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.
The UTech division fully embraces the university's vision and diversity statement. Our dedicated DEIB+ programs also intend to demonstrate our support to the advancement of this vision.
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Leah R. Kyaio, creator of the With Respect organization and author of books such as Between the Bars: A New Framework for Creating Change in Social Justice, led UTech's latest DEIB+ workshop titled "The Macro to Micro: Understanding the System of Oppression (Macro) and the Intersectionality that Creates your Unique Position Within it (Micro)".
During the 2-hour special workshop session, Kyaio used the Cage of Oppression concept as a base to further discuss and clarify other essential DEI concepts, like intersectionality, implicit bias, privilege, oppression and allyship. Kyaio also spoke about the importance of respect and compassion to create an inclusive environment. The division members in attendance had access to extremely helpful tools to establish a common language, which makes true dialogue possible and promotes connection between people with different experiences and from diverse backgrounds.
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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