The Columbia University School of Professional Studies launched an area on its website dedicated to its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Initiative. The DEIA mini-site will provide information and updates on the school’s DEIA strategy and progress; as well as news and events and related resources for staff, faculty, and students. The initiative originated in the summer of 2020 when President Lee Bollinger issued Columbia’s Commitment to Antiracism, and a working group of SPS staff and faculty proposed the formation of the school’s first DEIA Committee. The committee’s 20+ SPS staff and faculty members are assisting with the development of policies and practices that support the school’s vision of a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible community.
“Not only does this mini-site amplify our community’s commitment to DEIA, but it also keeps us accountable moving forward,” said Erwin de Leon, the school’s first Chief Diversity Officer and Lecturer in the Discipline of Nonprofit Management. “I invite everyone to visit, comment on, and participate in our events and other offerings.”
SPS staff, faculty, and students who seek to expand their knowledge and competencies in DEIA will have ample activities from which to choose. Currently, there are more than 10 DEIA-related events available at the school, including Navigating Your LGBTQ+ Identity at Work, led by de Leon; Understanding and Mitigating Unconscious Bias; and Antiracism: Tools for Action. In addition, the school’s DEIA Committee meets on the third Monday of the month; meetings are open to Columbia SPS staff and faculty to observe.
SPS staff, students, and faculty are encouraged to share their perspectives on relevant topics such as identity, social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the context of work and higher education on the SPS Tomorrow’s Minds at Work blog. Blog submissions may be submitted at sps.columbia.edu/blog. As part of university-wide antiracism efforts, community members are also encouraged to join the Columbia University Voices for Change conversation.
As the school develops and advances the initiative, additional resources such as key metrics around the school’s progress will be published on the site.