DEI Resources Page
Faculty and Student Advisory Committee
We are in a continuing process of working with FAWC community members to build the knowledge, tools, resources, and commitment needed to increase access to and diversity in our educational programs. We are grateful for the contributions and suggestions from the following Summer Program faculty and students:
Saskia Maxwell Keller
If you are interested in working with FAWC staff in this capacity, please email email@example.com.
Acknowledgment. Since the beginning of our educational programs, our demographic documentation shows that a majority of students and faculty have identified as white. We acknowledge that we have work to do so that our educational programs truly welcome and value young people, people of color, people with low incomes, and people from other historically marginalized communities.
Commitment. Moving forward we are committed to increasing access to and diversity in our educational programs, and to creating and maintaining an environment that is as welcoming as possible for people from historically underserved communities. Our aim is to nurture a community in which we all hold ourselves and each other accountable, celebrate difference, and work to build the trust necessary to take risks, be vulnerable, and share creative endeavors.
What We Are Doing. We are working on a number of levels to make our educational programs more welcoming to people from historically marginalized communities.
- 1. Centering our DEI Commitment. You can see our DEI Statement on our website by clicking here.
- 2. Diversifying Faculty. Historically, our educational program faculty has consisted of between 15 and 20% people of color. For the 2023 Summer Workshop Program, we’ve increased that percentage to 50%.
- 3. Diversifying the Student Body. We are deploying a mix of approaches to increase the diversity of our educational program student body. A more diverse faculty will make our workshops more appealing to young people, people of color, people from the LGBTQ+ community and people from other historically underserved communities. Likewise, our work to create partnerships with organizations serving these communities, like Cave Canem, the Institute for American Indian Arts, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and others, will help attract new students from these communities. And our efforts to create a more robust scholarship program, rooted in partnerships, will make our educational programs more accessible and welcoming to young people, people with low incomes, and people from other historically underserved communities.
- 4. Community Guidelines and Action Steps. We have created a set of guidelines (see below) that we expect everyone who participates in our educational programs to adhere to. They will set a campus-wide commitment to accountability, respect, and kindness designed to make our time together one of creative growth, trust, community, and fun. We also have created a set of Action Steps that can be taken when confronted by disrespectful and unwelcoming words and/or behavior. These Community Guidelines and Action Steps will be shared by staff at the opening orientation, in workshops by faculty, posted in studios, and included in student and faculty packets.
- 5. Workshop Guidelines. Each faculty member will work with their students to create a set of Workshop Guidelines for their workshop, which will govern how workshop participants interact, give feedback, etc. This shared workshop-level commitment will help all participants feel included, seen, valued, and able to take the risks needed to make creative leaps.
- 6. Support. Staff and faculty will be equipped and expected to immediately respond in support of anyone who has been made to feel in any way unwelcome or disrespected.
- 7. Resources. We are providing a variety of resources online (see below) and on campus to develop a common way of understanding our responsibility for making our time together inclusive, connecting, and productive. We encourage all workshop participants to read and view these resources.
To ensure that every member of the FAWC community feels welcome, safe, and able to participate to their fullest extent, we expect all members of the FAWC Summer Workshop Program community – whether staff, trustee, instructor, student, or guest – to treat one another with respect, understanding, and kindness. We commit to rooting our behavior and interactions in the following Community Guidelines, and ask that the rest of our community members do the same (adapted from Resource Media):
- Be mindful of power dynamics. Power shows up in many different ways—be aware of how you might be unconsciously using your privilege and power, even without meaning to.
- Be accountable. The things we say or do may have a negative impact on others, despite our intent. Be accountable for the impact of your actions and words even if you didn’t intend that impact.
- Be open. Receive feedback respectfully when your ideas or behavior are challenged. It is a gift when someone takes the time and risk to give feedback. Thank them for the learning opportunity and recognize you may have work to do.
- Be kind. Give feedback respectfully when challenging someone’s ideas or behavior. Consider providing feedback privately to invite deeper discussion and lessen the chance of a defensive response.
- Assume positive intentions. Everyone comes in with a different set of lived experiences and knowledge. Seek first to understand and assume positive intentions in all interactions.
- Embrace learning and growth. This work is sometimes uncomfortable and uncertain. We will make mistakes along the way. Remember, we are all here to learn and grow, both individually and collectively.
