Institutional DEI Commitments
Monday Assembly for Racial Justice
This summer students, faculty and staff began a community practice of assembling each Monday morning to learn and commit each week to enacting racial justice. Assemblies resume on September 13th from 12–1 p.m. For more information on the assemblies please email: diversitycouncil@Barnard.edu or check the Barnard portal for a link to the assembly.
Identity Development as Pathways to Institutional Equity
Ife Lenard, MSW, EdM, Strategic Coach & Educator
Every other Tuesday from 4–5 p.m.
Staff and students will enrich their learning and perspective with generalist frameworks and skills that contribute to anti-oppressive practices from the classroom and beyond. As an iterative process of developing self-awareness, collective learning and practice skills, Ife Lenard has a unique ability to nurture, challenge, encourage and stretch themselves throughout their experiences with her. She will supportively guide them to:
- understand their identity and the historical undercurrents of its development,
- highlight the experiences and harm of cultural assimilation, acculturation and identity tensions,
- internalize and enrich their identity with an association and appreciation of their worth, beauty and scholarship,
- increase their capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's fragility,
- deepen perspective regarding others lived experiences,
- become aware of a host of common emotions around brave conversations, and
- handle and build authentic, interpersonal relationships with others with different lived experiences -judiciously and empathetically- as part of a continuum of one’s racial identity development and overall Barnard College experiential journey.
The BOLD Conference
Slated for the Spring ’22 term, the BOLD Conference is an all-day, student-led event, focused on facilitating conversations between faculty, staff, and students to continue strengthening teaching and learning at Barnard. Facilitated by the Center for Engaged Pedagogy and the Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, it offers the opportunity to discuss questions, share concerns, and brainstorm suggestions regarding the academic experience.
What could another world look like?
Learn from visionaries on the front lines of imagining it, and then ask yourself, “What can I do right now, with what I have and where I am?”
After all, Barnard students don’t wait around when it comes to taking action — and in ThirdSpace@, a two-part, virtual co-curricular program (SPARK + BUILD), you can do that wherever you’ll be this year, whether that’s on campus or off. ThirdSpace@ brings together the support of your peers, experienced guides, and DEI, the Athena Center for Leadership, and the Center for Engaged Pedagogy.
- Establish an Anti-Racist Pedagogy Institute
- In progress through the Center for Engaged Pedagogy.
- Establish a new teaching innovation fund that supports the development of new courses or components of existing courses that focus on how anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination persist in education, healthcare, policing, and other structures in our society and within our own institutional history. Offered through the Provost's Office. CFP available in March 2021.
- Ensure accessibility in the digital teaching environment.
- In Fall 2020 CEP and CARDS created a guide and workshop for digital accessibility.
- Support academic departmental DEI work through establishing departmental diversity plans.
- Continue the Faculty Opportunity Hiring Initiative
- Regularly publish data on the progress in hiring BIPOC faculty and staff.
- See the college diversity dashboard.
- Increase participation in Barnard Bound.
- This year our total applications received through Barnard Bound efforts increased by 75%.
- Increase financial support for our most promising and financially under resourced applicants.
- We are pleased to welcome our inaugural class of Barnard Bound Levy Scholars in the Class of 2024 and plan to add three to four incoming students each year. Barnard’s financial commitment to this new program totals $5.5 million over the next five years.
- This year we also joined Questbridge, a national nonprofit that connects high achieving low-income high school students with leading colleges.
- Launch Access Barnard, a new office dedicated to ensuring resource equity through:
- A single stop application supplemental academic support
- In Fall 2020 a pilot of the SASA was launched to provide a single point of application for a range of institutional supports.
- Specialized advisement: Navigating Barnard was offered in Fall 2020
- A laptop lending program: Building on the success of the HEOP lending program, in Spring 2021 Access Barnard will launch a broader lending program.
- Peer mentoring: We are currently selecting our incoming class of peer mentors.
- A single stop application supplemental academic support
- Administer and communicate results of the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates survey.
- The survey, the result of the Community Safety Group identifying a climate survey, was administered in Fall 2020.
- The results will be shared through a discussion event hosted by the CSG in Spring 2021.
- Become a member of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance
- Barnard became a member in October 2020.
- Restructure and re-envision safety at Barnard.
- We have announced the creation of a new division and approach to safety at Barnard: CARES.
- Implement a Health Ambassadors program to support COVID response
- Hire an Executive Director for Community Engagement and Inclusion.
- In place January 2021.
- Co-create a DEI institutional timeline with the archives, students, faculty, staff and alums.
- In progress
- Establish regular engagement with the history of the college
- In November, the first event in a new series, Evening with the Archives, was held virtually. This first session, "Contingent Inclusion: Changing Visions of Barnard Admissions" offered space to discuss Barnard’s history of admissions, quotas, and changing and contingent visions of inclusion.
