Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Standing Firm in Support of Anti-Racist Education and DEI

Rowan University is an academic community that recognizes the rights of its students, faculty and staff guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New Jersey. These include the freedom of speech, expression, inquiry, assembly and peaceful pursuit of an education. 

The Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping issued by the White House on September 22 has raised many questions on our campus and elsewhere about its impact on the important work that we as a university and a country are doing to encourage open dialogue about racism, gender equity, and bias.  The Executive Order contemplates additional guidance and we will carefully monitor additional information from the federal government on this Executive Order and share it with you as it becomes available.   

Our responsibility

As an institution of higher education, Rowan has the responsibility to expose students to educational opportunities that promote growth, development and appreciation of diverse perspectives through coursework, experiences, and programming. Further, we promote inclusive professional development for faculty and staff.  We are committed to encouraging intellectual, academic and social interaction and engagement across our campuses.

Examples of our university-wide efforts to provide educational programming include:

  • The 1619 Project @Rowan sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in collaboration with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and College of Performing Arts,
  • The Rowan Center for the Study of Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, which centers the atrocities of the Holocaust to educate and investigate issues such as racism, ethnic hatred, other forms of bigotry and human rights, and 
  • The efforts of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to provide professional development to faculty and staff through the DEI Certificate and student programming through the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion and Conflict Resolution (SJICR). 

In closing, Rowan University remains undeterred in our collective efforts to promote free speech and academic freedom as well as engage in critical discourse, which we believe results in a more educated and just society.

Monika Williams Shealey, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEI Hosts Critical Conversations

What's At Stake? A Collision of Democracy, Politics and Activism

Minding your Mental Health: COVID-19, Racism, and the Elections

This session builds on the summer virtual series, We Are Not OK. Presenters will discuss the stressors that many of us face as a result of the crippling effects of COVID-19, racial and civil unrest, and a toxic political culture. Presenters will also provide coping strategies and share resources and supports to help students, faculty and staff to combat stress, anxiety and depression.

 

Surviving Elections: Ensuring Civil Discourse in the Workplace

The session provided guidance for managers in creating and sustaining safe spaces that promote civil discourse. Presenters shared strategies that managers can employe to increase collaborative opportunities and promote leadership with an equity lens.

 

Understanding the Electoral Process Today

This session provided an update and answered questions on what happened in the 2020 election, why it happened, and what might still be happening for the final results that have not been settled as of November 16, 2020. Panelists broke down the key factors at play from the perspective of a variety of disciplines.

 

What Do We Do Now? Activism, Advocacy, and Coalition Building

This session offered tools to engage faculty, staff and students in leveraging their activism and advocacy to promote greater collaboration, which will result in postive outcomes for the Rowan community. The time is now to build strategic partnerships with diverse communities that are aligned to our core values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

 

Dreams Will Not Be Deferred: A Conversation with Chief Diversity Officers on the Status of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in New Jersey Higher Education Institutions

With the growing racial unrest in our country, higher education institutions are uniquely situated to promote anti-racism through education, create safe spaces for marginalized communities, engage in coalition building and ensure accountability in addressing bias, harassment and discrimination complaints. Colleges and universities across the country are responding to our current climate and the persistent issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion by appointing Chief Diversity Officers in record numbers. This session highlighted the voices of Chief Diversity Officers at NJ higher education institutions, who are demonstrating promising gains in reimagining campuses that center the voices of diverse communities and leading institutional change that results in positive outcomes for students, faculty and staff.

Amid another national crisis, Rowan DEI stands to lead

Being the nation's first university division dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion already made Rowan DEI distinct. With the grief, outrage and unrest roiling the country this spring, we are all the more committed to serve as dedicated institutional educators and facilitators of equity and justice.

Beginning Thursday, June 4, at 3 p.m., we invited students and everyone in and around the academic community to come together online for We Are Not OK: Injustice, Action, and Healing Series.

Cosponsored with the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, this series helped focus on educating, supporting, and providing resources and next steps for the Rowan community and beyond. During each session, we invited participants to voice their concerns and contribute to the development of action plans that lead to sustainable change. Please see below to view the recordings of these sessions.

