1} Culture Redesign: Diversity and Inclusion Update<em> <h3><hr /> </h3> </em> <h3> Leadership Team Professional Development</h3> <p> The Deans, the Operating Team, and other senior leaders in a variety of College roles participated in diversity and inclusion professional development/training with the completion of a second, multi-day session facilitated by Romney Associates, Inc. in late September.</p> <h3> Faculty Professional Development</h3> <p> Our Center for Excellence in Teaching and Romney Associates, Inc. have partnered to design "Teaching for Inclusive Excellence," an engaging, research-based, and collaborative one-day training seminar for full-time faculty to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Through an inclusive excellence framework, faculty will work collaboratively to review, share, and discuss practical teaching and course design strategies, drawing from current research and their own experiences and expertise. The training will give faculty context and tools to create courses with more diverse content, create an inclusive learning environment, and facilitate difficult conversations on critical issues.</p> <p> Deans, Faculty Senate, Diversity &amp; Inclusion Action Council (DIAC) faculty, and other faculty have reviewed the "Teaching for Inclusive Excellence" content outline and teaching goals. There will be eight sessions offered to accommodate 160 faculty. The schedule will be repeated next year to accommodate additional full-time faculty. Sessions will be offered:</p> <ul> <li>Monday, November 28, 2016&nbsp;</li> <li>Friday, December 2, 2016&nbsp;</li> <li>Monday January 9, 2017&nbsp;</li> <li>Tuesday January 10, 2017&nbsp;</li> <li>Wednesday January 11, 2017&nbsp;</li> <li>Thursday, March 16, 2017&nbsp;</li> <li>Wednesday, March 22, 2017&nbsp;</li> <li>Thursday, March 23, 2017</li> </ul> <p>Details about sign-up will be shared next week.</p> <h3> Employee Diversity and Inclusion Online Training</h3> <p> Online training addressing diversity and inclusion developed by Campus Answers will be available for all Simmons employees, on-campus or online, beginning in mid-November. There are four modules and each module takes between 20 to 50 minutes to complete, if you want to finish in a single session. Sarah Miller, Lisa Smith-McQueenie, and Cheryl Howard have completed the four modules and they believe "there is definitely worth and value to them, despite the fact that they are introductory and passive." This winter, Sarah, Lisa, and Cheryl will focus on follow-up opportunities for employees to pursue in order to further our collective "journey" to inclusive excellence.</p> <p> The four online Campus Answers modules are:</p> <ul> <li>Diversity Benefits for Higher Education Employees&nbsp;</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: The Power of Respectful Language&nbsp;</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: Transition to Respect&nbsp;</li> <li>Respect and Inclusion Series: Uncovering Implicit Bias&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Details for participating will be shared next week. </p> <h3> Bias Response Protocol</h3> <p> We are implementing a <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=9FCCE80F2197419C8FDEFB8B99EE6B91&amp;_z=z">Bias Response Protocol (BRP)</a> to inform, instruct, and support those who have been affected by bias. Additionally, the BRP is designed to educate and raise awareness in our community about bias and hate incidents that detract from our goal of an inclusive community that is affirming of all members. A draft of the Bias Response Protocol has been shared with many constituencies. Lisa and Cheryl hosted nine feedback sessions with faculty, staff, Staff Council, Faculty Senate, DIAC, student leaders, and Student Government Association (SGA) between 10/13 &ndash; 10/19. The final draft of the BRP will incorporate input from these important sessions. When the draft is complete, implementation activities will commence with a target launch date in early December.</p> <h3> Hiring Staff and Faculty</h3> <p> Talent and Human Capital Strategy (THCS) has identified five new online vehicles that reach more diverse audiences. They are,,, and All jobs posted on the Simmons website now, and in the future, will be posted to these diverse sites. THCS has budgeted funds for this expanded posting. </p> <p> There are two online Campus Answers modules which can be of help in thinking about how to develop a more diverse candidate pool. Sarah Miller has reviewed both modules that will be available to employees in mid-November. They are:</p> <p> <ul> <li>Interviewing for Higher Education Hiring Committees</li> <li>Interviewing Higher Education Staff Candidates</li> <li>Details for participating will be shared next week.</li> <li>Communications</li> </ul> </p> <p> SGA invited students and the community to discuss diversity and inclusion at the College on two days this fall. The 10th annual Colors of Success multicultural program and dinner saw the largest turnout in recent years as new and returning students and faculty and staff came together to celebrate and examine diversity at Simmons. The Simmons Voice October 6th issue reported on Colors of Success and on diversity and inclusion/Ten Demands work from the summer and plans for the fall. The Board of Trustees heard an update on summer and fall activities that support our goals of inclusive excellence at their October 20th meeting.</p> <p> We have been very busy this fall as we energized our focus on diversity and inclusion at Simmons. Good progress has been made, yet we know we have so much more to do. We will provide our third update on these important plans and programs on December 1st. Please look for it.</p> <p> As we work on these important initiatives, it is heartwarming to know there is a genuine commitment across the Simmons community to make significant progress on becoming a truly warm, welcoming, inclusive community that appreciates, values, and respects the humanity, dignity, diversity, and contributions of all its members.</p>2016-10-20T00:00:00-04:00{967F7F2B-B3CD-4145-918A-850D487E6612} Leader Janaya Khan on #blacklivesmatter<p>Janaya Khan, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, spoke about their work and vision for the anti-racism movement as part of the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=8637C75875B0413F99691D6A65717493&amp;_z=z">Friars Leaders</a> series. They described the power of grassroots activism for change and the application of lessons from the global struggle for justice to current issues in the United States.</p> <p>Khan spoke of their recent involvement in demonstrations in Charlotte and Los Angeles, describing their interactions with police with their fellow protesters. They connected these experiences with protests in their native Toronto, Palestine and across the world, drawing on wisdom from <a href=";index=5&amp;list=PL4AEBF7FF172C8C80" target="_blank">Angela Davis</a>, James Baldwin and other thought leaders to put these grassroots actions in the context of the overall movement for Black liberation and social justice.</p> <p>They powerfully urged students to ensure that their lives are spent ensuring that future generations do not have to fight the same struggles that are happening now. They then turned the presentation over to three Simmons students, who continued the theme of global justice by presenting their own experiences of racism in the United States and abroad.&nbsp;</p> <p>Lauren Morgan &lsquo;20 compared the visibility of race in Ghana to the structures of privilege and the representation of race in American popular culture. Jasmine Cas&iacute;miro Jean &lsquo;19 explained the aftermath of disaster relief services in Haiti which failed to address core infrastructure problems. Cambridge native Zuri Ball &lsquo;19 described her frustrations with managing the normal stresses of being a college student while worrying about her family&rsquo;s safety and fighting for the visibility and safety of Black people at Simmons and in the community.</p> <p>Khan closed the program by answering questions and providing practical tips for students to fight for justice constantly, even in their classrooms and personal interactions, saying, &ldquo;It would be too easy for us to say the fight for freedom is for remarkable people. When we fight for freedom, when we fight for justice, we become remarkable.&rdquo;</p>2016-10-06T00:00:00-04:00{9EF748A0-996B-4254-AA62-B50F13F55D04} Culture Redesign: Diversity & Inclusion UpdateThough many of you were gone from campus this summer, the importance of <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=23BDB3EDDEED46DEA7746EA9DCC37C39&amp;_z=z">diversity and inclusion</a> work to improve the experience of every Simmons community member remained paramount to us.