The FRIT Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Committee
Who we are:
What we're working on:
- A new culture of communication between our committee and the FRIT community. Last semester’s climate survey was a fruitful and revelatory process, yet our town hall made it clear that opening up new and more frequent pathways of communication between you and us will only lead to good things. To this end, in Spring 2021 we will be: (a) adding a portal to our website that will allow you to write us directly and anonymously with suggestions and critiques; (b) introducing an at-least-once-a-semester Div/In newsletter, which will be archived with other useful information and resources on a new Div/In tab on the FRIT website; (c) organizing biweekly zoom “coffee hours” for informal, collaborative and creative Div/In conversations; and (d) hosting another town hall in the spring, likely around the theme of curriculum (broadly construed).
- Anti-Racism Training. The survey made it evident that, while we in FRIT have a great deal to be proud of both individually and collectively, we will benefit immensely from implicit bias and anti-racism trainings. To this end, over the course of the spring we hope that a great number of you will take part in the Anti-Racism course on Coursera (UC Boulder, approx. 12hrs). While these trainings are voluntary, we will do our best to incentivize and contextualize them by holding biweekly “coffee hours” which, while open to all, will be timed in conjunction with sections of the Anti-Racism course, so that what we learn and experience in isolation can be immediately routed into collaborative communal dialogues.
- Curriculum. A comparison of the previous climate survey (2018-19) and this year’s shows that there is a growing sense that we need to further our efforts to promote diversity on the curricular level. The implementation of curricular innovations and changes will necessarily be slow-moving and the fruit of numerous conversations with other committees and the larger FRIT community, but we will be beginning those conversations in a sustained fashion in Spring 2021. To be clear, we think that all instructors in this department should feel very proud about what they bring to our curriculum, especially after the extraordinary lengths all have gone to maintain the quality of instruction in the face of COVID-19. We also applaud the fact that our department is filled with numerous curricular visionaries, who for many years have dedicated themselves to continually re-envisioning and improving our curriculum and pedagogical approach. The role of our committee, we think, is to serve as a forum for sharing and consolidating best practices and creative ideas that that are already active in our community, and an advocate who can continually ask “how can with further the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in our course offerings and classrooms?” We will also build on the positive experience of last semester’s Columbus Day Conversations presentation by producing at least one additional mini-lesson that similarly engages with diversity and inclusion on a topic that we will arrive at through conversations with you regarding your experiences and needs in the classroom.