Dear Faculty and Staff,
We remain committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where everyone feels welcome and inspired to do their best work. This goal is at the core of the first initiative, Build Our Community Together, in our strategic plan Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.
To help enhance our understanding of others, we are implementing online diversity, equity and inclusion training for faculty and staff. This program, similar to our required Title IX awareness and violence prevention training, is designed to teach new concepts, broaden perspectives and provide our community with a common set of terms. Announced last June in a campus message, this required training is part of a series of actions to support campus-wide dialogue, healing and structural change.
The initial course, Managing Bias, explains that understanding bias in the workplace is the first step in handling it. The training defines bias and describes how it influences the workplace and how to reduce its negative effects. Participants will learn how biases affect their actions and impact others when left unchecked, including creating unhealthy work environments and reinforcing unjust practices.
In the coming weeks, all faculty, staff and post docs will receive an email invitation to Managing Bias training, which will be available from Monday, March 22 through Friday, April 16. All employees will be required to take this course, which takes about 20 minutes to complete.
This summer, we will follow up with a broader course on the important concepts of diversity, inclusion and belonging. This subsequent required training will offer common language to better understand how the world shapes and informs our shared values and experiences and will use an interactive platform to explore topics such as identity, power, privilege and communication. While these two trainings are designed for faculty and staff, we plan to build similar modules for students.
We hope these trainings will provide our community with a better appreciation for our shared experiences of difference, shared expectations of respect, and our shared need to belong and feel appreciated. Ultimately, we want the trainings to help us all identify how to create a more inclusive and accepting workplace to conduct our mission of teaching, learning and service. Thank you in advance for your support and participation.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz
Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Special Assistant to the Chancellor and Provost on Equity and Inclusion and Interim Chief Diversity Officer