<br /> <br /> In this message, Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Cheryl Howard, and I will update you on what happened this summer with regard to diversity, inclusion, and the 2015 Ten Demands&mdash;and we will provide you with a view of upcoming college-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives.<br /> <br /> First, we want to reiterate the commitment of College leadership to continue work on creating and sustaining a more diverse and inclusive community. Our FY 16/17 efforts will focus on 1) addressing many of the issues raised by community members 2) engaging with students regarding the 2015 Ten Demands and 3) strategically addressing diversity and inclusion goals that encourage broad participation in college-wide efforts. This fiscal year, we seek to be firmly on the path to becoming the truly welcoming Simmons community we all envision. <h3>Summer 2016 Updates &amp; Highlights</h3> <h3></h3> <ul> <li>To increase focus, we reorganized diversity and inclusion under the Operating Team leadership of Cheryl Howard (now Vice President for Communications, Diversity &amp; Inclusion). Cheryl and Lisa Smith-McQueenie (now Assistant Vice President for Diversity &amp; Inclusion) are partnering on institution-wide diversity and inclusion goals, strategies, and tactics.</li> <li>In July, the Operating Team and I participated in a 3-day training with Dr. Pat Romney and Dr. Molly Keehn of Romney Associates, Inc. This professional development opportunity was in line with best practices, was responsive to student concerns, and demonstrated College leadership&rsquo;s commitment to take the lead in addressing climate issues on campus by raising our own awareness.</li> <li>FY 16/17 College Diversity &amp; Inclusion goals have been proposed and they are currently under review. The goals include such priorities as developing a shared mission and philosophy, ongoing professional and student development, curriculum and pedagogical enhancements, hiring diverse faculty and staff, recruiting diverse students, responding to the 2015 Ten Demands, and preparing a campus multicultural center proposal.</li> <li>A draft of a Simmons Bias Response Protocol has been prepared and we are in the process of extensive vetting with many constituencies of the College. In the summer, Cheryl and Lisa worked with the Deans, the Operating team, a student focus group, and the Diversity &amp; Inclusion Action Council (DIAC) on reviewing the draft protocol. This fall, vetting will continue with faculty senate, staff council, and other key constituencies. In addition, Lisa and Cheryl will be learning about best practices on bias response protocols from the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) Student Affairs Research Team that is conducting research on implementation of bias response protocols across colleges and universities. The underlying philosophy of the draft Simmons Bias Response Protocol is one of &ldquo;educational opportunity&rdquo; in an effort to prevent biased attitudes and behaviors and to promote a more inclusive campus climate. Key elements of the working document include the creation of community advocates as part of the bias response team, a glossary of working definitions, and extensive FAQs.</li> <li>We hosted Dr. Shakti Butler, a recognized inspirational facilitator, trainer, and lecturer, for a week of diversity and inclusion training for undergraduate student leaders, a keynote address to the entire first-year class, and an interactive session open to the Simmons community. <ul> <li>Dr. Shakti Butler is Founder and President of World Trust Educational Services, a non-profit transformative educational organization. World Trust produces films, curricula, workshops, and programs that are catalysts for institutional, structural, and cultural change. Dr. Butler has produced four documentaries: The Way Home; Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible; Light in the Shadows; and Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. She presents regularly at schools, universities, public and private organizations, and faith-based institutions.</li> <li>Dr. Butler facilitated several days of training that included an exploration of the historical context of racial inequity, social justice language/definitions, and strategic questioning as an approach to creating personal and social change. Some sessions addressed other issues raised in the Ten Demands regarding student training. Topics included diversity programming, biased behavior, inclusive language, and race and ethnicity on campus.</li> <li>Dr. Butler offered a keynote address to our first-year students during Orientation and facilitated a daylong series of experiential exercises based on clips from her films linking to real world issues as a part of our annual F.A.C.E.S. (First Year Appreciation of Cultural Experiences at Simmons) Program.</li> <li>Additionally, Dr. Butler delivered a session for the Simmons community that offered historical perspective, information, tools, and encouragement to stay actively engaged with one another in order to create an inclusive Simmons community. She recommended that all read <em><a href="" target="_blank">Strategic Questioning: An Approach to Creating Personal and Social Change by Peavey and Hutchinson</a></em>.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li>The DIAC worked with Lisa to help ensure continued momentum on the College&rsquo;s D&amp;I priorities. Specific summer tasks included review, discussion, and revision of the draft Bias Response Protocol, the FY 16/17 diversity and inclusion goals, and the development of potential programming to improve campus climate. Additionally, DIAC identified two undergraduate and two graduate students to serve on the council with nine faculty and seven staff members.</li> <li>Talent &amp; Human Capital Strategy (THCS) recruiters completed a comprehensive Diversity Recruitment Training program designed for professional recruiters. Their training focused on recruiting methodologies and technical search techniques to more effectively source diverse talent pools. Leanings from the training were adapted to daily recruitment practices. For example, to support the active sourcing of diverse talent for high-volume and commonly filled positions (such as the sourcing of adjunct faculty for online programs), our recruiters are now able to apply technical recruiting search techniques to broaden outreach and to generate meaningful, diverse candidate search results. Also, our recruiters learned about how to source diverse talent through social channels, how to build technical searches for diverse resumes, and how to configure searches that will generate more diverse talent leads.</li> </ul> <h3>2016 &ndash; 2017: Looking at the Year Ahead</h3> <ul> <li>In late September, the Deans and other key college leaders will participate in a 2.5-day training facilitated by Romney Associates, Inc. This professional development opportunity will inform much of the work that will continue across the College and in departments and units.</li> <li>Hiring managers will be trained on how to successfully conduct recruiting and hiring processes to help ensure a diverse final candidate pool. We are discussing a rollout plan for diversity training and related professional development opportunities for Simmons employees. Cheryl, Lisa, and Sarah Miller (Assistant Vice President, THCS) are reviewing the Campus Answers diversity and inclusion online training tool developed for university settings. It can be distributed to all employees for completion. We will have more information about online diversity and inclusion training very shortly.</li> <li>Provost Conboy, the Deans, Center for Excellence in Teaching Director Jennifer Herman, and others are working on outlining professional development opportunities available for faculty this year. We expect the opportunities for faculty will begin to address such concerns as micro-aggressions; creating an inclusive classroom environment; having difficult conversations; and supporting members of underrepresented identity groups. Additional details will be shared in a future communication.</li> <li>You are encouraged to attend the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=8637C75875B0413F99691D6A65717493&amp;_z=z">Friar&rsquo;s Leadership Lecture Series</a> which offers a diverse and impressive set of speakers that includes Dr. Shakti Butler (mentioned above); Janaya Khan, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto who has become a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice, and equality; and Woodrow Wilson Fellow Callie Crossley, television and radio commentator.