- On February 26th, the second Evening with the Archives event was held virtually. This second session, "Black@Barnard" invited Corinth Jackson '20 to present her project.
- Offer regular and visible workshops around anti-racism and racial equity work
- Monday Assembly
- Identity Development as Pathways to Institutional Equity with Ife Lenard, MSW, EdM
- Spring 2021 workshops offered through our membership in the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance
- Anti-Racist Reading Group (CEP)
- Book Clubs (CEP, DEI and FWDW)
- In partnership with the Barnard Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, FWDW and the CEP a brown bag book club for faculty and staff was held through Spring 2020. In this book club, participants read Rhonda V. Magee's The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness.
- In collaboration with our colleagues at CU and Teachers College, we piloted an all-faculty summer reading initiative. Barnard faculty read Citizen by Claudia Rankine.
2017 Diversity Task Force Recommendations
President Spar's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, Barnard College February 15, 2017
During the Presidency of Deborah Spar, the work of DEI gained momentum. After one year of discussion, consultation and analysis of historical and more recent data and reports, the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion identified three action areas that they believed had the potential to transform the College into a more representative, inclusive, and equitable campus. The 2017 Task Force Recommendations have been foundational to the present institutional commitments to DEI made under President Sian Leah Beilock.
To be a truly excellent and leading liberal arts college we must:
● Develop and implement organizational structures and practices that promote diversity, inclusion and equity across the College (structural changes);
● Build an inclusive campus-wide culture and community that is based on shared principles of representation, inclusion, and social justice (community-building and climate); and
● Institutionalize structures of accountability at every level in order to ensure constant, sustained, and effective systemic change (assessment and accountability).
Within these three broad objectives, the Task Force has identified ten specific proposals that, when implemented together, will have the highest impact on changing the institution.
Create a position for a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) with a campus-wide and community- focused mandate. An experienced CDO will prioritize and focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives and institutional continuity over time; re-conceptualize diversity and inclusion as a strength/priority; institute a leadership and accountability structure for Barnard’s diversity mission; and provide necessary expertise in managing change relative to diversity and inclusion. The CDO will lead a collaborative team comprised of staff and faculty who are already working on diversity and inclusion across the campus, along with others whose work is relevant to this aspect of the College’s mission. A newly established Diversity Council that represents all campus constituencies will serve in an advisory capacity. Creating this role signals importance of diversity and inclusion to the entire Barnard community, including students, alumnae, faculty, administrators, and staff. COMPLETED.
Create a fund for a “Center for Academic Success and Excellence” to extend Academic Success and Enrichment Programs (ASEP) services to all students who qualify. Barnard’s enrichment programs provide opportunities for enhancing the intellectual life of our students, with a particular focus on students of color, first generation and low-income students. Our success in recruiting an increasingly diverse student body means that ASEP services are in high demand but reach only a fraction of the students who would benefit from them due to restrictive state eligibility requirements. By centralizing existing and creating new programs and services, the Center for Academic Success and Excellence will enable the College to focus more effectively on support and retention for this student population in particular, but in ways that have the potential to benefit all students. Examples of initiatives that can have a wide impact include: extending the summer bridge program; enhancing training for, and the availability of, tutoring and other academic supports; establishing school-wide or department-specific lending libraries; creating a clearing house for academic supplies; and creating best practices for departments or individual professors in textbook management. This Center will also benefit the campus as a whole, as faculty and staff work together to build their competencies and skills to better serve students whose success at Barnard may require targeted support. IN PROGRESS. SEE ACCESS BARNARD.
Hire 10 new faculty members from underrepresented groups in five years. In the past decade, Barnard has taken steps to increase the number of faculty of color, including a transformative cluster hire in Africana Gender Studies in 2010. Current data from Barnard’s Office of Institutional Assessment, however, show that only 21% (of 145) tenure-line faculty are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American, compared with 37% of our students. We also have very few faculty with disabilities or faculty who are first generation college students. Given the demonstrated benefits of diverse student bodies and diverse faculties (e.g., better learning outcomes and campus climate, enhanced support for underrepresented students and faculty) we propose using a combination of new and existing tenure track lines to recruit junior and senior scholars who will contribute to the excellence of our faculty. Departments will be given the opportunity to propose targeted searches and small multidisciplinary cluster hires that take into account historical patterns of underrepresentation in their departments and in their disciplines. IN PROGRESS. SEE OPPORTUNITY HIRING INITIATIVE.
Climate and Community Building
Provide resources and opportunities for campus-wide inclusion and equity workshops for faculty, students, administrators, and staff. Promoting educational workshops around inclusion and equity create a shared understanding of the distinctive challenges facing core constituencies, especially those from historically underrepresented groups; and focus on developing cultural competence with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, class, disability, sexuality, religion, and intersectionality. Students, faculty, administrators and staff will be expected to participate in order to create a community focus on diversity topics relevant to all at Barnard. IN PROGRESS. SEE MONDAY ASSEMBLY.
