University Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students
In support of its ongoing commitment to DEIA, Columbia University and the School of Professional Studies offer a range of resources, grants, organizations, research initiatives, and publications for faculty, students, alumni, and local communities.
University Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students
Being respectful and thoughtful in our exchanges with each other, external partners and stakeholders, and the general public is integral to fostering an inclusive community. The Columbia SPS DEIA Equity Language Guide is offered to our community at SPS and throughout Columbia University as a resource. We are mindful of the evolving nature of this guide, and we encourage you to share your suggestions as to how it can improve over time.
Following the killing of George Floyd, President Lee Bollinger issued a letter calling on the entire Columbia community to renew and expand its efforts to challenge and remedy racism “with a great sense of honesty and new purpose.” In it, President Bollinger announced additional support for University and school antiracism agendas which, by extension, includes SPS’s Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, Community Affairs, Columbia HBCU Fellowship, and other related programming.
University Life has compiled resources for promoting racial justice and eliminating anti-Black violence, including books, films, and podcasts, gathered by members of the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging at Columbia in partnership with Columbia Libraries, along with a list of organizations advocating for justice across the country and a Columbia conversation about race.
The Office of the Provost issued a request for proposals to receive faculty seed grants to address structural racism, as part of its broader call to action for the University. The Addressing Racism initiative awarded seed grant funding for a new project proposed by faculty members from two programs in Columbia's School of Professional Studies.
“Activating Racial Justice Through Narrative Negotiation”—a collaboration between Danielle Spencer, Derek McCracken, and Carmen Price of the Narrative Medicine program, and Beth Fisher-Yoshida of the Negotiation & Conflict Resolution program—is among more than 50 cross-unit collaborations and individual-unit projects to receive funding for “faculty projects that engage with issues of structural racism and enable collaborative dialogue, action and insight for systemic change.” The project aims to synthesize the tools of Narrative Medicine with Negotiation and Conflict Resolution to promote reciprocal engagement in conversations regarding race, power, privilege, oppression, and discrimination.
All students, staff, and faculty are welcome to join the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging at Columbia.The Task Force works to identify issues and develop responsive strategies that address students’ experiences both in and outside of the classroom related to diversity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging on campus.
The Ombuds Office provides a safe space for faculty, students, staff, and affiliates to confidentially discuss work-related issues, academic concerns, clarification of policies, and many other concerns and issues. The Ombuds Officers are not authorized to accept notice on behalf of the University.
The Graduate Initiative for Inclusion and Engagement is part of Columbia’s commitment to diversity and the success of all graduate and professional school students. Check the Events Calendar to see our upcoming events, where you can connect and collaborate with graduate students across Columbia, and participate in innovative programs and supportive spaces.
Black mental health matters. This list of resources from Columbia School of Social Work's Action Lab for Social Justice was inspired by an article written by Zahra Barnes, entitled “44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country.” This was compiled in collaboration with the Black & Latinx Student Caucus at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
The Black and Latinx Student Caucus exists to promote professional, sociocultural, and academic enrichment that draws upon the experiences of Black and Latinx communities, in order to actively address social, cultural, and political factors that synergistically impact health in historically underrepresented communities. Our three keys goals are:
- Awareness of Black & Latinx Health Issues
- We seek to facilitate dialogue regarding pertinent health issues in our communities in an effort to inspire action.
- Professional Networking and Enrichment
- We seek to act as an avenue to facilitate dialogue between students, their peers, and faculty.
- Community Engagement
- We seek to facilitate dialogue with local community organizers, and actively engage members of BLSC in community service events.
University Life invites all students to apply for the Racial Justice Mini-Grant Program—monetary awards of $50–$1,500 for developing innovative ideas to address racism, particularly anti-Black racism, through education, in order to broaden the campus conversation and strengthen our campus culture of inclusion and belonging.
If you have a great idea for an event, workshop, or something else that could help advance Columbia’s commitment to antiracism, we encourage you to apply. Learn more and submit your application.
Do you have ideas, experiences, or feedback about public safety at Columbia that you’d like to share with the Inclusive Public Safety Working Group? What we learn from you could help develop concrete strategies for assuring inclusive safety for all who are on Columbia’s campuses.
Fill out this form to send us your suggestions, feedback, and insights. We look forward to hearing from you and working together to accomplish this important goal.
Columbia SPS offers vibrant student life, including affinity organizations such as the Black Sports Management Union, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging resources, and A Different World at Columbia for students coming from minority-serving institutions. Visit Engage to explore and get involved in student organizations.