</li> <li>Please save September 29th from 5:00 &ndash; 7:00 PM for Colors of Success, our annual multicultural welcome program. This year&rsquo;s program will feature a diverse student panel and an opportunity to meet and mingle with new and returning community members.</li> </ul> <p>As we move into this new academic year, we hope everyone will feel building and maintaining an inclusive community means a willingness to practice respecting, appreciating, and looking out for one another. Dialogue is so important. Let&rsquo;s commit to listening to and hearing one another, engaging in the discovery of learning with and from others, and building the trust required to be open and engaged.</p> <p>We have much to do and we know there is genuine commitment across the entire Simmons community to make important progress on diversity and inclusion.</p>2016-09-15T00:00:00-04:00{9B838024-DEB2-4B5B-A221-40036ADCB842} Our Faculty<p><em>This week Provost and Senior Vice President Katie Conboy and I respond to one of the Ten Demands that focuses on recruiting a more diverse faculty to the College. Students made the specific request that we increase the number of faculty of color at Simmons.<hr /> </em></p> <h3>Progress To Date</h3> <p>In response to this demand, we made significant efforts this year to enrich the pools of applicants in our faculty searches. Moreover, we converted several faculty positions to tenure-track with the explicit intention of recruiting candidates of color in these roles.</p> <p>Of the 11 faculty searches that took place this year, we have completed nine, and in those nine searches we have hired five new faculty of color. Two searches remain underway, with diverse finalists in both pools of candidates. There are other kinds of diversity accomplished in our hiring as well, including LGBTQ and international diversity.</p> <p>While we have had very good success this year in our recruiting efforts, it will take more time to develop protocols and trainings for all faculty searches. Importantly however, we have begun to ask the right questions, such as how to structure effective search committees, how to position the job-posting advantageously, and how to use the campus visit to emphasize the kind of community we expect&mdash;and that any candidate will want to join.</p> <p>The demands set out laudable goals for achieving diversity levels across all academic disciplines, but the fact is that the academic pipeline is not evenly robust in all the disciplines offered at Simmons. We may need to take advantage of opportunities in those disciplines with greater numbers of diverse candidates, and perhaps also do our part to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to go into academia.</p> <p>It will take all of us &ldquo;rowing together&rdquo; to advance this important work&mdash;and also to create and sustain an operational environment that truly respects the power and efficacy of a diverse workforce.</p>2016-05-12T00:00:00-04:00{771C1113-038B-4704-B7E1-34D2CC095CA7} Demands Update: May 2016<p>This week I am pleased to present an update on the Ten Demands brought forward by student leaders just six months ago.</p> <p>On behalf of the entire Simmons community, I want to thank all of our remarkable students. Many of them donated hours of their personal time in meetings, planning sessions, or alone or in small groups thinking about these important issues. To all of our students, and especially to those of you in the Class of 2016, I hope you know your legacy at Simmons is secure. You can be sure your efforts to bring forward the important issues of diversity and inclusion have been a catalyst in helping to make our College a better place for the students who will come here&mdash;long after you leave our campus.</p> <p>I also want to thank our faculty, senior administration, and staff, who have helped ensure the good progress we have made on these Ten Demands in a short timeframe. You have all approached this work not with apprehension or caution, but rather with passion and energy&mdash;because our entire community recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion to our College culture.</p> <p>It has been very meaningful for me, personally, to engage in these important conversations, and I have learned much from our students, our faculty, and our staff. While there is certainly much more to be done, I hope everyone in our community can agree that we are firmly on the pathway to being the Simmons College community we all know we can be.</p> <p>Below is the text of each demand, the administration leader for plans/actions on each demand, a brief overview of our progress to date and details on work that will be done in the near future.</p> <p>All of this information was covered in the formal presentation by Provost and Senior Vice President Katie Conboy at the final Campus Forum of this school year on May 3, 2016. The forum was attended by many students, faculty and staff. Deans and Vice Presidents were in attendance and many of them answered questions/comments from students, staff, and faculty in a Q &amp; A session that lasted well over 30 minutes.</p> <h3>The 2015 Ten Demands</h3> <p>#1: <em>That Simmons lives up to its core values by: putting students first, preparing students for life&rsquo;s work, creating opportunities, and investing in community. These values cannot be met unless Simmons financially commits to meeting the needs of students of color. This can be done through: increasing mental and physical health services that are accessible to students by increasing the number of trained and competent staff members for positions at the health center, counseling center, and nutritional services.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Provost Sarah Neill.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>Outreach to various affinity groups (ASA, BSO, OLA, and SIS) to determine how the Counseling Center can be more responsive to the needs of students of color.</li> <li>Facilitated support group, QPOC, through the Counseling Center.</li> <li>Budget requests for enhanced student resources, to include additional full-time clinician in the Counseling Center, additional full-time clinician to support the extension of Center hours to evenings and weekends, and to expand diversity trainings for Counseling Center clinicians.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future plans:</strong> Coordinate a Student Health Advisory Committee consisting of Wellness Ambassadors to enhance support for students of color and advise the Counseling and Health Centers.</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=A386C6D3158946D29B4028BACCABB054&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; February 4, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#2: <em>Simmons College has a culture of tokenizing students of color. We recognize that this makes students relive the trauma that they experience on a daily basis, sometimes at the hands of their peers and professors, which is why we demand institutional support for students of color, especially black students, in the face of trauma and other racial events on campus, nationally and in the world at large. This includes timely response to these events that facilitates healing for our communities.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Assistant Provost for Diversity &amp; Inclusion Lisa Smith McQueenie.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Established &ldquo;Talkin&rsquo; on Tuesdays,&rdquo; a series of campus conversations on Diversity &amp; Inclusion (D &amp; I) subjects.</li> <li>Organized monthly &ldquo;Campus Forums&rdquo; since November to discuss issues in the world or on campus.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans:</strong> Develop plan for a Multicultural Student Center and other programming; review and evaluate initiatives undertaken in spring 2016.</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=CD2CABED2F4F4FEC821D1176E4463A71&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; February 11, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#3: <em>We demand that all faculty and staff of Simmons College be put through rigorous diversity training that emphasizes the requirement that they address micro-aggressions and mis-information in class. As part of this, we also demand that faculty are incentivized to participate in racial justice work as part of the tenure and promotion processes.