September 13, 2019
On behalf of the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity, I would like to welcome you to Simmons University.
We are planning another exciting year of dialogues, workshops, speaker series and activities as we continue toward our goal of making Simmons the most inclusive campus in New England. You can read about OCIE’s first year through our Inclusive Excellence Update.
Last year, we hosted many opportunities to meet one another and invited you to engage in our work in Respectful Discourse. This year, we want to highlight the many ways our experiences with intersectionality bring our community together by building bridges across differences and creating opportunities for belonging. Our aim is to create shared and meaningful experiences as ONE Simmons. On October 16, we will celebrate International Pronoun Day. This day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. We are also hosting Harlan Purden, a scholar who studies two-spirited indigenous peoples.
We are excited about our partnership and programming with Simmons undergraduate and graduate students. As we welcome the Multicultural Center to OCIE, we invite students to join the center for workshops and talks. Center in the Center, a facilitated dialogue series, will highlight relevant social and political topics to the Simmons community. This first in this series, “Manifest Your Energy for Success,” will be held in the Multicultural Center (MCB-Ground Floor) on September 25 from 12:30-2 pm.
OCIE is excited to present the first ever Activism & Engagement Fair. This event will bring social justice organizations to campus to give our students opportunities to volunteer or intern with local non-profits working on social justice issues. We expect over 20 organizations to participate. The event will be held on October 18.
Also this year, we’re launching an initiative for faculty and staff we call HELIX, which offers a curriculum for understanding and engaging in anti-racist work.This includes several on-ramps toward inclusive excellence: everything from joining ally/co-conspirator groups that support White staff and faculty on their journey of allyship to affinity spaces for communities of color on campus.
Lastly, OCIE will focus more on professional development for all employees that has diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at the center of how we work together. Our goal is to increase inclusive and equitable practices outside the classroom at Simmons and to create a sense of belonging for everyone on our campus. Whether you are returning to Simmons or are new to our community, please know that you are welcome and you belong.
I want to especially encourage you to participate in our workshops and events. I hope you’ll experience the joy of inclusion. Together, we embody and create the culture we want to be and are proud of as we continue to invest in Who We Are, How We Live and Work and Who We are Becoming.
Welcome to Simmons!