Ohio Five Faculty and Staff Propose Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Affinity Groups at November 6 Meeting

Posted on November 30, 2020

“Consortial Cooperation” unites faculty and student affairs, multicultural affairs and academic administrators to share campus success stories and consider future collaborations.

Thirty-seven Ohio Five faculty members and staff gathered virtually on November 6 to continue ongoing conversations focusing on supporting faculty of underrepresented or marginalized identities and engaging discussion among campus leaders leading diversity, equity and inclusion work on Ohio Five campuses. The gathering focused on sharing stories of successes and obstacles overcome on campus and resulted in emerging affinity groups for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, and accessibility issues that faculty and staff experience, particularly during COVID-19. The group, invited by their chief diversity officers or deans leading diversity and inclusion work, included faculty members, student affairs representatives, multicultural affairs staff, and academic affairs administrators. The developing affinity groups will continue to share programs and practices on their campuses as a space for networking, conversation, and support. A post-event evaluation is still underway to record responses and suggestions.

The gathering built on a September meeting of twenty-five Ohio Five faculty of underrepresented or marginalized identities to brainstorm ways to help junior faculty thrive in their teaching and research through mentorship with a senior faculty member.  Yet the group wanted to explore more about the role faculty members play in advising and supporting students, hoping to connect with student affairs and other staff who could provide insight about student needs, ideas that work, and ways the group might collaborate.

To continue the November discussion, DEI leaders are planning for "Ohio Five Seasonal DEI Community Gathering," a December 10 virtual social and conversational space to continue the affinity conversations. The gathering is open to faculty members and student affairs staff who contact their committee representative in advance for registration and link information. If you are interested in participating in this discussion, please contact the representative on your campus below, or contact Susana Velazquez, Ohio Five program and budget manager at velazquezs@ohio5.org

Kenyon:  Ted Mason (masonte@kenyon.edu)
Denison: Veerenda Lele (lelev@denison.edu)
Ohio Wesleyan: Dawn Chisebe (dmchiseb@owu.edu)
Oberlin: Elizabeth Hamilton (elizabeth.hamilton@oberlin.edu)
The College of Wooster: Ivonne Garcia (igarcia@wooster.edu)