</em></p> <p><em>We would like to see repercussions for racist actions performed by professors and administrators or staff. Our micro- and macro-aggressions should be taken seriously and met with the highest level of urgency and care. That the FACES/FYS provide ample training for student facilitators, development curriculum that reflects the history of Boston.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Provost Conboy, with support from the Talent &amp; Human Capital Strategy Department.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Faculty Senate developed micro-aggressions session for 12/16/16 all-college faculty meeting.</li> <li>After a nationwide search, Romney Associates, Inc. has been hired to develop and administer D &amp; I training.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans: </strong>Execute trainings according to this schedule: Operating Team &amp; Deans training (summer 2016 and winter 2017); faculty seminars on teaching for inclusive excellence (January &amp; May 2017); Workshops on recruiting a diverse faculty (spring &amp; summer 2017); Diversity, Inclusion &amp; Equity workshops for staff (Timing TBD); training for students (Timing TBD).</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F421935752CE4B71A156679FC472508D&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; February 18, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#4: <em>We demand an overhaul of the curriculum that includes and highlights the contributions of people of color across all disciplines. We also demand that this curricular overhaul be student-centered by actively including students of color in the voting, negotiation and decision-making process in academic curriculum committees.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead:</strong> Provost Conboy and academic deans.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <p>Each of the five schools offers opportunities for student participation in curriculum review&mdash;via such vehicles as Faculty/Student Task Forces or student representation on Curriculum Committees.</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>All schools are developing, or have in place, criteria and mechanisms for comprehensive curriculum review.</li> <li>Student Course Evaluations have been, or are being, revised to include feedback about the inclusion of D &amp; I content and student classroom experience.</li> <li>SLIS: performing a diversity audit of all courses. Established a D &amp; I Task Force with a student and faculty representative from each SLIS program.</li> <li>CAS: has had a student seat (SGA rep) on the curriculum review committee for years. Establishing a student-faculty committee designed to generate student feedback.</li> <li>SOM: has added a full-voting student member to the SOM curriculum committee.</li> <li>SSW: began offering a course Dynamics of Racism that addresses many issues including white supremacy and oppression. Formed a school-wide Undoing Racism group.</li> <li>SNHS: has established a D &amp; I Committee that meets monthly. Offers multiple speakers and workshops on such topics as implicit bias. The next speaker is on healing and will take place on May 12th. It is open to the entire community. Also upcoming is the Dotson visiting lecturer on Sept 29th Dr. Deirdre Walton, past president of the National Black Nurses Association.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans: </strong>Additional academic and co-curricular activities, including work to fill curricular gaps; comprehensive approaches to assess the classroom and school experiences of students; and revisions to school-based structures and processes to include student representation are being planned for school-wide or within each school participation.</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=592BCD1708744BE59B91FCD4E1A5AD84&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; April 7, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#5:&nbsp;<em>We demand a practicing professional civil rights lawyer to represent students of color. This lawyer will be paid by the college to inform students of their rights with no financial burden to students or student activity fees.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Vice President &amp; General Counsel Kathy Rogers.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Created a schedule for a working group to develop a process for addressing complaints of identity-based discrimination, including violations of Title IX and a process for addressing micro-aggressions at Simmons. Draft process will be established this summer and presented to students in fall 2016.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans:</strong> Website page to publicize process and other resources available to students, faculty, and staff who experience discrimination; the Legal Department will present a workshop for students on legal protections available to them, and two workshops for faculty and staff to enhance their collective understanding of their legal responsibilities around Simmons students&rsquo; rights; a guest speaker on campus to present to students on their civil rights; examine and resolve the potential of Ethicspoint for use by students to report racial incidents on campus and other incidents of hostile environments and intolerance.</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=27ECB679BD6D4D32A054AF1DA30F1E50&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; February 25, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#6: <em>We demand an overhaul of the office of admissions at Simmons College which includes:</em></p> <p><em>We want an honest portrayal of the demographics of people of color on this campus. While we understand that the MOST program is a crucial part of multicultural student recruitment, it provides unrealistic expectations for prospective students regarding the level of representation of people of color at the College.</em></p> <p><em>We also demand an increase in the resources allocated for the recruitment of students of color, including having more people of color working in the office of admissions. There should be at least one staff member focused on managing and creating events for the mentorships in the MOST program.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Vice President of Enrollment Management John Dolan.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>Admissions office collaborated with student affinity groups to recruit on-campus hosts for this year&rsquo;s MOST event; added student panel to MOST.</li> <li>Dedicated admissions officer to work with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) as the College Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator.</li> <li>Vice President of Marketing and the marketing team hosted campus forum on April 21, 2016 to discuss D &amp; I and marketing materials.</li> <li>May 3, 2016 Vice President of Enrollment Management reported a sizable increase in U.S. students of color who have paid their Simmons deposit for fall 2016. The incoming freshman class will have 31% students of color compared with 27% for the 2015 freshman class.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans:</strong> Expand the number and value of our CBO partners.</p> <p><strong>More Info:</strong> Thoughts From The President <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=7FAFDDF6F079491FAA346E7711C49BDB&amp;_z=z">(Marketing Materials) March 31</a>, 2016; <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=48F41144B6DA44FA8CE9F8EBF6E432D2&amp;_z=z">(Recruiting and the Admissions Office) April 21, 2016</a>; <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F13C8AB775C349ADAB2C79D1C25B9253&amp;_z=z">(Student Organizations and Initiatives) April 28, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#7: <em>We demand a Multicultural Student Office in the Student Activities Center on the Academic campus as a safe community space where we as students of color can gather and support each other. As part of this initiative, we demand that there be increased staff to support the Assistant Provost for Diversity &amp; Inclusion.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead:</strong> Assistant Provost for Diversity &amp; Inclusion Lisa Smith McQueenie.</p> <p><strong>Action Taken:</strong></p> <p>Renovated and fully furnished the Multicultural Student Office, a large dynamic space to be shared by student affinity groups. Official opening was Monday, May 2, 2016.</p> <p><strong>Future Plans:</strong> Developing a planning committee to include students, alums, faculty, advancement, and other staff who will meet beginning in June to map out the scope, location, and resources for a Student Multicultural Center. Preliminary report expected fall 2016.