Dear Bentley Community,
Last month I shared an update on the incredible work that has taken place to support our commitment to racial justice and fairness at Bentley. In this note, I recognized that there was more to do. In this same spirit of transparency and communication, I am writing to you today to announce four new updates that will continue our momentum and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in creating a more inclusive and equitable campus at Bentley.
1. The Bentley Equity Experience: A Campus Climate Study for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The conversations and reflection we engaged in as a community over the past year have helped us uncover cultural barriers that prevent us from fully realizing our commitment to tackling racism, diversity and inclusion more broadly. . A barrier is a preference for isolation over collaboration. This creates conditions on campus where access to information is controlled, no effort is made to solicit different views and decisions are made. for, not with, the most impacted. Following the recommendations of the Racial Justice Task Force, the Inclusive Excellence Council launches the first study on the climate of diversity on the Bentley campus. This study, called the Bentley stock experience, will use reflective experiences, narrative exercises and inquiry questions to measure lived experiences and perceptions of the campus climate among students, staff and faculty. The results will allow us to identify priorities, measure our progress, and ensure transparency and accountability as we advance our DCI efforts. We’ll kick off the effort next month and share details on how to get involved.
2. Learning and Development Program for Inclusive Excellence
We recognize the need to provide learning experiences for our students, and it is equally important to develop the ability of all employees to understand and work in diverse environments. We are excited to introduce a new structure for employees to navigate our existing trainings, dialogue groups, webinars and other activities that will allow faculty and staff to learn more about diversity, equity and social issues. inclusion. This new program, known as the Inclusive Excellence Learning and Development Program, will allow employees to personalize their own professional development, broaden their understanding and skills, and integrate the DEI into their work.
The program uses the four attributes of inclusive excellence – outreach, alliance, advocacy, and agency – to encourage employees to move beyond individual growth to learn how to become more engaged in collaborative change projects. In the process, employees develop a set of mindsets and core practices that strengthen our individual and collective capacity to create a more inclusive campus community. Divided into two components, the model provides development pathways that are both fundamental and developmental.
– Bentley reference is a foundational set of experiences that all employees are encouraged to achieve during their first two years at Bentley.
– Bentley front is a set of experiences organized to help employees take action to change the community by participating in a courageous dialogue between different groups and viewpoints.
We will send an email with details of this new learning and development program for inclusive excellence to faculty and staff next month. If you have any questions or comments about this program, please email Matt Banks at [email protected]
3. Promote equity projects together (PET)
An important part of the new Bentley Forward (mentioned above) will be opportunities for the community to participate in short-term interdivisional systemic change projects to enable inclusive excellence on our campus. These projects aim to break down silos and lift people out of their comfort zones by working to identify solutions to the barriers that prevent Bentley from achieving our diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Three projects will be launched this semester:
– Tribute to Indigenous communities: A team is being formed to explore and develop a comprehensive land recognition for the university that recognizes the legacy and contributions of the indigenous communities who are the original inhabitants of this land. Recognitions can take many forms, so this group will assess what is most appropriate and how Bentley can move beyond passive claims to honest and genuine recognition of the history and heritage of Indigenous peoples.
– Fair space design: The Racial Justice Working Group called for the creation of safe spaces that affirm identities and foster the success of BIPOC communities and the addition of more symbolic representations of the multiracial community that exists at Bentley. This project will work with an architectural firm to engage the community in creating a safe and inclusive spaces plan that addresses the need for safer spaces on campus while reimagining a more inclusive campus environment that recognizes contributions from communities of color.
– Inclusive gender categories: The first introduction for many people in our community is a form, either for admission or for employment. The ways in which gender is requested and collected at Bentley does not recognize that gender is not binary. This project will aim to increase the inclusiveness of our academic forms by expanding the categories that students, employees, alumni, and families can use to refer to their gender and pronouns.
4. New director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
I am delighted to introduce Patrick Couillard Hale as the new Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, Patrick will lead strategic initiatives to advance our commitment to inclusive excellence, including those mentioned above. Matt Banks will continue to develop and facilitate our learning opportunities, and Patrick will lead campus-wide projects that will impact our systemic response to equity and justice. Please join me in welcoming Patrick to campus.
We are excited about these new projects and the expansion of our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Bentley. I will continue to provide updates on our progress, including an update next month on the collective efforts on campus to reduce the impact of sexism in this community. As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions and invite you to actively participate in this critical work. Please email me to share your comments or if you would like to get involved. It is only by working together, and each doing their part, that we can build a community that truly represents all of us.
Katie Lampley ’96
Head of Diversity and Inclusion