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2020-2021 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Report

​​This report details the activities, events, conversations and meetings that have taken place in the 2020-2021 year in the College of Education as we challenge systemic racism and dismantle white supremacy. Guided by our Vincentian mission and the need to take action, the College of Education embarked on a year-long journey to build a culture supporting diversity, equity and inclusion while engaging as many of the stakeholders and constituents in conversation and in action. This stakeholder group included faculty, administration, staff, students, community and university partners. All existing structures, labels and titles became irrelevant as the college, person to person, human being to human being, grappled with the racist events occurring nationally and locally.

Following informal discussions in the wake of George Floyd's killing, the initial step in the process was to develop a written response that captured our beliefs, our college mission, our commitment and our pledge of what could must be done, the Statement of Support and Commitment. In this statement, the College of Education committed to the following actions:

  • To prioritize justice and systemic change through a Vincentian lens;
  • To work in an inclusive and collaborative manner in developing systems that create a campus and society that unequivocally rejects anti-Blackness and white supremacy;
  • To display compassion and civility while challenging ourselves in this historic moment;
  • To work with students, staff, faculty, and administrators to address structural racism and other systems of power, privilege and oppression within our college and university;
  • To host and participate in anti-racist conversations with staff, faculty, students and administrators during the next academic year;
  • To enhance our curriculum to build deeper understandings of and empathy for peoples impacted by racism;
  • To incorporate anti-racist pedagogy in preparing our students to combat racism and prejudice in order to develop their capacity to advocate for their own students and clients;
  • To collaborate with local organizations to support their work of creating equitable environments and access to those environments for those disadvantaged by racism;
  • To strengthen existing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the college;
  • To scrutinize our own practices, procedures, and policies that perpetuate structural racism and exclusion.

Thus the charge was outlined and our work could begin. As a result, to meet these goals, a variety of action steps took place, some concurrently and for different audiences, all equal in importance, impact and resources committed to them.

DEI Organizations Formed

Four groups emerged from this call to action. These groups formed into working groups and committees, each with a set of goals and objectives and plans for continuing the anti-racism work beyond this academic year.

Advancing Antiracism, Inclusion and Equity Organizers (AAEIO) , a group created by Dr. Hilary Conklin in conjunction with COE faculty and staff joined by DePaul University colleagues Ann Russo, Director of The Women’s Center, and Mycall Riley, LGBTQA Resources Center Coordinator. This group created events and facilitated discussions regarding systemic racism with the COE.

Another group, Supporting Students with Antiracism Group, created by faculty member Dr. Amy Feiker-Hollenbeck and staff member, Alyssa Hepker along with a number of faculty and staff members in the COE, focused on work with students in the college to address antiracism. This group meets monthly and over the past year they organized and hosted the fall forum, compiled and shared resources for students needing support during the pandemic, compiled and shared student feedback from a variety of student events with the college, created a video in outreach to students of color, created a student climate survey, and organized the subgroup “Curricular Conversations and Tools”.

Curricular Conversations and Tools Group, led by Dr. Chris Worthman,  supports faculty and staff in addressing curricular and pedagogical issues, as well as student issues related to DEI. Actions include a survey to all faculty, summer training and planning for next year center with a focus on fostering inclusive learning environments, incorporating diverse, perspectives and voices in the curriculum, workshop to strengthen course and explore instructional practices and strategies and plan activities for next year’s full COE meetings.

The Coordinating Council created by Dean Zionts and organized by Erin Rice and Barbara Rieckhoff that consists of faculty, staff, and student members that meet periodically to help to coordinate and consolidate all of the DEI events and activities within the college, help publicize them, and generate reports on college DEI activities.