</p> <p><strong>More Info: </strong><a href="~/link.aspx?_id=56020B927FF34BBA8B1F70C276586366&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; March 24, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#8: <em>We demand an increase in the number of Faculty of Color and Staff of Color at Simmons across all academic disciplines and administrative roles. This increase should meet a 30% minimum representation across all colleges, matching the ratio of students of color in the student body. We also demand institutional support and mentorship for staff of color.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Provost Conboy and academic deans (faculty); Vice President of Talent &amp; Human Capital Strategy Regina Sherwood (staff).</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <p> </p> <ul> <li>In January 2016, Provost Conboy authorized four tenure-track positions targeting the hiring of candidates of color, and also worked with Deans to ensure candidates of color were being considered for all other open positions.</li> <li>Of the nine completed searches for faculty positions this year, we hired five people of color. We have achieved other kinds of diversity in these searches as well, including LGBTQ and international diversity.</li> <li>Job announcements for senior-level staff to be posted to at least three vehicles geared to recruit candidates of color.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans: </strong>THCS Director of Recruiting will complete Diversity Recruitment Certification Training in May 2016 and will work with hiring managers to improve diversity recruiting. THCS staff will be trained by College University Personnel Associates on strategies and techniques for inclusive search committees (summer 2016). Diversity training for staff via Campus Answers software is currently under consideration. Mandatory invitations to participate will be considered.</p> <p><strong>More Info:</strong> Thoughts From The President &ndash; <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=694A261FC89B4D4D9AACF3BF5A10091B&amp;_z=z">April 14, 2016 (staff)</a>; May 12, 2016 (faculty).</p> <hr /> <p>#9: <em>We demand that the college meet the financial needs of students of color through merit and need-based scholarships, giving special consideration for first-generation students of color.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>VP of Enrollment John Dolan.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Unfortunately Simmons College does not have the financial wherewithal to meet all the financial needs of students of color. However, we are committed to helping all students find more financial assistance. Financial aid counselors met with BSO president to discuss workshops and timeframes that would be most helpful to students as they seek additional aid.</li> <li>Created a website that lists <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=1ACE233A02364EB287C55A094A2ADF3A&amp;_z=z">outside scholarships</a> and a Twitter account (@Simmons_SFS) to disperse scholarship information to students.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Future Plans: </strong>Financial Aid workshops to be held in the fall to coincide with the U.S. Dept. of Education new early FAFSA cycle. Organized a virtual Scholarship Match event for May 6, 2016. Students can email or Tweet information about themselves using the hash tag #Simsmatch, and Financial Aid staff will send back scholarship opportunities that may be available to them.</p> <p><strong>More Info:</strong> <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=393140D6E18741B884193E72786AF0D7&amp;_z=z">Thoughts From The President &ndash; March 17, 2016</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>#10: <em>We demand that all of these requests be addressed in the strategic planning for the college with a concrete timeline that is before the end of the Fall 2015 semester.</em></p> <p><strong>Lead: </strong>Provost Conboy.</p> <p><strong>Actions Taken:</strong></p> <p>Assistant Provost for Diversity &amp; Inclusion Lisa Smith McQueenie drafted a Diversity &amp; Inclusion Plan for the College that will inform the broader strategic plan.</p> <p><strong>Future Plans:</strong> In summer 2015, the Board of Trustees put the College&rsquo;s strategic planning process on hold to embark on the redesigning Simmons initiative. It is intended that the College will return to the strategic planning work, informed by the Diversity &amp; Inclusion Plan, and submit the strategic plan to the Board of Trustees for approval in October 2016.</p> <p>The presentation that Provost Conboy used at the meeting is <a href="" target="_blank">located here</a>.<hr /> </p> <p>The important work of diversity and inclusion will continue over the summer, and we look forward to re-engaging students upon their return to campus in the fall. All of us at Simmons should be proud of how far we&rsquo;ve come since November, while remaining mindful that there remains much more to do.</p>2016-05-05T00:00:00-04:00{F13C8AB7-75C3-49AD-AB2C-79D1C25B9253} Organizations & Initiatives Supporting Diversity & Inclusion<p><em>This week the Assistant Provost for Diversity &amp; Inclusion, Lisa Smith-McQueenie, and I address student organizations and upcoming initiatives that support diversity and inclusion at Simmons. You will find there are many groups and organizations here that help ensure our campus is a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone.</em></p> <hr /> <h3>Student Organizations</h3> <p>The rich fabric of the Simmons community has always been strengthened by our engaged and enlightened students. We appreciate how much student involvement contributes to our unique culture, and how their work reflects our deeply held values of equality, respect, and social justice for all.</p> <p>Below are some of the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=E8856E5356B74C9CBA760BBD97E352BE&amp;_z=z">student organizations</a> that contribute greatly to our diverse campus:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Alliance</strong> &ndash; a social and political organization for the Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer/Allied community at Simmons. The Alliance provides a safe environment for the expression of human diversity, and respects confidentiality</li> <li><strong>ALANA Nursing Association</strong> &ndash; strives to foster a cultural community and enhanced network at Simmons encouraging pluralism on the part of faculty, administration, and the student body at large. It compliments the Nursing Liaison to address issues in the nursing community</li> <li><strong>Asian Student Association (ASA) </strong>&ndash; aims to empower students with Asian interests through activities in volunteering, workshops and plain old fun to expose and explore</li> <li>Asian/American culture, identity and values to the Simmons College community as well as the community-at-large</li> <li><strong>Association of Black Social Workers</strong> &ndash; many SSW graduate students participate in the Simmons Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers</li> <li><strong>Black Student Organization (BSO) </strong>&ndash; established by the ambitious, dedicated, historic, and motivated black women of Simmons College during the late 1960s. BSO's mission is to redefine sisterhood on campus while channeling its efforts to the outside community</li> <li><strong>Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program</strong> &ndash; to enhance the educational experience and success of African American, Latina, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) students enrolled in the nursing program by providing academic, clinical, professional and personal support</li> <li><strong>Gospel Choir</strong> - Simmons Wheelock Ensemble &ndash; to increase awareness of different genres of music and to help the Simmons Community be involved spiritually and mentally</li> <li><strong>Hillel </strong>&ndash; the center of Jewish life on campus. Hillel holds social, educational, and cultural programs throughout the year for all students. Their goal is to meet students where they are socially, culturally and "Jewishly," and to help them continue their Jewish journey wherever they want to go</li> <li><strong>Like Minds Coalition</strong> &ndash; a student group committed to promoting a culture of inclusion that values and respects the diverse array of people, cultures, and human experiences. Like Minds strives to create a supportive environment on campus where individuals and groups are empowered to address a multi-issue agenda regarding issues around race, class, gender, and