Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Work Across Campus
Whitworth's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is supported through these programs and services, plus many more, across campus departments.
Professional Development of Faculty and Staff
The office of diversity, equity & inclusion supports DEI professional development for faculty and staff to address racial, and other group-based, discrimination and biases, and to offer action steps for promoting a more equitable and inclusive community.
- The office of DEI implemented an eight-week DEI professional development workshop for faculty and staff focused on race and anti-racism. Workshop participants formed action steps and practical strategies to address racism and develop an anti-racist community.
- The office of DEI has offered mini grants to staff and faculty for DEI projects focused on developing intercultural competency.
- The office of DEI has provided intergroup dialogue training on race and racism for students and employees.
- The office of DEI continues to support DEI programming by bringing speakers to engage community our community on race-related issues.
- Residence life will conduct trainings on DEI and cultural competency for resident assistants and area coordinators.
- Several departments such as athletics, admissions and student financial services, institutional advancement, and campus safety have held DEI trainings for their employees.
DEI Curricular Development
- The new shared curriculum has specific DEI student learning outcomes addressing power and privilege. It also increases the possibility of students taking not just two but three courses that address DEI.
- The office of DEI has awarded faculty and staff from various departments and academic programs course release to assess their curriculum, course design, pedagogy and climate. In collaboration with the associate dean for DEI, faculty and staff will develop action plans to diversify their course offerings and promote equity and inclusive throughout their programs.
- The the office of DEI is partnering with faculty in the School of Education to develop online tools and resources for our teachers, staff and students, to promote inclusive teaching and course design practices.
- Stewarding a West Central Neighborhood Partnership, a collaborative neighborhood revitalization effort between Whitworth University and multiple stakeholders in the West Central neighborhood.
Recruitment and Retention of Faculty and Staff
The office of DEI supports implicit bias training and inclusive and diversity best practices for search committees. “Equity Advocates” are trained to serve on every search committee in addition to the trainings we offer to members of search committees. The office of DEI also conducts trainings for supervisors on implicit biases during performance evaluations.
In addition, the office of DEI will undergo a review of Whitworth’s policies and procedures regarding harassment and bias incident reporting.
Student Diversity Equity & Inclusion
- The office of student diversity, equity & inclusion (SDEI) offers the BUCS (Building Unity and Building Success) Bridge program, which supports BIPOC, first-generation and LGBTQIA+ students through an intensive pre-orientation program and monthly programming with peer guides. The office of SDEI also oversees the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship program, support services for international students, and coordinating their student leadership groups, Cultural Diversity Advocates (CDAs) and BUCS Peer Guides.
- The office of student diversity, equity & inclusion offers a series of student workshops on anti-racism strategies and inclusive excellence and community building events such as Diversity Monologues and Whitworth Top Chef.
- The area of student success and equity coordinates Help-a-Pirate, which assists students with one-time interventions of support when urgent needs arise.
Whitworth’s Campus Ministry supports programming and ministry opportunities for all community members to grow in their spiritual life and in their relationship to Jesus. The campus ministry team is also continually looking for ways support underrepresented and underserved community members. Some important programs and initiatives include:
- Counseling and pastoral care for underrepresented students guided by Whitworth’s chaplain for DEI.
- WERE (Women Ever Rising Everyday) Bible Study and Conference: Weekly gatherings for female students at Whitworth to build authentic relationships and share stories of faith. This culminates in an annual conference where women from the campus and community come together through praise, worship and sharing the word of God.
- Brown Girl Magic: A mentoring and leadership training program in which women of color can share and support each other in their spiritual journey.
- Campus ministry has increased their diversity numbers in their student leadership team to meet campus demographic numbers.
- The Chapel continually seeks to incorporate worship diverse music and worship styles that connect to different cultural backgrounds and traditions.
- This academic year the campus ministry staff will be preaching on The Gospel of Matthew addressing topics of justice and belonging.
- Rev. Forrest Buckner, dean of spiritual life, is an ongoing participant in a series of listening sessions with diverse student groups at Whitworth, exploring issues of inclusion and belonging at Whitworth.
Office of Church Engagement
The Office of Church Engagement (OCE) partners with churches and other Christian ministries as they discern how to be the church and do ministry in the western region of the United States and around the world. One portion of their outreach is the Reconciliation Calling Community, which has the goal to transform fragmented interpersonal and intercommunal relationships through the practice of biblical, relational and practical reconciliation. Examples include:
- Reconciliation Reading Groups
- The Biblical Justice Forum
- 9x9 Clergy Reconciliation Groups
Office of International Education
The Whitworth Office of International Education is comprised of three divisions: international admissions, international student services and off-campus programs. Each division has its own DEI-related initiatives, supports and program offerings. International admissions has strategic partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, IIE and EducationUSA which serve to bolster our recruitment of diverse students from broad country representation. The international student services division serves current, enrolled international students on campus with academic, cultural, social, and immigration-related support and programming. The work of this division aids in the promotion of cultural awareness, intercultural competency trainings, and on-campus clubs and events that highlight international students and their home cultures, cuisines, and talents. Lastly, the off-campus programs division oversees all of the institution’s domestic and international study away programs. We have intentionally created scholarship programs that support students of color and other underrepresented students in study abroad to take part in Whitworth’s diverse array of off-campus study programs. In addition, we regularly present at student clubs and groups, such as the Whitworth Black Student Union and H.O.L.A., to emphasize the accessibility of study abroad for all students.
The Whitworth Office of International Education works in collaboration with the office of student diversity, equity & inclusion providing support for international students and domestic underrepresented racial/ethnic populations. Our office is situated within the university’s Intercultural Student Center (ISC) which serves as an important place for these students to claim as their own, interact with program staff and develop community.
The Dornsife Center for Community Engagement
As a member of the Place-Based Justice Network, the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement brings together students, faculty, staff and community partners in strategic service that strengthens communities while enriching educational programs with an emphasis on building equity for all, starting with our neighbors. We do this through:
- The Dornsife Faculty Fellows Program, a small-group cohort of faculty committed to developing critical service-learning pedagogy that allow students to address systemic issues of equity and justice in our local community as it relates to their field of study.
- Community Engagement Advocates, student leaders who utilize the pathways of public service and civic engagement with an asset-based community development approach as they address issues of identity, privilege, and justice through one-time and recurring service activities.
- Hosting semesterly community action poverty simulations for students.
- Sponsoring community-based racial equity trainings for community partners.
- Partnering with the Spokane Tribe to develop class-based projects in support of tribe identified priorities.
- Hosting a three-year AmeriCorps VISTA focused on housing equity in the West Central Neighborhood.
The Office of Admissions
The office of admissions continues to establish long-term relationships with community-based organizations in many of its recruiting areas to continue to strengthen the recruitment and support of BIPOC and first-generation students.
The office of admissions also hosts the Mentorship Visit Program annually where the focus is on first-generation and BIPOC students. In this program they will connect with our community through mentor groups led by student leaders and meet university faculty and staff who support students inside and outside the classroom.