Discussions and Events

Anti-Racism Discussions for the COE Faculty and Staff took place at college level faculty meetings. College wide anti-racism discussions engaging all COE faculty and staff were held throughout the entire academic year from June 2020 through May 2021. Beginning last June with open discussions of recent events at that time, faculty and staff came together to determine how to make positive change. White affinity group discussions were held to create a safe space for white faculty to broaden their understanding and identify ways to support colleagues of color. Monthly COE Anti-racism meetings were held throughout the academic year with facilitation by DePaul colleagues, Mycall Riley and Ann Russo. The long standing partnership with Facing History and Ourselves provided the opportunity for a workshop for faculty and staff and resources to further guide conversations and allow reflection on identities. Additionally, faculty and staff were engaged in a series of book discussions, podcasts and film discussions that were focused on increased knowledge and understanding, building relationships inside the college, and continued commitment to carry on this work.

COE DISCUSSION OF RECENT EVENTS

June 5, 2020

The COE decided to have an open discussion with all faculty and staff to discuss the death of George Floyd and the growing number of acts of racism, Black Lives Matter, and how we can act together as a college and make positive changes.
COE FOLLOW-UP DISCUSSION FROM JUNE 5 MEETING  June 18, 2020  The COE faculty and staff wanted to further discussions from the June 5th meeting.  
WHITE AFFINITY GROUP DISCUSSIONS July 13, 2020
July 27, 2020
August 10, 2020
August 24, 2020
Dr. Rebecca Michel organizes a safe space for white faculty and staff to come together to discuss their thoughts and ideas on how the COE can move forward and address issues of anti- racism within the college.
ALL-COE MONTHLY MANDATORY MEETINGS ON ANTI-RACISM September 25, 2020
October 16, 2020
November 6, 2020
December 4, 20202
January 15, 2021
February 5, 2021
March 5, 2021
April 16, 2021
May 21, 2021


Over the summer, the COE decided to hold monthly moderated mandatory meetings for an hour and a half to discuss how we can address anti-racism within our college. Dr. Hilary Conklin reached out to Ann Russo in the Women’s Center and professor of Women’s Studies, and Mycall Riley, the coordinator for the LGBTQA Resource Center at DePaul to lead these discussions. Every month the COE alternates between discussions with everyone together and then separate into white and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) affinity groups.
FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES WORKSHOP “NAVIGATING OUR FRAGILE DEMOCRACY: UNDERSTANDING OUR IDENTITY AND PURPOSE” February 19, 2021 This workshop was led by Phredd Matthews Wall in collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves and is a chance for the COE faculty and staff to engage with a variety of resources to help us explore the ideologies and histories that have shaped our current historical moment. We reflect on our own identities and consider what our purposes are in our divided, fragile time.

Faculty and staff volunteered to moderate and coordinate a series of book discussions, podcasts and film studies. Some of the groups met multiple times as a mini-series to discuss a book or film, while others met once. Discussion were informal with all faculty and staff invited to join. In many instances, groups were co-chaired by a faculty and staff member, opening opportunities for COE to get to know each other in new ways. 

BOOK DISCUSSION July 17, 2020 Discussion of the book “How to Be an Antiracist” facilitated by staff member Nora Murphy and faculty member Dr. Rebecca Michel. 
BOOK DISCUSSION July 28, 2020 Discussion of the book “So You Want to Talk about Race?” facilitated by faculty member Dr. Hilary Conklin. 
MINI-SERIES DISCUSSION August 7, 2020 Discussion of the mini-series “When They See Us” facilitated by faculty member Dr. Amy Feiker-Hollenbeck and staff member Sarah Magnuson.  
DOCUMENTARY DISCUSSION August 21, 2020 Discussion of the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro" facilitated by faculty member Dr. Amy Feiker-Hollenbeck and staff member Sarah Magnuson. 
BOOK DISCUSSION October 26, 2020 Discussion of the book “My Grandmother’s Hands” facilitated by staff member Nora Murphy and faculty member Dr. Melissa Ockerman. 
FILM DISCUSSION November 18, 2020 Discussion of the film “Black is King” facilitated by staff member Sarah Magnuson and faculty member Dr. Amy Feiker-Hollenbeck. 
PODCAST DISCUSSION December 7, 2020 Discussion of the podcast “Seeing White” facilitated by faculty member Dr. Rebecca Michel. 
PODCAST DISCUSSION December 17, 2020 Discussion of the podcast “The 1619 Project” facilitated by faculty member Dr. Hilary Conklin. 
FILM DISCUSSION January 22, 2021 Discussion of the film “Black Power Mixtape” and “Whose Streets.” Facilitated by Amy Hollenbeck and Sarah Magnuson.
BOOK DISCUSSION February 5, 2021
February 12, 2021
February 19, 2021
February 26, 2021

