Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity Announces Release of…

NextGen Medium-Rectangle-300×250-3a

LEAD Fund Toolkit on Campus Hate and Bias

“The increasing incidents of incivility, hate, and bias on campuses since 2016 demand that colleges and universities pay greater attention to prevention, crisis management and post-crisis assessment, including cultural change, diversity and inclusion,” stated Shirley J. Wilcher, President and CEO.

The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund), an affiliate of the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity (AAAED), announced the release of a toolkit, accompanying report and survey aimed at combating hate and bias on college campuses. The Toolkit on Campus Hate and Bias: Strategies to Create More Inclusive Campuses, its Accompanying Report and Survey on Uncivil Hate and Bias Incidents on Campus, are part of the Fund’s Campus Civility Project and are intended to serve as an aid in meeting the challenge of maintaining a safe and welcoming campus environment for students, faculty, staff and surrounding communities.

The LEAD Fund is a self-acclaimed “Think and Do” tank. Its mission is to provide thought leadership in promoting inclusive organizations and institutions through research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, human and civil rights. In partnership with the Stop Hate Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which supported the project through a grant, the Fund conducted year-long research on campus hate that included surveys, in-person listening sessions, and webinars.

The Fund’s research focused on colleges and universities in the Midwest. The research methodology included conference calls with campus equal opportunity and diversity professionals and discussions with university leaders at AAAED member campuses. To broaden their information base, the Fund conducted online research related to campus hate and bias and attended a Hate/Bias Response Symposium at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, where anti-bias staff from campuses within the University of Wisconsin system were in attendance.

AAAED Board Member Sandra K. Hueneman, SR CAAP, President, Manchester Consultants; and Shirley J. Wilcher, M.A., J.D., President and CEO of the LEAD Fund, conducted the listening sessions and webinars and prepared the toolkit and accompanying report.

The Survey on Uncivil, Hate and Bias Incidents on Campus (UHBIOCs) was based on responses from members of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) and the association’s broader list of equal opportunity, diversity and related professionals. The Survey was conducted by Christopher Jones, J.D., Assistant Vice President and Director of Equity, Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Case Western Reserve University; and Richard Anthony Baker, M.P.A., J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Vice Chancellor and Vice President, Office of Equal Opportunity Services, University of Houston System/University of Houston. Dr. Baker is President of AAAED.

Among the lessons learned from the LEAD Fund’s research are the following:

1. Institutions represented were in varying stages of development in having a concerted and organized policy of prevention, crisis management and cultural change.

2. The diversity and Inclusion (D&I) offices appeared to be a key point of contact when hate and bias incidents occur, followed by the campus police departments, the president’s office, multicultural affairs and student affairs.

3. Less than a third of attendees polled had conducted climate surveys, and only fourteen percent had conducted surveys for faculty and staff. Most attendees wanted clear guidance on roles of persons conducting the surveys and ways to measure the campus climate.

4. The majority of those responding to the webinar polls indicated that there was some kind of crisis management system, including the police, on campus. Some institutions had a Bias Incident Response Team composed of the D&I office, the dean, chief diversity officer and police department. The majority responding indicated that they wanted a proactive plan that includes written guidance, safe spaces, directions for action and the articulated roles of staff when incidents occur.

5. There was little training on how to de-escalate a difficult conversation in the classroom other than civility training. There were also no policies.

6. As for what kinds of programs participants would want, forty-two percent wanted programs in cultural respect. Overall, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion should be among the principles for achieving an institutional culture that is welcoming, respectful and safe for all of the campus community.

What was most noteworthy, if not unexpected, from the UHBIOC Survey was the frequency with which Uncivil Hate and Bias Incidents on Campus UHBIOC’s occurred. Three out of four respondents (77%) indicated that one UHBIOC had occurred at their institution during the last twenty-four (24) months. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that, during the last twenty-four (24) months, UHBIOCs occurred at least once per semester at their institution. In comparison, 16% said UHBIOCs occurred once a year and another 13% said that UHBIOCs occurred once per month.

The Toolkit and Accompanying Report also include recommendations for actions that colleges and universities can take to address incidents of hate and bias at the three stages of (1) prevention, (2) crisis management when the event occurs and (3) after the crisis, assessment and healing. “The increasing incidents of incivility, hate, and bias on campuses since 2016 demand that colleges and universities pay greater attention to prevention, crisis management and post-crisis assessment, including cultural change, diversity and inclusion,” stated Shirley J. Wilcher, President and CEO of the LEAD Fund. “We thank the Lawyers’ Committee for its support of the LEAD Fund to enable the nation’s equal opportunity professionals at colleges and universities to promote diversity, inclusion and safety despite the growing specter of hate and bias in the academy and nationwide,” added Dr. Richard Anthony Baker, president of AAAED.

To obtain a copy of the Toolkit, Report and Survey on Campus Hate and Bias, go to https://www.aaaed.org/aaaed/LEAD_Fund_Project_on_Campus_Civility.asp.

For more information about the LEAD Fund and its programs, visit the Fund’s webpage at https://www.aaaed.org/aaaed/LEAD_Fund.asp or email the LEAD Fund at leadfund@aaaed.org.

For more information about the Stop Hate Project, go to: https://8449nohate.org/.

NextGen Leaderboard-728×90-1a