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COVID Resources

COVID DEI Strategies and Resources

For those of us who make a living as educators and particularly as we are the front line to bring issues of equity and inclusion to the forefront, the last few weeks have been breathtaking as we’ve worked within our institutions to grapple with the arrival of COVID.  We’ve moved from developing plans to helping draft communications, quarantines and shutdowns, and sadly those with positive test results. We have searched for strategies and resources to respond to the COVID crisis.

Coop Di Leu has developed the resources below to assist Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professionals as they respond to the COVID.

CoopLew and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education National Conversations

The COVID Pandemic has drastically and perhaps permanently changed the way higher education delivers instruction. This change will impact faculty, students, staff, and administrators. CoopLew and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education teamed up to host several conversations with higher education experts who provided answers to questions that affect issues like access, accessibility, and possibilities for the future. Read More.

Part I: Three Big Diversity-Related Questions Resulting from the COVID Crisis

Recorded, Friday, March 27, 2020

The three panelists (Dr. Ken Coopwood, Co-founder, CoopLew,  Ms. Kelly Hermann, Vice President of Accessibility, Equity and Inclusion, University of Phoenix and Dr. Amber Smith, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, University of Indianapolis) addressed a variety of topics including:

  • Student and faculty anxiety in an online learning environment; 

  • Creating equity while teaching online;

  • Considering the way higher education will be forever changed after COVID.

Part II: Three MORE Big Diversity-Related Questions Resulting from the COVID Crisis

Recorded, Friday, April 3, 2020

The three panelists (Dr. Sean Huddleston, President, Martin University, Dr.William T. Lewis, Sr., Co-founder, CoopLew,  and Mrs. Leanne Wieland, Instructional Designer, Faculty Development Lead, Forsyth Technical Community College) addressed a variety of topics including:

  • What is the impact on instructional design, equity, and assessment?

  • What should diversity professionals do to seize the moment?

  • What does the new normal look like?

Part III: Will Diversity Suffer After the Budget Crisis from COVID: And the Remaining Unanswered Big Diversity Questions.

Recorded, Thursday, May 7, 2020

Please note: due to technical difficulties the webcast was not recorded in its entirety.

Part I Panelists:

Dr. Walter Bumphus, President, American Association of Community Colleges, Dr. Timothy D. Sands, President, Virginia Tech, Dr. David K. Wilson, President, Morgan State University.

Part II Panelists:

Dr. Ken Coopwood, Cofounder, CoopLew, Dr. Lisa Coleman, Senior VP for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation, New York University, and Dr. Debra Joy Perez, Senior VP for Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity, Simmons University

Topics included

  1. How can we strategically move forward with DEI work during these uncertain financial times?

  2. What stakeholders should institutions be partnering with?

  3. What’s the best way to get students, faculty and staff engaged online in discussions related to diversity and equity issues?

  4. Should colleges and universities consider surveying students of color to determine the impact of COVID, particularly as it may relate to retention.

Read more about the recap now: Recap


Snapshot: Diversity Officers: Equity in the Age of COVID

As institutions make vast changes to adjust to the “new normal” brought on by the COVID pandemic, many minoritized and marginalized stakeholders feel the brunt of these changes. Oftentimes, these stakeholders have to navigate institutional modifications with limited resources to adjust. In the virtual space, the role of Diversity Officers (DOs), who have to identify fair and just strategies, support equitable policy development, and advise the institution on employing inclusive practices, has to also shift, adapt, and expand.

A new snapshot developed by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice and CoopLew illuminates the challenges and opportunities Diversity Officers and institutions are currently experiencing as they respond to the pandemic. 

The snapshot entitled, “Diversity Officers: Equity in the Age of COVID,” offers insights into how Diversity Officers are leading, managing, and preparing in the virtual space during COVID. Using insights from Diversity Officers from various institutions across the country, the snapshot provides an important glimpse into how these professionals are effectively serving their constituents and addressing equity in the virtual space. 

“As the higher education landscape changes in response to the pandemic, it is vital that Diversity Officers are prepared to fulfill the responsibilities of their role and feel supported as they fulfill those responsibilities, ” shared Marybeth Gasman, a lead author on the report, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair, and Distinguished Professor. “In addition to the impact of the COVID, DOs must also work to address the recent demands from Black students related to racial justice and condemning racial intolerance. Now more than ever, institutional leadership must evaluate and assess how they plan to provide enhanced support around equity and how they intend to support Diversity Officers as they work to maintain inclusion in the virtual space and as students prepare to return to campus.”

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