​Work to address diversity and inclusion at both CU Denver and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus has been taking place since a diversity summit this past April. During that conference, participants wrote a promise note to themselves. Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Brenda J. Allen recently mailed those pledges back to the participants. 

Allen invited the representatives from the schools, colleges and campus programs to send updates on their progress since the summit. “I’m gratified that some of my colleagues have fulfilled their promise, and others have taken first steps,” Allen said. 

For example, Donna Parrish, director of Diversity and Inclusion, Kempe Center, has partnered with Regina Richards, director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, School of Medicine, to develop a ‘Lunch and Learn’ Series on “Creating Strategies for Health Equity.” 

Christine Stroup-Benham, assistant vice chancellor, Institutional Research & Effectiveness, is helping Allen set up a portal group to share information about diversity. Auraria Librarian Thomas Beck, Collection Development & Research, will meet with Allen to explore his idea to conduct a college fair on the Auraria Campus for underrepresented students.   

Results of “vote” at the summit

Also during the diversity summit, Allen promised participants that she would use findings from roundtable discussions about the CU Denver | Anschutz Strategic Plan’s Diversity Priority to plan her office’s activities for the upcoming year. 

Staff and faculty selected the following as the top goal/objective: 

Goal 5.2 Recruit and retain a diverse faculty and staff throughout the university;
Objective 5.2.2 Offer training programs and leadership development that support recruitment and retention efforts, unearth unconscious biases within the university’s culture, and foster a nurturing environment for people of diverse backgrounds.

Allen concurs with this choice, “Providing resources and opportunities related to recruitment and retention will set the foundation for accomplishing all of our goals for diversity and inclusion.”

Training/education was the most prominent theme in participants’ comments, comments included:

–“Training should be mandatory and not just people in this room.”
–“Needs to go from the top down and from the bottom up.”
–“Basic diversity competence is needed.”
–“ Training is critical because we often think we don’t need the training.” 
–“Leaders in departments and programs need to emphasize this sort of training.” 

New initiatives in the works

• Funding from the Chancellor, Provost, and AVC for Diversity and Inclusion for projects aimed at increasing retention of faculty of color (anyone may apply for these funds)
• A support network for staff and faculty in doctoral programs

• ‘Train the trainer’ workshops for staff and faculty whose training or teaching encompasses diversity

• Unconscious bias training for admissions and hiring committees

• Revamped website for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a diversity resource (launch scheduled for Oct.14)

Upcoming events 
• EmpowHERment workshop:  Sept. 30, 2013; 1-3 p.m.; Shore Family Forum, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building

• Workshop on Disability and Diversity (Co-Facilitators: Lisa McGill, Director, Disability Resources and Services, and AVC Allen);  October date and place TBA

• The CU System-wide diversity summit will focus on training/education. ALL participants and presenters will be staff and faculty members of our university community.  CU Denver | Anschutz will host this event on April 17, 2014 (location TBA).

For information about events or initiatives, or to share an update on your diversity promise, please contact [email protected].