all other forms of social bias and oppression</li> <li><strong>Multicultural and International Student Organization (MISO) </strong>&ndash; a team of passionate, active undergraduate and graduate students with multicultural and international backgrounds. MISO&rsquo;s goal is to provide a space for international students to celebrate, respect, and share each other's cultures with the Simmons community, and to serve as a support system for new and existing international students</li> <li><strong>Organizaci&oacute;n Latino Am&eacute;rica (OLA)</strong> &ndash; serves to educate and enrich both the Simmons and outside community by organizing events that represent the Latino community achieved through art, music, food, lectures, or other activities</li> <li><strong>Simmons College Islamic Society (SIS)</strong> &ndash; a student organization focused on establishing a comfortable environment for the Muslim community within the institution. It not only works to meet the social and religious needs of their fellow sisters and brothers, but also works towards meeting the needs of their religious, and non-religious communities at large</li> <li><strong>SLIS </strong>&ndash; home to several multi-cultural organizations within the school: <ul> <li><strong>Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG)</strong> &ndash; a non-sectarian group committed to the ideals of progressive librarianship, and the notion that a fundamental role of libraries is to promote the free exchange of ideas and information for all people.</li> <li><strong>Spectra </strong>&ndash; LGBTQ group that brings together individuals who share interests in issues that affect the LGBTQ community in the profession of library science.</li> <li><strong>Students of Color @SLIS</strong> &ndash; was created in response to a greater sense of community among graduate students of color at the SLIS. Its mission is to build a supportive environment for graduate students of color.</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Students of Color Inclusion Council </strong>&ndash; a group of involved students formed in 2015-16 to advance the policies and procedures addressed in the Ten Demands.</li> <li><strong>Simmons College Sexuality Women and Gender (SWAG) Center</strong> &ndash; a student-run college community organization dedicated to increasing awareness about health and social issues concerning members of our community. SWAG creates a safe and inclusive space that supports and empowers every person, and educates its members and the community on issues around gender and sexuality. SWAG fosters multiculturalism and celebrates the differences in every individual.</li> </ul> <h3>Special Events</h3> <p>Here are some of the special events and activities that we believe brings our campus closer to the inclusive environment we all want it to be:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Campus Conversation of Race (CCOR) </strong>&ndash; a six-week, student-facilitated program about race in the United States and on our campus. CCOR is a great way to start exploring ideas of race and get to know other people who are also interested in this important topic without adding a class to your schedule</li> <li><strong>Campus Forums (monthly/periodic gatherings) </strong>&ndash; a series of community meetings in response to the expressed need for an opportunity to come together proactively to address pertinent issues (not only in response to crisis or tragedy). Proactive or reactive, these gatherings are intended to provide a communal space for us to share, grow, learn, and support one another as a community</li> <li><strong>Colors of Success </strong>&ndash; an Annual Multicultural Reception, held twice this year in response to a request from students. Colors of Success is an opportunity to bring the Simmons community together in the spirit of welcome and inclusion to kick off the school year. It is an opportunity for first-year students to meet each other as well as an opportunity to meet returning students, staff, and faculty. Finally, it is an opportunity for Simmons to continue its commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community both in thought and in action</li> <li><strong>Diversi-teas </strong>&ndash; a Like Minds Coalition program designed to gather people together in an informal setting to discuss current and relevant issues on the minds of students</li> <li><strong>First Year Appreciation of Cultural Experiences (F.A.C.E.S.) </strong>&ndash; a required session during first-year orientation, F.A.C.E.S. has the following goals: to develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for diversity and inclusion in the Simmons community, especially as it impacts the individual student; to develop lessons which have practical application to student/community interactions within the classroom and throughout their co-curricular experiences</li> <li><strong>Like Minds Coalition Retreat </strong>&ndash; an annual retreat, providing an opportunity for students to gather off campus, recharge, engage in community building &amp; collaborative conversation, and to learn about important life topics in a stress-free, supportive environment</li> <li><strong>Student Multicultural Leadership Conference (SMLC)</strong> &ndash; a conference hosted by the Like Minds Coalition each spring semester, providing workshops, activities, and speakers that explore inclusive and multicultural leadership. All students are encouraged to attend the programming. Most of the workshops and sessions are led by students, while some are facilitated by faculty and guest facilitators</li> <li><strong>Talking on Tuesdays</strong> &ndash; an educational series designed to address the pertinent issues facing college campuses in and outside of the classroom. This year the following subjects were discussed: <ul> <li>Bystander Awareness Training </li> <li>Creating An Inclusive Classroom</li> <li>Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do</li> <li>Culture on Campus: Reducing Unconscious Bias</li> <li>Webinars &ndash; a series of relevant webinars were presented to the campus community featuring local and national experts on the following subjects:</li> <li>Responding to Racism on Campus Penn Summit Series</li> <li>Racial Climate on College Campuses</li> <li>Project Inclusion: Institutionalization of Inclusive Excellence and Student Success</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <h3>Upcoming Initiatives</h3> <p>Thanks to the hard work of many students, faculty, alumnae/i and staff, we are proud of the progress we&rsquo;ve made on the issues of diversity and inclusion in the five short months since the Ten Demands were presented. We recognize that these issues are not new, and that they need to be at the forefront every day we set foot on campus. We want to recognize the hard work of our community related to the Ten Demands that have taken place since November. There remain some initiatives that are still in the planning stage, with implementation coming as soon as the fall 2016 semester.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Alumnae mentoring program</strong> &ndash; both the diversity committee of the alumnae board and the African American Alumnae/i Association (AAAA) will work with the College to create and maintain a mentoring program for students of color</li> <li><strong>Peer mentoring program</strong> &ndash; members of affinity organizations (and others) will serve as peer mentors for incoming students of color (and self-identified first generation students)</li> <li><strong>Multicultural programming through the Zora Neale Hurston (ZNH) Literary Center </strong>&ndash; the ZNH Center will serve as a conduit for diversity and inclusion related programming and resource gathering</li> <li><strong>Pre/post orientation experience for ALANA students</strong> &ndash; additional onboarding activities and resources designed to improve the experience of students of color as an early retention initiative</li> <li><strong>Multicultural Center</strong> &ndash; a committee representing various constituencies will develop and execute the plan for the establishment of a multicultural center on campus</li> </ul> <p>We tried to include all the student groups, organizations, and activities in this list, but on such a busy campus we recognize we may have overlooked some. If you have a group or program that is engaged in diversity and inclusion activities that does not appear on this list, please let us know.</p> <p>Simmons strives to be a place where every individual can participate in and feel that they are a valued member of the community. If you believe that having additional activities or other, new organizations at Simmons would help us advance our shared diversity and inclusion goals, we encourage you to present your ideas to the Office of Student Affairs.