Discussion of the book “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla Saad and facilitated by faculty member Dr. Rebecca Michel.
BOOK DISCUSSION February 8, 2021 Discussion of the book “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson facilitated by faculty member Dr. Hilary Conklin and staff member Nora Murphy.
FILM DISCUSSION

March 15, 2021 Discussion of the film “Cracking the Codes: The Systems of Racial Inequity” facilitated by faculty member Dr. Amy Hollenbeck and staff member Sarah Magnuson.

Open forums on recent political events were part of a series of events available to all faculty, students and staff. Sessions on white supremacy, justice dignity and freedom and black feminism illustrate the topics covered. Facilitated and developed by DePaul faculty, staff, and students, these events invited all stakeholders to join in ongoing conversations about ways the COE could take action. 

OPEN FORUM ON RECENT POLITICAL EVENTS January 19, 2021 The COE held an open discussion to address the recent social and political events of the past few weeks since the attack on the Capital on January 6, 2021. DePaul faculty Dr. Donna Kiel, Dr. Horace Hall, Prof. Jeffrey Shipko, Dr. Rachel Harper, and Prof. Mark Wodziak led the discussion.
COE FOLLOW-UP DISCUSSION OF CHRISTIAN PICCIOLINI TALK ON WHITE SUPREMACY March 1, 2021
For those COE faculty, staff, and students who attended the former white supremacist and DePaul alumni Christian
Picciolini’s talk, we held a follow-up discussion immediately after. The focus was to not only reflect on Christian
Picciolini’s talk, but also the nature of white supremacy and how best to confront it in our lives and work as educators. This open discussion was led by Dr. Christopher Worthman, Dr. Stephen Haymes, Dr. Melissa Bradford, and Jeremiah Howe.
JUSTICE, DIGNITY, FREEDOM FESTIVAL & FORUM

March 20, 2021
The inaugural DePaul Student Festival/Forum on Freedom, Justice, and Dignity is a showcase of visual and performance artists conveying ideas of freedom, justice, and dignity. The program also features informational thematic transitions and student public service announcements to call attention to issues plaguing our communities, especially in this unique time in history. The festival also features a host of previously recorded video performances and student proclamations. Held through YouTube Live.
2021 IKEDA LECTURE: BLACK FEMINISM & SOCIETY FOR EDUCATION-CYNTHIA
B. DILLARD


April 21, 2021 Internationally renowned author and educator Cynthia B. Dillard joined the College of Education to provide her presentation called “Black Feminism & Society for Education.” During this discussion, Dr. Dillard develops
themes present in her foreword to her new book “Hope and Joy in Education: Engaging Daisaku Ikeda across Curriculum and Context” which brings her work and perspectives into dialogue with Ikeda’s 2000 proposal for a paradigm shift from education that serves society’s interests to society serving the essential needs of education.

Student-focused events were held concurrently and were moderated by COE faculty and staff.

