Progress on 8 Promises to BIPOC Members of our Community
In summer 2020, following the death of George Floyd and the associated societal unrest, President Johnson and the Mines DI&A team issued statements reaffirming our commitments to DI&A. The Mines DI&A communication included a link to a group spreadsheet where Mines community members could share commitments they offered to make, including:
- Educating oneself on systemic racism and being responsive.
- Taking anti-racist action through conversations, advocacy, donations, by supporting Black businesses or through additional education.
- Listening to BIPOC individuals and elevating their voices.
- Changing the classroom curriculum to be more inclusive and transparent about racial equity.
Through listening and brainstorming sessions involving Mines DI&A, campus leadership and BIPOC members of our community, eight action items were identified. These, and the progress toward them, are summarized below:
1. Collaborate with Mines police and review our relationships with local and state police
- Public Safety held a virtual town hall event (200 attendees) that discussed ongoing policy review and training to utilize de-escalation techniques that remain consistent with best practices and adhere to state law.
- Public Safety conducted a detailed review of curriculum, policies, and enhanced transparency around use of force and posted the Public Safety Use of Force policy on the department’s website.
- Public safety released its first newsletter to foster and maintain community trust, increase transparency and provide department updates to the campus community.
2. Investigate opportunities to create accountability groups
- Mines created the Office of Institutional Equity & Title IX to handle reports of campus climate concerns and incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, violence and retaliation.
- Mines established two Learning Communities (LC): Mines DI&A-led Implicit Bias and Minimizing Microaggressions LC and Trefny Center’s Inclusive Classroom LC.
- Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) held chapter meetings with presidents and advisors to help FSL culture become more inclusive and safe, hired Esquilin Consulting Services to hold learning sessions and hosted an anti-racist lecture with Lawrence Ross.
- New Student Transition Services (NeST) implemented communications and activities with peer mentors, including listening sessions, CSM101 diversity-based lesson plans, workshops and book clubs.
3. Explore ways that we can adapt our Advocates for gender equity program to Advocates for racial equity
- Mines DI&A launched new skills-based Implicit Bias & Minimizing Microaggressions workshops.
- Mines DI&A established the Ambassadors Program, a team of Mines students and employees who provides learning & development opportunities for campus.
4. Collaborate with the Trefny Innovative Instruction Center to continue to improve instruction, mitigate bias in the classroom and teach about systemic racism especially as it influences science and engineering
- Trefny Center started the classroom equity and inclusion learning community, a space for instructors to engage in dialogue in the classroom.
- Trefny Center and Mines DI&A secured $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to provide tangible guidance to educators for operating an inclusive classroom.
5. Elevate the experiences and contributions of our colleagues who are African American, Black or People of Color
- Mines Executive Leadership hosted “listening sessions” with BIPOC members of our community to open lines of communication.
- Mines DI&A provided multi-media resources to the Mines community for self-guided learning.
- Library & Museum created a new Black Lives Matter exhibit as well as a welcome banner that restates Mines’ commitment to inclusion.
- MEP hosted the Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance and celebration in honor of Dr. King’s birthday. Four Mines community members were recognized for their commitment to fostering inclusion on campus.
6. Improve leadership training to cultivate inclusive leaders
- Mines new Leadership Institute is under development.
- FA&O is launching their “Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging” learning cohorts starting 2021 to create an environment where members can safely engage in conversation.
7. Collaborate with Human Resources to ensure that DI&A is infused into onboarding of new employees and that supervisors are trained to mitigate bias
- Twenty-one units across campus have included “integrating DI&A into performance evaluations” in their 2020 Implementation Plan reports.
- Human Resources has featured Mines DI&A in all new employee onboarding presentations.
- DI&A best practices have been incorporated into New Faculty Extended Onboarding
8. Continue to foster dialogue and shared responsibility for DI&A
- Mines DI&A tracks Mines’ collective action and efforts in units’ Implementation Plan reports.
- Publication of the Mines DI&A Annual Report to provide transparency and accountability.
- Mines DI&A launched the #OrediggersForEquity campaign which encourages all Orediggers to take 30 minutes every Monday to promote DI&A in STEM and on campus.
- Host DI&A-related events such as the annual DI&A Symposium, “Picture a Scientist” and “13th” documentary viewings, “Woke Wednesdays” with Admissions and ITS’ round table discussions about race.