Our Diversity Journey

We are at the beginning stages of our journey and this page will continue to share the evolution of the Edgewood College diversity program.

The Diversity Taskforce was charged with developing a strategic plan for racial and ethnic diversity. The plan, Toward a Campus Climate of Inclusion: A Three-Year Plan to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Edgewood College, 2009-2012, was created and identified specific action steps to increase racial and ethnic diversity throughout the College and to begin building a campus climate of inclusion.

 

Edgewood College hired a staff member to coordinate the inclusion planning efforts and also established the Inclusion Council to oversee the College’s progress toward reaching the goals set forth in the 2009-2012 plan. The Inclusion Council provided strategic recommendations and actions to the President’s Leadership Team on how to develop and sustain a campus climate of inclusion. The Council reviewed policies and procedures relative to diversity, promoted strategies and best practices to enhance campus climate, and reviewed department and division inclusion planning efforts.

 

The President’s Leadership Team established an ad-hoc planning committee, the Inclusion Planning Taskforce, which drafted, The 2014-2017 Framework for Diversity: A Renewed Vision and Framework for Diversity & Inclusion. The 2014-2017 diversity plan identified key leaders across campus to take responsibility for the 17 actions included in the plan.

 

The Inclusion Steering Committee was formed by the President's Council to develop an implementation plan for the College diversity signature projects identified in the 2014-2017 Diversity Plan. Shortly thereafter, the Office of Student Activities and the Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion merged to establish the Office of Student Inclusion & Involvement. This merge was intentionally designed to enhance student engagement opportunities on the topic of diversity, encourage cross cultural dialogue, and to provide leadership opportunities to students that were grounded in inclusive excellence.

 

A new role, the Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Special Advisor to the President's Cabinet, was created to lead campus diversity efforts. This position served as a member of the President's Cabinet and chaired the President's Diversity Leadership Council, a group also established in late 2017.

The Edgewood College 2017-2027 Pathways to Purpose (Strategic Plan) was an integrated diversity plan. Of the 33 priority actions included in this plan, one-third had an inclusion focus. Diversity is integrated throughout the entire plan and Strategic Priority #5 intentionally called for us to build an inclusive College where individuals across the rich spectrum of diversity succeed and belong

The President's Diversity Leadership Council advised the President of the College and ensured that an inclusive and equity lens was brought to the actions of the College. Within the first academic year of the charter of this group, the Council revised the College's identity statement, ensuring students from all gender identities (and expressions) were welcomed at Edgewood College, approved a Land Recognition Statement, honoring the Ho-Chunk Nation and bringing awareness to the 16 Native American Mounds on campus, and led an engagement session with the Edgewood College Board of Trustees. 

The Diversity Practitioner Committee was created and was comprised of faculty/staff who have direct diversity responsibilities on campus in their job description. This important group supported the implementation of the strategic plan and ensured inclusion is campus-wide. During this critical time in the College's history, students walked out following an All-Campus Diversity Forum and a string of bias incidents. Student Senate issued a diversity commitment letter to Administration. The Board of Trustees engaged in discussion on inclusion and issued a 5-part resolution on diversity.

Financial resources were allocated to fund a full-time Director of the Center for Multicultural Education, the central teaching & learning hub on multicultural issues for faculty. This was the first time in the College's history that the Director of the Center for Multicultural Education was a full-time position. An inaugural College diversity update was created to share progress and challenges from the 2017-2018 academic year.

 
 

Edgewood College celebrated Indigenous People's Day on October 8, 2018, and enacted a Land Recognition Statement, declaring a commitment to the Indigenous People of Wisconsin. The Multicultural Student Advisory Council was convened to advise the President and the Diversity Leadership Council on topics of student diversity. 25% of the 2018 freshmen class identified as domestic ALANA students. The inTuition Grant was introduced to enhance access and affordability to students attending Edgewood College, including DREAMER and undocumented students.

 
Administration funded a new position, Chief of Staff/Diversity Officer, to strengthen Edgewood College’s diversity efforts. The Queer Student Center was officially dedicated. The 2018-2019 annual inclusion report was shared with the Board of Trustees. The Campus Climate Survey Analysis Team shared recommendations to improve the climate with the College’s leadership.

Edgewood College hosted the 2nd annual All-Campus Diversity Forum, addressing the concept of belonging on campus. The third iteration of the Campus Climate Survey was administered to all faculty, staff and students. The President's Cabinet approved the establishment of the Queer Student Center.

 

The second annual Black History Education Conference was hosted at Edgewood College drawing more than 200 participants. The third annual diversity forum was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A $500,000 Presidential Relief Fund was made available to students to offset any unexpected expenses during the global pandemic.

 
Dr. Andrew Manion was hired as the 9th College President of Edgewood College and shared three important commitments related to diversity, equity & inclusion:
1)To hire an inaugural Vice President of Mission, Values & Inclusion
2)To organizationally restructure Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
3)To convene a taskforce to dismantle racism from campus.

A call for white faculty & staff to work on white consciousness was named. The taskforce to dismantle racism from campus was convened. The inaugural search for Vice President of Mission, Values & Inclusion begins.

All faculty and staff read Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's text, How to be an Antiracist, and the Taskforce to Dismantle Racism organized an all-day training during January Seminar.

Long-time Edgewood College employees, Dr. John Leonard and Mr. Tony Garcia, were appointed to
interim roles while the search for a new Vice President was ongoing.

Dr. Leonard, Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department was appointed to the Interim
Vice President for Mission, Values & Inclusion, and served as a Cabinet member. Mr. Garcia, Executive
Director of Diversity & Inclusion/Special Advisor to the President's Cabinet, was appointed to Interim
Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and served as an Extended Cabinet member.

Five operating goals were solidified for the 2021-2022 academic year:

1) Enroll an entering class of transfer students that demographically reflects the population of the
Madison area.
2) Evaluate/revise hiring procedures for all positions with the intention of developing a community of
employees that is demographically representative of the Madison area.
3) Develop/Refine ‘shared language’ regarding our Dominican-Catholic mission and identity and
diversity-equity-inclusion and anti-racism commitments.
4) Begin evaluating policies for racist impact and replace to be anti-racist, as necessary.
5) Centralize coordination of diversity-equity-inclusion and anti-racism efforts.

The search for the inaugural Vice President for Mission, Values & Inclusion concluded with the hiring of Dr. Milton Bravo.