</p> <p>We are grateful to all of you for working to make our community more welcoming for everyone. We are proud of the progress we&rsquo;ve made, and remain resolute in our commitment to continued progress on these important issues.</p>2016-04-28T00:00:00-04:00{48F41144-B6DA-44FA-8CE9-F8EBF6E432D2} and the MOST Program<p><em>This week, Vice President for Enrollment Management John Dolan and I will share some thoughts on recruitment of students of color, admission office staffing, and the MOST program, all topics covered in the sixth demand shared with the College last fall.</em></p> <hr /> <h3>Recruiting Consistent with Simmons College Values</h3> <p>Simmons College benefits immeasurably from a wide variety of ideas, knowledge, values, and contributions from different cultures and backgrounds. Bringing together students with many perspectives and varied experiences enriches the academic and co-curricular life of everyone at Simmons.</p> <p>We believe recruiting a diverse student body is essential to our long-term success and sustainability. All of our schools have a global, diverse constituency and we wish to see this grow and flourish. By earning a reputation for valuing differences, we will be able to attract talented students who know Simmons appreciates the backgrounds, perceptions, knowledge, and skills they bring to our learning community.</p> <h3>Undergraduate Recruitment</h3> <p>At present, approximately 25% of our undergraduate student population self-identify as a student of color. It is our aim that, with a firm commitment to strong, relevant initiatives and programming, we will continue to increase representation of students of color in the years ahead. Here are two important undergraduate recruitment initiatives that we will build on to help us attract a greater number of students of color:</p> <ol> <li>Simmons partners with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in order to reach students from various backgrounds. We visited 22 CBOs across the country during the last recruitment cycle. Some of the CBOs we partner with are Boston-based, such as Bottom Line and Summer Search; in New York City, we partner with Venture Scholars. We also participate in national outreach, working with the National Hispanic Institute. CBOs give us access to a talented, motivated group of students who we want to inspire to consider Simmons. We plan to identify more CBOs in Greater Boston and beyond in order to expand our ability to directly communicate with diverse, student-age populations who would benefit from a Simmons education. If you know of a CBO we should be considering, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Admission, Ellen Johnson, and tell her about it.</li> <li>Simmons awards the Boston Scholarship to nine talented, academically prepared students annually, including our largest cohort joining us this fall. These are full-tuition scholarships granted to students who have attended a Boston public school. Students are selected for a Boston Scholarship based on their application for the scholarship, a nomination letter from a member of their school community, and an interview. We plan to increase the number of Boston Scholarships over the next few years.</li> </ol> <h3>Staffing the Enrollment Management Division</h3> <p>We recognize that our enrollment management team is not as diverse as we would like it to be. We are actively working to change this, while continually maintaining our focus on being a department that exemplifies the diversity and inclusion values and aspirations of Simmons.</p> <p>The characteristics we look for when recruiting a new member of our department are the same values we believe belong to the College as a whole: commitment to inclusion, partnerships, and community. In our hiring process, we ensure that each staff member exemplifies these values and embraces the mission of diversity and inclusion for which Simmons stands.</p> <h3>The MOST Program</h3> <p>Each spring, students of color who have been admitted to Simmons for the fall semester are invited to campus to take part in the MOST program. In order to minimize the financial burden of visiting the College, we cover the travel costs for the student and one guest to attend this program. The MOST program enables admitted students of color to experience our on-campus culture, learn more about our programs, and to develop friendships that may carry over into the fall semester if they choose to attend Simmons. As a result of the sixth demand, we made some changes to the MOST program, including the addition of panels of current students and alumnae of color who will discuss their experiences and concerns in a real and candid manner.</p> <p>We do everything we can to make MOST participants excited about coming to Simmons&mdash;we showcase the value of a Simmons education and the wonderful possibilities of being in Boston, a college-friendly, culturally rich city. Despite our best efforts, however, some of the MOST participants ultimately choose another college, which explains why an enrolled student of color may arrive in September and not see some of the people from the MOST program.</p> <p>We are committed to offering an on-boarding experience for admitted students of color and to offer continued opportunities for them to connect with each other through both formal and informal programs and structures as they progress at Simmons. Some of these opportunities exist in our current environment and programming, but there is more work to be done to help forge these connections. This work is underway. We continue working to ensure that all of our admitted students feel welcomed when they arrive, and that they have an accurate understanding of the Simmons environment. We invite your ideas and perspective on how we can do this work better and more effectively.</p> <hr /> <p><em>We have made measurable progress related to the recruitment of students of color. Yet, we know we need to do more. We are absolutely committed to doing more&mdash;to dedicating all possible resources and energy toward increasing the diversity on our campus, and to making each and every student of color feel welcomed as part of the Simmons community.</em></p>2016-04-21T00:00:00-04:00{694A261F-C89B-4D4D-9AAC-F3BF5A10091B} a Diverse Staff<p><em>This week, Vice President of Talent &amp; Human Capital Strategy (THCS) &amp; Title IX Coordinator, Regina Sherwood, and I describe some of the College&rsquo;s efforts to hire a more diverse staff and to then provide mentoring and support to welcome them effectively into our community.</em></p> <hr /> <p>An inclusive workplace is one in which everyone recognizes and respects each other&rsquo;s differences. As we seek to apply consistent and scalable recruiting practices across the organization, it is important to emphasize that our aspirations need to support and embrace multiple dimensions of diversity: age/generation, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, disability status, gender and gender identity or expression, religion, sexual orientation, Veteran status, etc.</p> <p>To truly support diverse members of the community, our faculty and staff are expected to continue to foster an environment in which all of our community members are valued and respected.</p> <h3>Staff Recruiting Strategies and Educational Support</h3> <p>The hiring process at Simmons for staff roles is decentralized. At any given point in time with active job postings, more than 30 hiring managers and employees can be involved in the staff recruiting and sourcing process. THCS is committed to supporting department hiring managers and staff in applying strategies and educational resources to recruit a more diverse staff for the College. Here&rsquo;s how we intend to do it:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Consistency in our recruiting language and practices to support diversity and inclusion at Simmons College.</strong> <ul> <li>Our diversity language needs to be consistently and actively applied in job postings and advertisements for external candidates at all levels and ranks. THCS has been working with hiring managers on diversity statements within job descriptions that affirm our commitment to a diverse candidate pool.&nbsp;</li> <li>&nbsp;Create job announcements, particularly for senior staff positions, that highlight Simmons&rsquo;s preference for candidates with demonstrated experience working on issues of diversity.</li> <li>Prioritize candidates who have experience with diversity and inclusion initiatives in their work history.