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.
Edgewood College renewed its commitment toward social justice and began building upon previous 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 further aligned the mission of Edgewood College with its diversity efforts and identified key leaders across campus to take responsibility for the 17 actions included in the plan.
The Inclusion Steering Committee was approved by the President's Council and this committee was charged with developing an implementation plan for the signature projects associated with Challenge areas 2, 3, and 6 in the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan (2014-2017). 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 serves as a member of the President's Cabinet and chairs the President's Diversity Leadership Council, a group also established in late 2017.
The Edgewood College 2017-2027 Pathways to Purpose (Strategic Plan) also serves as the College's diversity plan. Of the 33 priority actions included in this plan, one-third have an inclusion focus. Diversity is integrated throughout the entire plan and Strategic Priority #5 intentionally calls for us to build an inclusive College where individuals across the rich spectrum of diversity succeed and belong
The President's Diversity Leadership Council reports to the President of the College and ensures that an inclusive and equity lens is 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.
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 funded as full-time. An inaugural inclusion 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 and declared 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 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.
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 health pandemic. A $500,000 Presidential Relief Fund was made available to students to offset any unexpected expenses during the global pandemic.
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 an LGBTQ Student Center.
A call for white faculty & staff to work on white consciousness was named. The taskforce to dismantle and eradicate racism from campus was convened. The inaugural search for Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion began.