Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

What We Believe 

We believe that diversity and equity require a commitment to social justice. Dismantling white supremacy and entrenched institutional inequality in higher education demands actively working to promote inclusive research and learning environments. Among these efforts is recognizing that the University of Minnesota (UMN) sits on ancestral Dakota lands taken through coercive treaties, and we seek to address inequities through support for Native American students and faculty. We further believe that only by nurturing space for a multiplicity of voices and life experiences can true academic excellence be achieved.

What We Are Doing  

We promote admission and retention of diverse students—BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, first-generation, and economically disadvantaged—into graduate programs. We fund a range of programs to enhance diversity, including various fellowships. We further support faculty and programs in revising their core curricula to promote intentional climates of belonging, a broader range of scholars, and multiple ways of knowing. 

Our research development team assists a diverse array of faculty, graduate students, and projects with external and internal funding applications, including work on marginalized populations including Muslims, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latina/os, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. We further work to strategically position BIPOC  scholars to navigate administrative barriers to funding.

We support inclusive research through collegiate grants administered by our office: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshops, Tenure-Track Single Semester Leaves, mid-career faculty awards, and the Imagine Faculty Research Award. 

We sponsor research roundtables on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-related topics such as research with historically marginalized communities, community-engaged research, accessibility across the research process, and the public humanities.

We offer a robust slate of career services to graduate students and support them in their journey toward employment within and beyond academia. We administer graduate student summer research grants for recipients of the DOVE fellowships, while students, especially first-generation, interested in careers outside of academia may choose to take advantage of funded internships or our First-Gen workshop series. We also provide workshops to faculty on how to advise students on pursuing careers beyond academia. Overall, our services focus on assisting graduate students with a wide range of careers: from those focused on academic research to non-profit, community, government, industry, or corporate settings. 

We are raising awareness among our staff through the University’s Office of Equity and Diversity’s DEI certification program, UMN implicit bias in hiring training, Courageous Conversations Around Race practitioner training, Mental Health Advocate training, training as a Safe Zone Ally of LGBTQ+ students, and the digital accessibility badging program

What We Commit To

In academic year 2022-2023 we will:

  • establish anti-bias processes for grant competitions offered by ORGP. 
  • build inclusive language into job descriptions to recruit applicants that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or have disabilities if we have open positions.
  • establish a grant writing program for new faculty and post-docs, with particular emphasis on BIPOC scholars.
  • work with Institutional Advancement to increase awareness of DEI-relevant research in the College. 
  • promote DEI-relevant research in the ORGP bi-weekly newsletter.  
  • work with CLA departments to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment and retention of graduate students and in their departmental climate through ORGPs four priorities:
    1. Increase guaranteed years and/or levels of support to graduate students.
    2. Support diversity, equity, and inclusion in your graduate programs.
    3. Enrich training for and guidance on graduate advising.
    4. Support preparation for a broader range of possible careers available to students. 

In academic year 2023-2024 we will:

  • host a Career Diversity Workshop for Humanities doctoral students as part of the Humanities Without Walls initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation to increase career preparedness beyond the academy. 
  • develop creative strategies for reaching out to researchers and graduate students that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or have disabilities.   
  • organize focus groups to regularly engage with graduate students to ensure we are responsive to their diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns. 
  • develop funding structures that address the historical inequities of first-generation and BIPOC graduate students and other underrepresented groups.
  • develop mechanisms to recognize diversity, equity, and inclusion in internal funding competitions. 
  • better promote DEI-related funding opportunities.
  • track our performance in equitably serving diverse populations.
  • conduct our first biannual DEI audit.