<br /> Support our community with diverse recruiting best practices by investing in professional, third-party, Recruiting Certification Training for all College Recruiters.</li> <li>Ensure that search committees for senior level positions represent diverse individuals.&nbsp;</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Ensure search committees, department leaders, and hiring managers have a &ldquo;Diversity Toolkit&rdquo; comprised of guidelines and resource materials to support inclusive searches and recruiting techniques for attracting diverse candidates.</strong> The Toolkit would include: <ul> <li>Pre-search strategies that support broadening outreach and sourcing efforts for finding diverse candidates.</li> <li>Techniques for conducting direct sourcing search capabilities for identifying diverse candidates.</li> <li>Guidance on sourcing and leveraging personal and professional networks across the College to help recruit diverse candidates.</li> <li>Resource lists and directories of diverse organizations and publications for posting of job opportunities.</li> <li>Effective interview questions and guidelines for search committees, which help avoid potential barriers and biases in search processes and reinforce an inclusive and open mindset.</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Leverage technology and data management to support sharing applicant data and demographics, as well as centralizing decisions on candidate selection. </strong> <ul> <li>With the continued implementation of a centralized application tracking system, Workday Recruiting, we will soon have the ability to:</li> <li>Centralize decisions on candidate selections and share feedback with various members of the community in the selection process.</li> <li>Centralize the College&rsquo;s resume database, enabling hiring managers to consider diverse candidates for multiple roles throughout the year.</li> <li>Enable THCS to share the race and ethnicities of candidates who voluntarily disclose that information, providing candidate pipelines to staff hiring teams.</li> <li>Track and report metrics for increasing our outcomes and accountability in hiring diverse candidates.&nbsp;</li> </ul> </li> </ol> <h3>Mentoring and Welcoming Support for Staff and Faculty</h3> <p>It is important for faculty and staff to actively and consciously support new staff in order to retain, welcome, and embrace them. Informal mentoring programs are a good way to enhance new employee onboarding, improve employee retention, and appeal to external candidates. Here are two ways we intend to implement these initiatives:</p> <ul> <li>Collaborate with the Diversity &amp; Inclusion Council to identify potential members for an Onboarding and Retention Council.</li> <li>The Council would coordinate affinity groups and other individuals that would provide support services for new hires. For example, a welcoming committee would be formed to partner with new staff and faculty members to help them acclimate to the College, navigate the culture, and to provide other support services.</li> </ul> <h3>Moving Forward</h3> <p>Over the summer, THCS will be preparing facilitated trainings on conducting more inclusive searches and developing a brief Toolkit on the items outlined above.</p> <p>Throughout the fall, a series of online trainings will be shared with faculty and staff on building and sustaining an inclusive and respectful workplace.</p> <p>Collectively, we believe these initiatives will provide the resources and support necessary to advance the critical mission of improved staff diversity recruiting.</p>2016-04-14T00:00:00-04:00{592BCD17-0874-4BE5-9B91-FCD4E1A5AD84} Curriculum for Diversity & Inclusion<p><em>This week, we want to share information with you about how we will approach the review of the curriculum at Simmons to ensure that it includes the contributions of people of color. This topic speaks to one of the Ten Demands put forward by an organized group of undergraduate students: the &ldquo;Students of Color Inclusion Council&rdquo; (SOCIC). In this &ldquo;Thoughts From The President&rdquo; message, we will share our thoughts about how we can respond to the specific curricular concerns that have been raised and how they fit into a larger project of ensuring that our curricular offerings are as inclusive as possible.</em></p> <hr> <p>The curriculum is the explicit responsibility of the faculty and it evolves over time to respond to changes in any field. Over the last several decades, many disciplines have recognized that the contributions of women and minorities were underrepresented in what had become a &ldquo;canon&rdquo;&mdash;primarily of Western and male thought and experience. During this time, curricula have gradually become more diverse, more global, and more inclusive. We know that we want continually to review, revise, and infuse the curriculum across the college with content that represents and highlights the contributions of all people. This process will take time.</p> <h3>Curriculum Review &amp; Revisions</h3> <p>A college-wide practice of curriculum review and revision is multi-step and has been undertaken at the school and program level. Initially, under the direction of each dean, school curriculum committees are developing audit processes that will allow for the identification of courses that are already strong in their inclusion of this content (as evidenced in course texts, articles, exercises, and assignments); those that are deficient; and those where this content is less relevant. The goal is to ensure that across all degree programs (though not necessarily in each course), multicultural and diversity content is readily and identifiably present. Student participation will include the addition of a student representative on each school curriculum committee. At Simmons, the faculty wishes to learn together, to listen to students, to develop resources and practices, and to revise the curriculum as needed.</p> <p>In addition to implementing a college-wide process of systematic course review and revision inside the schools, we have launched this semester, under the direction of Professor Catherine Paden, an intensive reworking of <em>The Simmons Course.</em> This first-year course was identified as one of particular concern to undergraduate students, particularly with respect to addressing topics relating to diversity and inclusion. Professor Paden, who directs the undergraduate <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=C930C8EEA6614F4ABE0325A32A9EBB46&amp;_z=z">PLAN program</a>, has already involved students in this process and has held a variety of sessions to gather student feedback. As a result of the dialogue with students and faculty, The Simmons Course will be substantially revised for next year, while retaining critical elements designed to support students' transition to College.</p> <p>Student course evaluation forms may also provide useful data about the successful inclusion of diversity content, but the course evaluations need to be reviewed to ensure that they ask relevant questions about course content and classroom experience. The Deans and the faculty are examining the forms in order to improve the questions. Inside the schools, open feedback sessions with students and faculty may also provide forums for direct dialogue about places where curriculum revision or enhancement is needed at the program level.</p> <h3>Emphasizing Diversity &amp; Inclusion</h3> <p>The Deans and the faculty have been inspired to review the curriculum from many different angles. We know that the students will be enriched and the faculty will be renewed by this work, which we hope will be shared widely. Indeed, research shows that when the entire curriculum emphasizes issues of diversity and inclusion, faculty members are more likely to seek ways of making their own courses more deeply reflect diversity.</p> <p>As Thomas F. Nelson Laird wrote in 2014 in the Association of American Colleges &amp; Universities (AAC&amp;U) publication Diversity and Democracy:</p> <blockquote>Including diversity in a course is strongly connected to other indicators of effective educational practices. Faculty members who include diversity in their courses are much more likely to encourage peer interactions across difference, emphasize deep approaches to learning, use active classroom practices, interact with their students, and promote learning outcomes like intellectual and practical skills or personal and social responsibility.</blockquote> <p>Curriculum reviews that help us to develop even more high-impact practices will ultimately benefit everyone.</p>2016-04-07T00:00:00-04:00