In August 2020, SPS held its first Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee meeting, and continues to collaborate to define its mission statement and develop and secure training and workshops for faculty. Follow for monthly updates on the SPS Faculty Affairs website.
The Black Alumni Council (BAC) of Columbia University is the recognized association of current and future black alumni from all schools, affiliates, and generations of Columbia. BAC is dedicated to education, scholarship, professional development, university-wide outreach, communication, and mentoring for the benefit of the black community of Columbia and beyond. Read the BAC Response to the 2020 Uprising and get involved at bac.alumni.columbia.edu.
Columbia University has a wealth of online resources detailing the breadth of the African American experience. Learn more about some of the great Columbians who have played key roles in our local and national history.
The Columbia University and Slavery project explores a previously little-known aspect of the university’s history—its connections with slavery, and with antislavery movements, from the founding of King’s College to the end of the Civil War. The website was created by faculty, students, and staff to publicly present information about Columbia’s historical connections to the institution of slavery.
Produced by the Institute for Research in African American Studies and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University, this new podcast series is hosted by Professors Samuel K. Roberts, Jr. and Mabel O. Wilson to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on Black life in New York City and beyond. Episode 1 features Malo Hutson, Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Community and Health Equity Lab, in a conversation on how the built environment impacts health in Black communities, especially in New York City.
With peer-reviewed contributions from students and alumni from the M.S. in Bioethics program, as well as health professionals, researchers, philosophers, and professors, Voices in Bioethics explores timely topics such as the future of the Affordable Care Act, school closures in low-income areas, respecting culture while educating communities, ongoing protests for racial equity in the U.S., and medical data privacy.
The Pronouns in Use program, piloted in the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020, will be rolled out to the entire University in Fall 2021. Learn more about pronouns in use, gender identity and other resources at Columbia.
Responding to Incidents of Bias
Bias may stem from fear, misunderstanding, hatred, stereotypes or lack of exposure to other communities. It may be intentional or unintentional.
A bias-related incident occurs when language or behavior conveys prejudice against individuals because of a dimension of their identity, including but not limited to their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, status as a victim of domestic violence, alienage or citizenship status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status, unemployment status or any other protected characteristic as established by law.
If you have experienced or witnessed an act of bias, this guidance will instruct you on how to report the incident so that the University can provide support to our students, as well as information and, potentially, educational opportunities for the campus at-large with the goal of preventing future incidents of bias. Students from other schools at Columbia should contact their dean of students or office of Student Affairs.
This guidance does not address the disciplinary aspect of bias-related incidents, nor is it the University’s intention that students rely solely on this guidance to address behavior that is discriminatory, harassing or that could potentially qualify as gender-based misconduct or a hate crime.
The Columbia University community is committed to fostering an inclusive living and learning environment founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all of its members. It is crucial that we all support those who have been directly harmed through bias-related incidents and provide opportunities for our community to learn and grow, both proactively and responsively.
As part of our efforts to create as inclusive a community as possible, when bias incidents occur at Columbia we provide an opportunity for those involved to engage in education, advocacy and conversation. In this way, we work to address the incident and minimize the potential for future occurrences.
Bias is an inclination in favor of or against a person, group, object or place. We all have biases that can at times lead to unfair or hurtful outcomes for others. It is important to address bias incidents because they can have immediate and long-term effects on students directly impacted and our campus climate.
Our community’s tools to address bias include a reporting process and the Bias Incident Resource Team, plus resources within schools and various offices. Below is information about the tools, as well as an FAQ.
Bias Incidents Reporting Process
A report of bias to the University on the “report an incident” link will go immediately to members of the Bias Incident Resource Team (known as the Team). The Team will review the report and respond to you within two business days. The Team includes staff from the Office of University Life, Student Conduct and Community Standards, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and your Dean of Students.
Where a report alleges bias behavior that could violate the University Non-Discrimination Policies, Student Conduct and Community Standards or Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will review the report and investigate as appropriate.
If it does not appear that a University Policy has been violated in the reported incident, you will be offered an opportunity to meet with a member of the Team. This meeting is voluntary and we encourage your participation as a way to strengthen our campus climate.
During the meeting, Team members will share information about supportive University resources and talk with you about additional options for addressing the incident. Team members can also assist in implementing remedying solutions, such as facilitated dialogues and educational opportunities.
The Team is not a disciplinary or investigatory body. This means that the Team does not impose sanctions related to incidents. Instead, the Team’s focus is on creating opportunities for community members to address the situation through dialogue and education, and supporting positive change for the individuals involved and the community as a whole.