Inclusive Excellence announces awardees of three new initiatives

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The Division for Inclusive Excellence will host a one-day professional development equity and inclusion leadership symposium on Aug. 18.
Deaudrea Rich, Inclusive Excellence

The Division for Inclusive Excellence has announced the winners of three new initiatives launched in spring 2017: the Equity and Inclusion Leadership Symposium, Student Social Justice Fund and Curriculum Development Awards. These initiatives are focused on engaging the Virginia Commonwealth University community’s interests in social justice and inclusion.


Equity and Inclusion Leadership Symposium

The Equity and Inclusion Leadership Symposium is a one-day professional development forum that will be held on Aug. 18. The symposium is designed by and for members of the VCU community to examine and engage around emerging and challenging topics in diversity, inclusion, equity and access.

The symposium is free and open to members of the VCU and VCU Health communities.

Symposium presenters are:

Paula McMahon (Equity and Access Services)
“Cultural factors impacting disability disclosure in the workplace”

Fatima M. Smith and Kaylin Tingle (Wellness Resource Center)
“Straddling the line between bravery and burnout: Advocacy in your marginalized identity”

Kimberly Matthews (VCU LEAD)
“Each One, Teach One: Success stories of African-American male doctoral completers”

Mia Liadis and Kaylin Tingle (Wellness Resource Center)
“Creating supportive spaces on campus for LGBTQIA+ survivors of violence”

Carlton Goode (University Academic Advising)
“Retaining African-American males in college: Hands up! Stop! WAIT, Do I belong here?”

Sarah Golding (Department of Biology) and Joyce Lloyd (School of Medicine)
“Addressing disparities in the biomedical workforce: A work in progress”

Jill Blondin and Rachel Gable (VCU Globe)
“Building equity and inclusion through intercultural competency skills”

Chelsea Russell, Morgan Jacobs and Troy Carter (ACE-IT in College)
“Intellectual and developmental diversity at VCU: VCU ACE-IT in College”

Logan Vetrovec and Amy Taloma (Health Sciences Diversity)
“Big pipeline partnerships can enhance student success”

Faedah Totah (School of World Studies) and Emily Williams (Department of Focused Inquiry)
“Minority faculty and the classroom”

Shelli Fowler (University College)
“Transforming Our Praxis: Strategies for inclusive and engaged teaching and learning”

Erin White (VCU Libraries), Lisa Webb and Carol Ann Irby (Health Sciences)
“Inclusive recruiting strategies” 


Social Justice Fund

Inclusive Excellence has sponsored four Student Social Justice Fund projects with an award of $2,500 each.
<br>Deaudrea Rich, Inclusive Excellence
Inclusive Excellence has sponsored four Student Social Justice Fund projects with an award of $2,500 each.
Deaudrea Rich, Inclusive Excellence

The VCU Student Social Justice Fund currently funds proposals that conceptualize solutions to social justice challenges facing the university, local, national or international communities. The Division for Inclusive Excellence has sponsored four student projects with an award of $2,500 each to execute their creative ideas:

Don’t Touch My Hair RVA, a project involving the creation of a music video and documentary inspired by artist Solange Knowles to promote awareness, empathy, inclusion, and equity for people of color, and in particular members of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout Richmond.

Participants: Chaz Barracks (team leader); Christina Hairston, Nick Vega, Christine Wyatt, Deaudrea “Sha” Rich (team members); Pamela Harris Lawton, School of the Arts (mentor)

Reach Out Richmond, a project aiming to empower disenfranchised individuals, groups, and neighborhoods in Richmond to share their stories about mental health and mass incarceration and support one another through mutual aid.

Participants: Megan Osborn (team leader); Breanna Hawkins, Zarea Hawkins, Alexander Curran (team members); Liz Canfield, College of Humanities and Sciences (mentor)

Building Legacies Around Cultural Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) unites a group of graduate psychology students who will facilitate community dialogue centered on experiences that impact the well-being of Richmond’s black communities. Through weekly presentations and dialogue with individuals at a community center in the southside of the city, B.L.A.C.K. hopes to provide a vehicle to healing and positive development.

Participants: Keyona Allen (team leader); Christina Barnett, Randl Dent, Ebony Lambert, Krystal Thomas, Mona Quarless, Melissa Avila, Jasmine Coleman, Stephanie Wilson, Amanda Parks, Eryn Delaney (team members); Shawn O. Utsey, College of Humanities and Sciences (mentor)

Refugee Service Experience Project seeks to improve cultural competency of human service workers and service delivery by designing and facilitating a series of four workshops that focus on social justice issues that refugees and asylum seekers face.

Participants: Laura Fanizza (team leader); Taylor Davis, Yvonne Fox, Maureen Muriungi, Nuzigum Setiwaldi (team members); Hiyojin Im, School of Social Work (mentor)


Curriculum Development Awards

Curriculum Development Awards were developed in response to VCU students and faculty needs for the continued development of courses and classroom learning experiences that are inclusive, both in content and in strategy.

The division has awarded four curricular development awards of $10,000 each for courses offered during the 2017–18 academic year. Funded projects are intended to strengthen undergraduate and/or graduate courses with respect to diversity and inclusion and create a more inclusive curriculum.

The Curriculum Development Award winners represent the following academic units:

School of the Arts, Department of Art Education (“Inclusivity, Equity, and Justice in Art Education: Observe, Reflect, Act”)

School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science (“Developing skills for cross-cultural patient care in pharmacy practice”)

University College, Focused Inquiry (“Initiative for Inclusive Classrooms in the University College”)

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs (“Enhancing Undergraduate Student Knowledge in Diversity and Inclusion Across the Wilder School”)

Awardees will also receive instructional design support from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.