We are confident that the vast majority of Summer Workshop participants will embrace our efforts to create a welcoming atmosphere. At the same time, we acknowledge that incidents that make members of our community feel unwelcome may still occur. We are committed to addressing any such incidents quickly. If anyone in the FAWC community does or says something that makes another member of the FAWC community feel unwelcome or disrespected, the following action steps can be taken to address the situation:
- 1. If you experience or witness any action in your workshop that makes you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable, we hope that the Community Guidelines and the Workshop Guidelines established by your fellow students and your instructor create the ability for your instructor to guide a conversation that deals with the incident in a satisfactory manner.
- 2. If the incident is not addressed within the workshop itself, we encourage you to speak with your instructor privately. They will then remind the class about their guidelines and/or address the person violating the Community and Workshop Guidelines in private, or arrange for a staff member to do so.
In either of these scenarios, your instructor will inform staff about the incident and efforts made to resolve it, so that we can follow up to make sure it has been resolved or help resolve it.
- 3. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable speaking with your instructor about an incident, or if it is the instructor who is making you feel unwelcome or disrespected, or if something happens outside of your workshop, we encourage you to approach a Summer Program staff member for a private conversation about the incident. We will talk with you to determine appropriate next steps and ensure that the situation is resolved.
- 4. We will provide a phone number in your welcome packets for you to call if an incident takes place after regular business hours. Someone will be on-call 24 hours a day to answer these calls, and will immediately come to where you are to make sure you are safe and to have a conversation with you to help determine appropriate next steps.
- 5. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable speaking with Summer Program staff, or if it is staff that is making you feel unwelcome or unsafe, we encourage you to contact Naya Bricher, FAWC’s Administrative Director, who will work with you to determine appropriate next steps.
We encourage all educational program participants to view and read the resources provided below. We hope that these resources will help us all reflect on our own experience, increase our understanding of and empathy for experiences outside of our own, and develop a common ground of language, understanding, and expectations that allows us to connect more deeply and share a truly transformative experience together.
Terms and Definitions
As a starting point, here are some definitions of relevant terms and ideas. Below them you will find more resources to keep learning.
- Diversity. The presence of different and multiple characteristics that make up individual and collective identities, including race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, language, and physical ability.
- Equality. In the context of diversity, equality is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities. It means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
- Equity. The process of identifying and removing the barriers that create disparities in the access to resources and means, and the achievement of fair treatment and equal opportunities to thrive.
- Justice. The process of society moving from an unfair, unequal, or inequitable state to one that is fair, equal, or equitable. A transformative practice that relies on the entire community to acknowledge past and current harms to reform societal morals and subsequently the governing laws. Proactive enforcement of policies, practices, and attitudes that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes for all regardless of the various identities that one holds.
- Inclusion is creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to participate fully.
- Individual Racism. Individual or personal beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and actions that perpetuate or support racism. Individual racism can occur at both a conscious and unconscious level and can be active or passive. Examples can include avoiding people of color, or accepting or approving of racist acts or jokes.
- Institutional Racism. Unfair or biased institutional or organizational practices and policies that create different (or inequitable) outcomes for different racial groups. These policies may not specifically target any racial group but may create advantages for some groups and oppression or disadvantages for others. Examples can include policies within the criminal justice system that punish people of color more than their white counterparts, or within the workforce system in which hiring practices can significantly disadvantage workers of color.
- Privilege grants advantages and benefits to members of a dominant group at the expense of members of target groups. While privilege does not mean that someone’s life is not difficult or that they did not work for what they have, it does mean that their life is not more difficult because of their membership in a dominant group, which includes white people, males, heterosexuals and English speakers. Privilege tends to be invisible to people who have it, and people in this group often believe that they have earned the privileges that they enjoy or that everyone could have access to these privileges if only they worked to earn them.
- Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions of a group of people often based on race, religion, or gender, in an unconscious manner.
- Microaggressions are the kinds of remarks, questions, or actions that are painful because they have to do with a person’s membership in a group that’s discriminated against. A key part of what makes them so disconcerting is that they happen casually, frequently, and often without any harm intended. An example of this would be asking to touch the hair of someone who is a different race; commenting that someone “speaks English so well!” if they are a person of color; or continuing to misgender someone based on their appearance rather than their stated pronouns.
- Intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social categorisations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
- Code-switching is the practice of alternating between one linguistic code to another depending on the social context or conversational setting. People of color often feel the need to code-switch in more situations than white people because the unwritten rules of many social situations are dictated by white experiences.
- White fragility. The state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves in white people. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.
Here are some links to videos, articles, and websites that can help us all understand these issues more deeply, and help guide our decisions and behavior while we’re together at the Work Center and in our lives in general.
What is Unconscious Bias (3m21s)
What Does it Mean to be Antiracist (10m41s)