Establish a space in the new Teaching and Learning Center focused on the “Inclusive Classroom.” Create a clearinghouse and support for faculty to comprehensively practice diversity and inclusion in both the content and form of their teaching, through workshops, individual consultations, and resources for the development of syllabi and new courses, especially those that contribute to the new curriculum and represent innovative cross-campus learning initiatives. The premier liberal arts college for women in NYC should be a leader in this, especially given research on differential experiences of women and people of color in classrooms. COMPLETED. SEE THE CENTER FOR ENGAGED PEDAGOGY.
Promote active engagement with the history of Barnard College. Create a one-semester course, phased in over five years, on Barnard history. Functioning as a Barnard “core” and creating inclusion through a common intellectual experience, this course allows Barnard students and faculty to investigate the founding of the college and experiences of women, people of color, low-income students, international students, LGTBQA people, and those with disabilities in and around Barnard’s campus. Simultaneously offering an institutional history of the politics of women-only education, a history of the college in the city and in the world, the course will investigate how Barnard’s history has both driven and responded to signal moments in American history and the history of feminism. The course could be phased in by creating a series of programs (a lecture series, a proseminar, First-Year seminar) that analyze milestones in Barnard’s history and alumnae who have created change (Annie Nathan Meyer, Zora Neale Hurston, Grace Lee Boggs, Erica Jong, Edwidge Danticat, etc.). IN PROGRESS.
Establish regular campus-wide events dedicated to diversity activities each academic year. A core concern identified by the Task Force is the relative lack of community and collective commitment to diversity and inclusion at Barnard within and across groups of students, faculty and staff. While acknowledging the barriers to bringing us together, we recommend that two thematically connected events be organized each year, including an annual “Grace Lee Boggs Lecture” and a cultural event, that are accessible to all members of the community. Such initiatives create a true community-wide conversation about the value of diversity and will promote a sense of community and cohesion among all members of Barnard community. IN PROGRESS.
Accountability and Assessment
Require every administrative office, academic department, and campus service, to create, communicate and implement plans for increasing diversity and inclusion. Any significant change in the structure and culture of the College requires broad based participation. The introduction of diversity and inclusion plans that take the specific needs of each unit into account is necessary for the changes we advocate to be successful. All staff and faculty across the College will be held responsible for ensuring implementation and participation. IN PROGRESS
Commission a baseline institutional climate study with semi-annual follow-up assessments. Over the past decade, there have been a number of efforts to assess the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and to better understand the experiences of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff. As valuable as they have been, such assessments have tended to be ad hoc and limited to specific groups (e.g., faculty, first generation students, support staff). A baseline evaluation of the institutional structure and climate of the College is necessary—both to insure that we understand where and how we need to improve and to measure that improvement over time in meaningful ways. IN PROGRESS. COMPLETED STUDENT CLIMATE SURVEY IN OCTOBER 2020.
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Diversity, inclusion and equity need to be centered in every aspect of our institutional mission and practice. Our recommendations represent a starting point for that timely and ambitious project. The only way to move forward is with strong presidential leadership, involvement of all members of the President’s senior team, and endorsement by the Board of Trustees. Importantly, the success of this mission requires the re-allocation of existing, and cultivation of new, financial and human resources. To this end, the final recommendation of the Task Force is:
Prioritize the College’s diversity, inclusion and equity mission in the remainder of the capital campaign and launch a next stage targeted fundraising effort.
Submitted by the Members of the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion
Co-Chairs: Debora Spar, President Debra Minkoff, Professor of Sociology, Dean for Faculty Diversity & Development
Provost Office: Linda Bell, Provost
Faculty Diversity & Development Committee: Monica Miller, Associate Professor of English Maria Rivera-Maulucci, Associate Professor of Education Krista McGuire, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Deans Office: Avis Hinkson, Dean of the College Alina Wong, Associate Dean for Student Life Michell Tollinchi-Michel, Dean for Academic Enrichment and Community Initiatives
Board of Trustees: Frances Sadler, Co-Chair of Student Life Committee Diana Vagelos, Co-Chair of Student Life Committee Binta Brown, Chair of Academic Affairs Committee Alex Cooley, Professor of Political Science, Faculty Representative to the Board (2013-16) Sarah Kim ’17, SGA Representative to the Board Jessica Reich '18, SGA Representative to the Board
Human Resources: Catherine Geddis, Vice President
Admissions: Christina Lopez, Director Angela Myers, Admissions Multicultural Student Representative & BSAR
At-large Members: Paige West, Chair of Chairs and Professor of Anthropology (Spring 2016) Dina Merrer, Chair of Chairs and Professor of Chemistry (Fall 2016) Rhea Nagpal ’19, GBB General Representative to Cultural/Identity-Based Groups Hannah Seymour ’17, SGA Representative for Inclusion and Equity Jocelyn Cheng '18, Student Representative Deja Bryant '19, Student Representative