As many of you have read in Chancellor Mone’s messages, UW-Milwaukee has restated our commitment as a University community to creating a campus that values, supports and foregrounds diversity, equity and inclusion. Our campus leadership, many individual schools and colleges as well as individual departments have added statements about the imperative for racial justice. While the School of Education has a longstanding commitment to social justice and equity through our research and scholarship, teaching and service, we state clearly here that our commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice are active. In response to the lives lost to police violence, the summer’s protests, the voices of our students and colleagues, the School of Education is taking stock of what we are doing and what we are missing. Our professional organizations, like the National Education Association, remind us, “…this is no time for us to look away”.
As scholars, we bring a breadth of knowledge about and through theory, research, philosophy and practice to our endeavors and there is more to learn. Our current efforts are informed by anti-racist scholars and organizers, Dr. Bettina Love & Charlene Carruthers, who state that efforts must first begin by recognizing what is not happening in our institution. They ask if we know whether the people we say we are going to help (i.e., our students) actually feel like we are helping them. If not, this is where change starts.
We are publicly restating our collective commitments. We commit to identifying inequities, to identifying what is not happening in our school and to identifying who is being left out or left behind. We commit to hearing and understanding the lived experiences of our students, staff, and faculty, especially those who have been historically marginalized. We commit to addressing our challenges and to celebrating our successes. We commit to partners who will engage with us in these efforts. We commit to change.
As a step in our process, we have taken to heart the raw and honest insights that nearly 120 students provided on a survey in August. To hold ourselves accountable to the work we know we must do and to solicit feedback from our communities, we share some of our efforts here. We encourage you to review our plan below and see what our actions include. We also encourage you to provide us feedback through the link you will find there.
We are the School of Education. It is in our mission to foster important learning with and in support of students and communities. Through our scholarship, our classroom work and our community engagement we will continue to listen, learn and make a difference as we work to end social and racial injustices. As a community, we recognize our responsibilities to do good and we recognize our accountability when we have not. We look forward to our collective challenge in 2021 and beyond.
Hope Longwell-Grice, Sr. Associate Dean, School of Education, UW-Milwaukee
Racial Equity Action Plan
|Student Survey Priorities||Action|
|Improve staff/faculty awareness of racial equity and inclusion in their own classrooms/teaching practice||Examine SOE awareness of racial equity practice needs both inside and outside the classroom|
|Create department equity subcommittee with representation from all program areas to enact action on equity items and review gaps in our departmental practices|
|Provide direct support and empowerment for students of color and historically marginalized students||Work with newly hired Development Officer to prioritize supporting historically marginalized students in fundraising efforts|
|Develop partnership with MPS Black and Latino Male Achievement office|
|Stronger and more explicit integration of racial equity and anti-racism content in all courses/curriculum||Examine SOE awareness of racial equity practice needs both inside and outside the classroom|
|Offer better preparation to be an anti-racist practitioner||Complete EAB Advancing Student Success and Equity Goals|
|Organize bias training for staff and faculty||In development|
|Organize bias training for students in the SOE||In development|
|Develop or strengthen partnership with community organizations and partners to better address/support community calls for action on anti-racism/racial equity||Taking Action: Policing and Campus Safety at the Intersection of Race and Disability (Anti-Racism Grant)|
|Create better support for first-generation students||In development|
|Offer more informal opportunities to engage in conversations around topics of inclusion, racial equity, diversity, and anti-racism||Promote Complete College America virtual conference "With Equity & Justice for All" to soeall|
|Toward a Radically Welcoming and Engaging Campus: Stories of Belonging (Anti-Racism Grant)|
|Multicultural Scholars Collaborative (Anti-Racism Grant)|
|SOE Racial Equity Dialogue Groups (26 faculty and staff)|
|Foster development of student group or organization to create space for student voices and perspectives to inform racial equity and anti-racism efforts|
|Other Actions||Place statement of support for Black Lives Matter on program website|
|Discussion around requesting/requiring Diversity Statement from graduate program applicants|
|Discussion around removing GRE requirement|
Racial Equity Action Plan Feedback
In effort to hear from students, stakeholders, alumni, and community members to further our discussions and thinking, we offer the opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions on the action plan by completing the fields below.