In continuing its efforts to strengthen and advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) across the region, on October 20th, 2022, Transform Mid-Atlantic hosted the first JEDI-CCE Institute on Creating a Community-Engaged JEDI-Centered Campus Culture: Action Planning and Assessing Progress. Over 90 representatives from 15 colleges and universities came together with their campus team to have conversations around their current work to advance JEDI-CCE on their campus and in their community.
Each institution brought a team of 4-8 people and was able to work in small groups on the JEDI work happening on their own campus. This model proved very effective in bringing together stakeholders on each campus who may not have previously been working with each other or been invested in the process of raising JEDI-CCE issues to the fore. Attendees on the teams comprised a range of different positions at each institution, including Civic and Community Engagement office directors or team members, campus DEI representative, faculty development representatives, and community partner representatives.
This Institute provided campuses with the resources and information to further their awareness around the opportunities for intersection and possible collaboration between DEI and Civic and Community Engagement office’s work on campus. Throughout the day, campus teams got the chance to develop an action plan for their own campus and community partnerships, utilizing the resources within TMA’s Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of JEDI-CCE in Higher Education. This rubric is a rigorous self-assessment of JEDI and CCE at an institution of higher education, developed by TMA’s Equity Taskforce over the past year.
The conversations generated at this event among the campus teams in attendance helped people frame the conversation that they were having and provided connecting pieces that may have been lacking before. A common thread in the feedback from campus teams was that this Institute helped them take a step back and look at the work being done on their campus from a larger perspective, and to look at the greater goals their institution had and where they were on the path to reaching those goals. Speaking on the major takeaways of the day, participants also felt that the Institute “helped bring awareness to issues that need to be addressed” and that it also helped to “lay a foundation for this work” at their institution. TMA looks forward to building on the successes of this Institute and hopes to offer more opportunities like this in the future for our network.