The mission of the Committee for the Promotion of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is to support the Psychology Department’s core values regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion as stated in the VCU Psychology Department’s Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
We fulfill this aim through evaluation, accountability, and communication in the areas of climate, education, and research.
Evaluation: Identify and monitor activities within the department that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. Examples include:
- Administer at least one survey annually that assesses faculty, staff, and student perceptions of departmental climate, education, and research around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Gather information about the types of experiences students have in class, the types of activities instructors do, curricula topics and readings in our curriculum, and the types of additional education students and faculty seek around these topics.
- Obtain information from faculty and students about resources they need to engage in research that is culturally competent and sensitive to underrepresented communities.
Accountability: Promote policies and practices that help promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. Examples include:
- Use information gathered from the annual survey to suggest actions and resources to departmental leadership to help further promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Solicit departmental input in setting goals for improving departmental capacity to address issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Hold forums and/or solicit comments from faculty, staff, and students when departmental issues or opportunities arise to have productive discussion about equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Communication: Promote regular, transparent communication regarding initiatives, practices, and policies of the committee related to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. Examples include:
- Report to all members in the department information gathered from annual evaluations and what has been communicated to departmental leadership.
- Engage in regular, transparent communication with the faculty, staff, and students regarding initiatives, practices, and policies of the committee related to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Regularly disseminate resources to faculty, staff, and students in the department for increasing competency in equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Diversity – Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term diversity is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives and values.1
Inclusion – Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.2
Inclusion (campus context) – Defined as the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.3
Equity – The proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.4
Equity (campus context) – The creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps in student success and completion. 5