New UI Initiative to Help Strengthen Diversity, Inclusion Proving to be Popular
BUILD certificate program for faculty and staff offers ongoing education
By Anne Bassett | Iowa Now | 9/17/2015
So far, a new program offered by the University of Iowa Chief Diversity Office (CDO) designed to help faculty and staff strengthen diversity and inclusion has received a great deal of interest. The BUILD (Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity) initiative—a non-credit bearing certificate opportunity—started offering classes this fall.
“The response has been very positive and, so far, we have several hundred people signed up for various courses,” says Lindsay Jarratt, diversity resources manager for the CDO who oversees the program. “We’re trying to create a place where people can come and continually increase their knowledge and skills, and hopefully it’s a safe place to learn.”
To earn the BUILD certificate, faculty and staff must complete a minimum 13 hours of work—two core courses and at least five electives. Right now, the initiative offers about 25 classes where participants can learn everything from skills for relationship and coalition-building across difference to methods for navigating conflict while respecting diverse opinions, backgrounds, and identities.
“At the very minimum, I hope this will empower members of our community to work as allies who promote an inclusive and diverse environment on our campus,” says Jarratt. “I believe that’s everyone’s responsibility, and it’s not hard if you have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to contribute to that vision.”
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