Nearly six months ago, we charged our CAFNR divisions and programs to commit to specific actions to increase cultural awareness and understanding throughout our college and campus. We share this update to our progress.
Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Community is a strategic priority identified in our CAFNR Drive to Distinction strategic plan. We appreciate how our CAFNR units responded to our challenge to increase efforts and engagement to promote inclusivity, diversity, equity and compassion (IDEC). A few initiatives we pursue include:
- Adding inclusivity, diversity and equity resources to regular newsletter offerings.
- Creating Extension feature stories on IDE efforts among specialists.
- Providing group trainings, readings, dialogues, presentations from minoritized organizations, surveys and other personal/professional development around social justice issues and more.
- Establishing internal reviews of course evaluations, communications content, curriculum, and guidelines for promotion and tenure.
- Activating or re-activating committees to assess and promote IDEC efforts in units; launching/pledges of funding and other awards for diversity efforts, including funding for clubs and organizations, graduate studies, travel, and more.
- Establishing metrics and goals for IDEC efforts in units.
- Sharing concerns or negative experiences, anonymously.
- Promoting an editorial calendar for communications content to recognize important months/holidays and remembrance days for different audiences.
- Programming by Deaton Scholars, Cambio Center and African Interdisciplinary Studies Hub that includes film series and presentations.
We also saw our CAFNR Staff Advisory Council offer a group reading of the Mizzou IDE curriculum. Coordinator Amy Moum said 30 CAFNR staff and faculty signed up to participate. Over 25 percent of participants have completed the curriculum – others are still working through it and the Council plans to offer a January discussion session, so Moum anticipates most folks will finish by that time.
The efforts listed above are in addition to those specifically included in the strategic plan. As part of our strategic plan, CAFNR launched COMPASS (CAFNR’s Opportunity for Minorities: Promoting and Achieving Student Success), a peer mentoring group to promote academic success, persistence and successful graduation of participating students. To promote IDEC in our classrooms, a CAFNR-wide committee of faculty, staff and students established a core set of learning outcomes to introduce diversity and inclusivity practices into CAFNR curricula. By building in these learning outcomes throughout several courses, our scaffolded approach will ultimately enable students to plan and lead practices of inclusion, diversity and equity in their professional field of study. These outcomes are currently in the process of approval for inclusion in all CAFNR divisions.
Although we are proud of the progress made, there remains work to do in becoming a more compassionate and welcoming college. We encourage you to continue finding ways to cultivate inclusion, diversity, equity and compassion in your division or program as we head into the New Year! These efforts are beneficial to our entire CAFNR community, and beyond. We will proudly continue highlighting results of our IDEC initiatives in more detail in this newsletter.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us if you have any questions or concerns.
CAFNR Vice Chancellor & Dean
CAFNR Faculty Fellow for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity
Assistant Professor, SNR