DEIB+ is UTech’s chosen acronym to represent the division’s dedicated efforts towards diversity and equal opportunity, which stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and More. Belonging is an especially important concept to the division, as we strive to maintain a work culture of respect and acceptance in which all feel welcomed and can be fully themselves. We also understand that diversity, equity and inclusion are evolving fields and More expresses our aspiration to also keep evolving, learning and growing as individuals and as a division.
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In support of UTech's DEIB+ initiative, Lolita Hines (Asst.VP., Finance & Administration) invited UTech staff members to attend a performance of the play To My White Friends Who Know Me that happened at the Karamu House. Written by Dr. Deborah L. Plummer, a psychologist, author, university professor and speaker on topics central to racial equality, inclusion, and mutual respect, the play addresses the importance of human connections and social trust. The performance, which was followed by a Q & A session with the author, was an enriching experience for the attendees. "I believe we all learned something today," said Catrina Hutchins (Business Systems Analyst). Dr. Plummer is passionate about creating inclusive organizations and building peaceful communities. She published several books and is also the founder of Getting to We, a non-profit organization "dedicated to helping people understand their shared, core identity as humans."
A diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging survey conducted by Custom Insight was given to UTech employees in the Fall 2021. Based on the survey results shared with the division, UTech senior leadership asked for recommendations from the UTech Strategy Forum to improve inclusion within the division. A group of volunteers compiled suggestions and in February of 2022 presented recommendations to the UTech Strategy Forum. In order to include all staff in the conversation, managers were asked to discuss with their staff and get additional recommendations. A summary of recommendations was presented to senior leadership in March 2022.
One of the recommendations presented was to have diversity, equity and inclusion programming and more effort made towards promoting these themes within UTech. In the summer of 2022 the division established its first dedicated DEIB+ Committee. The DEIB+ Committee started its work with a survey to gather information about UTech staff members’ understanding of DEIB and, with the support of CWRU’s Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (OIDEO), held its first program session during UTech’s Town Hall on October 13, 2022. More programming is in development and the DEIB+ Committee is working to consolidate plans to continuously offer training, workshops and, most importantly, a space for sustained dialogue.
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