COE STUDENT FORUM ON RECENT EVENTS June 4, 2020 The COE held a moderated discussion led by Dr. Rachel Harper, Prof. Mark Wodziak, and Dr. Horace Hall to discuss the death of George Floyd and the many other black victims, Black Lives Matter, and issues of systemic racism within this country and our everyday lives.
DEAN MEETING WITH COE STUDENTS AND ALUMNI July 23, 2020 Dean Zionts met with a select group of students and alumni to address their issues and concerns regarding racism and ways we can address systemic racism in the College of Education.
COE STUDENT FORUM ON ANTI-RACISM October 7, 2020 The COE held a moderated discussion for COE students led by Dr. Horace Hall, Dr. Stephen Haymes, Dr. Rachel Harper, Dr. Melissa Bradford, Prof. Mark Wodziak, and Sandra Tanksley. The purpose was to create an ongoing continuing dialogue from the June 4 forum to continue to facilitate conversations about current events related to race in our society and how these events have reverberated throughout the country.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: RESPONSE TO DISCRIMINATION & VIOLENCE AGAINST THE ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER (AAPI) COMMUNITY

April 7, 2021 The COE Counseling Faculty held an open discussion for Counseling students to have an open discussion in response to the recent acts of violence and hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community.
EXAMINING IDENTITIES, ANTI-RACIST COMMITMENTS, AND OUR ROLES AS EDUCATORS

May 10, 2021  This workshop was organized by Facing History and Ourselves and facilitated by Felicia Clotworthy. It featured many opportunities for students to reflect and engage with Facing History materials. Primarily geared towards students but it was open to the entire COE community
COE LISTENING SESSION  May 10, 2021  This was a facilitated discussion, much like a focus group, in which the facilitators asked questions to better understand participants knowledge, beliefs, and experiences. This discussion invites student employees at the COE and CCEDI student members to share their experiences and perspectives in the COE in order to develop structures for better student engagement and inform college-wide decision making.  
JUSTICE, DIGNITY, FREEDOM FESTIVAL & FORUM March 20, 2021 The inaugural DePaul Student Festival/Forum on Freedom, Justice, and Dignity is a showcase of visual and performance artists conveying ideas of freedom, justice, and dignity. The program also features informational thematic transitions and student public service announcements to call attention to issues plaguing our communities, especially in this unique time in history. The festival also features a host of previously recorded video performances and student proclamations. Held through YouTube Live.
CATHOLIC HS PROJECT

April 20, 2021 Students and teachers from 25 high schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago came together with DePaul’s College of Education to address racial inequity. The Office of Catholic Schools launched the project in response to the 2020 murder of George Floyd and its aftermath. In late April, the students presented their ideas for building racial equality along with each school’s commitment to racial justice to Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago.
JUNE 4, 2020

