Let's Go There
Avoiding critical topics doesn’t change anything and, in most cases, it only makes things worse.
In fact, when it comes to discussing difficult topics, many often say "don't go there." But, as advocates and champions of diversity, inclusion and equity, we encourage our campus community to “go there” and have difficult conversations to gain understanding, perspective, empathy and compassion.
At Rhode Island College, we are actively and consciously committed to dismantling racism and fostering an anti-racist workforce, workplace and campus community where each member can be heard, valued and respected – where each one’s distinct talents are utilized, not criticized.
But simply saying the words is not enough. It’s putting the words into action that matter most.
We are committed to discussing difficult topics. We are going there because we know that it will not only make us stronger, it will make us better.
This work isn’t easy, but that’s why it is even more important to do.
So go ahead, BE BOLD. Let’s go there.
After working independently on projects to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, the Division of College Advancement; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the RIC Foundation came together to create a larger initiative that could bridge divides and promote greater understanding across differences.
The initiative had three parts. First, a marketing campaign and the development of a 60-second video that could serve as a living diversity statement beyond just mere words on paper. Second, a series of ACTive listening sessions promoting conversations around often hard to discuss topics. Third, a fundraising effort to invest in access to higher education, curriculum development and programming that supported the college's diversity, equity and inclusion priorities.
During the filming of the video, it became apparent that there was a deeper and richerdialogue underway. Through a series of more than a dozen conversations, campus colleagues opened up and shared their personal reflections about diversity, equity and inclusion. With each interview, it became more difficult to narrow down the scope of the project. Instead of fighting it, we followed it to its natural course. The result was many hours of footage of powerful and candid testimonials. In two short films, we captured the essence of each interview and also provided the full version of each interview for deeper engagement.
We want to thank each of our colleagues for their time, in the midst of the pandemic and unthinkable circumstances, to share their stories.
Let's Go There Part 1 & Part 2
Let's Go There Interviews
ACTIVE LISTENING SESSIONS
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has facilitated several conversations on diversity and inclusion topics where all members of our community are open to express their viewpoints in a constructive and emotionally safe way. Resources and best practices have been shared, as students, faculty and staff have bravely come forward to share their perspectives. Programs like these will be offered on an ongoing basis.
THE FUTURE IS BOLD CAMPAIGN
Launched in Fall 2020, the Future Is Bold Campaign concluded at the end of February and raised $172,111 from 772 donors. Gifts were directed throughout the college, including $63,000 to the Annual Fund alone. Other gifts were spread across schools and programs. These highlighted priorities raised the following:
• Scholarship support for underrepresented students across all majors.
• Faculty grants supporting diversity training and professional development.
• Direct investments to enhance Africana/Black studies and humanities programs.
• Emergency Response Funding in the form of financial aid supporting students' basic needs, such as food and housing insecurities.