Thursday, June 4, 3 p.m.
The Match that Lit the Flame: Unpacking Systemic Racism, Policing, and Resistance
Our goal is to increase the awareness and understanding of the historical context of systemic racism, policing, and resistance in this country. Participants will develop tools to critically examine recent events within a historical and sociopolitical context. Everyone will leave this session with strategies and resources to facilitate individual and collective progress.
Moderator: Monika Williams Shealey
Panelists: Shelley Zion, Bill Carrigan, Sandra Joy, Arielle Gedeon

Monday, June 8, 3 p.m.
I Can't Breathe: Discussion of Racial Battle Fatigue, Trauma, and Self-Care
In this session, we center the voices of students, faculty, and staff of color in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of racial battle fatigue and trauma. In addition, participants will explore coping mechanisms that improve their overall well-being and strategies that facilitate collective care.
Moderator: Richard Jones
Panelists: Kha Sadler, Rahbe Simmons, Michael Nash, Wilson Nyah, Marie-Ange Munyemana

Thursday, June 11, 3 p.m.
Speaking Truth to Power through Pedagogy: Anti-Racist Teaching in Higher Education
This session will build upon faculty members’ awareness of systemic racism while exploring anti-racist pedagogy and what its application across disciplines will entail. Participants will engage in critical self-reflection in order to effectively implement anti-racist pedagogy in their classroom. Finally, participants will explore critical components to designing an anti-racist course and professional approach: (1) incorporating the topics of race and inequality into course content, (2) teaching from an anti-racist pedagogical approach, and (3) anti-racist organizing within the campus and linking our efforts to the surrounding community. Participants will leave this session with strategies and resources to develop anti-racist learning outcomes, classroom culture and dynamics, classroom strategies, methods, and assessment.

(Language of this session description as well as the outline of the discussion comes from Kyoko Kishimoto's article Anti-racist pedagogy: From faculty's self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom: Kishimoto, K. (2018). Anti-racist pedagogy: From faculty’s self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(4), 540-554. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13613324.2016.1248824 as well as from The Anti-Racist Pedagogy Across the Curriculum (ARPAC) Institute at St. Cloud State University. We encourage you to visit their websites at http://www.stcloudstate.edu/arpac and https://www.stcloudstate.edu/arpac/institute/default.aspx.) 

Moderator: Kristin Barrett
Panelists: Chanelle Rose, Rachael Shapiro, Kenzo Sung, Josh Stolz

Friday, June 12, 3 p.m.
White People, Do Something: A Dialogue on Whiteness and Allyship
This session will examine the ways in which white people continue to benefit from systemic oppression. Participants will explore strategies for abandoning white guilt in order to re-center the needs of people of color. Everyone will develop a toolkit of anti-racist resources and action items to effect social change.
Moderator: Roxie Patton
Panelists: Andrew Havrisko, Kevin Koett, Kate Kedley, Abigail Brous

Monday, June 15, 3 p.m.
Where Do We Go From Here? Navigating Campus and Community
This session completes series and will provide participants with an opportunity to engage in problem-solving strategies in collaboration with key community constituents. Participants will be provided with a tool to facilitate their action planning.
Moderator: Kevin Koett
Panelists: John Wallace, Loretta Winters, John Polillo, Adam McCain, Ayala Gedeon, Drew Harrison, Lou Manzo, Kevin Brown
Additional Speakers: Rowan President Ali Houshmand, Monika Williams Shealey, Zakiya Smith Ellis

If you are interested in professional development for your organization or company, Rowan University's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is pleased to offer onsite training at your location. The DEI Certificate Program furthers discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion among your employees in order to address numerous topics, including identity work, implicit bias, microaggressions, and advocacy. If you would like more information about how to bring this training to your group, please contact us at dei@rowan.edu

If you would like to contribute to the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's continued efforts, please click the button below. Give Here

About DEI

As the first higher education division of its kind in the nation, Rowan's DEI combines programming and services for students and employees to address some of the most persisitent issues for individuals and organizations. This unique institutional structure is providing the means for people in every area of the university community to create a stronger, more vibrant and inclusive environment. We welcome your thoughts and comments as we collaborate to build understanding and improve our life together. Please reach us by email at dei@rowan.edu.

Leadership

The Division of DEI was created in January 2019 as the first division of its kind to combine student and academic affairs and compliance.

Student Support

The Division of DEI supports unique and innovative programming that serves the needs of diverse students.

Faculty Support

The Faculty Center plays an integral role in supporting faculty and staff in developing their professional knowledge and skills to ensure equitable educational opportunities for all students.