COE Student Forum on Recent Events (Black Lives Matter, Death of George Floyd) COE Students
JUNE 5, 2020 COE Discussion of Recent Events (Black Lives Matter, Death of George Floyd) COE Faculty/Staff
JUNE 12, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
JUNE 18, 2020 COE Follow-Up Discussion from June 5th Meeting COE Faculty/Staff
JUNE 30, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
JULY 13, 2020 White Affinity Group Discussion COE Faculty/Staff
JULY 17, 2020 Book Discussion: “How to Be an Antiracist” COE Faculty/Staff
JULY 23, 2020 Dean meeting with COE students and alumni about their letter addressing antiracism in the COE Dean and Select Students/Alumni
JULY 27, 2020 White Affinity Group Discussion COE Faculty/Staff
JULY 28, 2020 Book Discussion: “So You Want to Talk about Race” COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 5, 2020 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 7, 2020 Mini-Series Discussion: “When They See Us” COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 10, 2020 White Affinity Group Meeting COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 14, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 21, 2020 Documentary Discussion: “I Am Not Your Negro” COE Faculty/Staff
AUGUST 24, 2020 White Affinity Group Meeting COE Faculty/Staff
SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
OCTOBER 7, 2020 COE Student Forum on Antiracism COE Students
OCTOBER 13, 2020 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
OCTOBER 16, 2020 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
OCTOBER 26, 2020 Book Discussion: “My Grandmother’s Hands” COE Faculty/Staff
OCTOBER 28, 2020 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
NOVEMBER 6, 2020 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
NOVEMBER 11, 2020 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
NOVEMBER 18, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
NOVEMBER 18, 2020 Film Discussion: “Black is King” COE Faculty/Staff
DECEMBER 2, 2020 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
DECEMBER 4, 2020 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
DECEMBER 7, 2020 Podcast Discussion: “Seeing White” COE Faculty/Staff
DECEMBER 8, 2020 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
DECEMBER 10, 2020 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
DECEMBER 17, 2020 Podcast Discussion: “The 1619 Project” COE Faculty/Staff
JANUARY 4, 2021 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
JANUARY 13, 2021 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
JANUARY 13, 2021 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
JANUARY 13, 2021 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
JANUARY 15, 2021 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
JANUARY 19, 2021 Open Forum on Recent Political Events (Jan 6 Attack on the Capital Building) All COE (Faculty/Staff/Students)
FEBRUARY 2, 2021 Curricular Conversations Group Meeting Select COE Faculty
FEBRUARY 5, 2021 Book Discussion: “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 5, 2021 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 8, 2021 Book Discussion: “Caste” COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 10. 2021 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
FEBRUARY 10, 2021 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
FEBRUARY 12, 2021 Book Discussion: “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 17, 2021 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 19, 2021 Book Discussion: “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 19, 2021 FHAO Workshop: Navigating Our Fragile Democracy: Understanding our Identity and Purpose COE Faculty/Staff
FEBRUARY 23, 2021 Curricular Conversations Group Select COE Faculty
FEBRUARY 26, 2021 Book Discussion: “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” COE Faculty/Staff
MARCH 1, 2021 COE Follow-Up Discussion of Christian Picciolini Talk on White Supremacy All COE (Faculty/Staff/Students)
MARCH 3, 2021 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
MARCH 5, 2021 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
MARCH 9, 2021 Curricular Conversations Group Meeting Select COE Faculty
MARCH 10, 2021 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
MARCH 15, 2021 Film Discussion: “Cracking the Codes: The Systems of Racial Inequity” COE Faculty/Staff
MARCH 20, 2021 Justice, Dignity, Freedom Festival & Forum Worldwide Event
APRIL 1, 2021 Curricular Conversations Group Meeting Select COE Faculty
APRIL 7, 2021 Response to Discrimination & Violence Against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community Counseling Faculty/Students
APRIL 8, 2021 AAEIO Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
APRIL 14, 2021 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
APRIL 15, 2021 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
APRIL 16, 2021 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff
APRIL 21, 2021 2021 Ikeda Lecture: Black Feminism & Society for Education-Cynthia B. Dillard All DePaul
MAY 10, 2021 FHAO Workshop: Examining Identities, Anti-Racist Commitments, and Our Roles as Educators COE Students
MAY 10, 2021 Coordinating Council (CCEDI) Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff/Students
MAY 10, 2021 COE Student Listening Session COE Student Workers and Select Students
MAY 12, 2021 Supporting Students with Antiracism Group Meeting Select COE Faculty/Staff
MAY 21, 2021 Monthly COE Mandatory Meeting on Antiracism COE Faculty/Staff

Looking Forward

This work is only beginning. As the academic year wraps up, faculty and staff are holding listening sessions with students involved in the DEI work this year to get their feedback and plans are in place to distribute a climate survey to all current students that will help inform our DEI work into the 2021-2022 academic year and beyond. In addition, faculty and staff recently voted to approve the Committee for Racial Justice and Systemic Change , a joint committee of faculty and staff that will take the place of some of the ad-hoc groups that formed over the past year. Doing this will formalize the importance of and strengthen the presence of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the College of Education. To echo the Statement of Support and Commitment, we said "We pledge to hold ourselves accountable to engaging in these actions. We invite you to hold us accountable as well."