2020 Diversity Action Coalition Report

Whether it be through policy, programming, or outreach, my primary goal as the inaugural Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion was to utilize our committee as a means to further amplify and celebrate the diverse student experience at Fordham past a “statistical snapshot”: the voice of diverse student organizations foregrounded the work of the Diversity Action Coalition (DAC) this semester. 

In the creation of an inclusive environment during the COVID-19 transition to online learning, DAC implemented several internal reforms including:

  • Fully virtual weekly meetings via Zoom
  • Two subgroups (policy and logistics) with seven total subcommittees
    • Policy: land acknowledgement, bias reporting process, accessibility, and gender-affirming policies
    • Logistics: programming, social media/outreach, and DEI training

With guidance from the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), the DAC policy subgroup successfully conducted work to foster intentional dialogue across the University about cultural competency and social consciousness: this includes peer and aspirant research; meetings with club leaders and administrators; and reading groups. From collaborating with the Admissions to Alumni Relations Offices, some milestones from our members include:

  • A proposal outlining campus implementation of Indigeous Peoples’ Day and land acknowledgment as a means of Indigenous affirmation and recognition
  • Pamphlets and resources with an initial framework for best practices in the creation of a gender-affirming classroom
  • A working draft of a Bias Reporting Manual with compiled relevant information about the student bias reporting process
  • Posters to spread awareness of the Office of Disability Services (ODS) aid

Throughout the Fall semester, our logistical subgroup largely facilitated engagement with the University student body with a particular focus on advocating for and celebrating diverse students. We’ve been elated to work with student groups, faculty, and departments across the University to facilitate the following:

  • DAC’s inaugural Student Activism Panel, which highlighted fantastic advocacy and DEI work from undergraduate students across the University to the broad Fordham community of administrators, staff and students. 
  • Instagram campaign, in collaboration with the Committee on Sexual Misconduct (CSM), to open a community dialogue about intersectionality and sexual violence
  • Survey for cultural, diversity, and deaf/awareness club leaders to allow DAC to work with the Office for Student Involvement (OSI) on future club leader diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) trainings

Along with my excitement in presenting some of the major initiatives pushed forward by DAC committee members and leads this semester, I am even more enthusiastic to see what progress next semester holds for our committee!

Arianna Chen