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Beyond Buzzwords: Upholding UR Practices Through Action, Not Words – ConnectUR 2024 Preconference Workshop

June 24 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

Monday, June 24, 2024 | 8:00-10:00 AM ET | Onsite | College Park, Maryland 
Join us for an empowering 2-hour workshop, and learn how to center your access initiatives on the work, not the words. As we navigate a shifting landscape where traditional terminology related to access and belonging faces new challenges, this session is your opportunity to dive deep into the essence of what makes our campuses vibrant. Through engaging discussions, innovative activities, and strategic planning sessions, we’ll explore actionable, evidence-based strategies that transcend terminology yet uphold the core values of access and educational excellence. This workshop will equip you with the tools to not only adapt to legislative changes but also to lead with intention, ensuring every student and colleague benefits from an inclusive educational environment. Don’t miss this chance to redefine the future of inclusivity in higher education with us!
Segment 1: Introduction and Context Setting (30 minutes)
  • We will briefly present the current landscape of DEI in higher education, including the challenges and opportunities.
  • We will share aggregated pre-survey results to highlight common themes and experiences among participants.
Segment 2: Reframing DEI Work Beyond Terminology (30 minutes)
  • We will have participants discuss pre-survey results in small groups and brainstorm approaches to upholding their work.
  • Activity 1:* Small group discussions based on pre-survey responses about rethinking DEI work without relying on DEI terminology. Each group discusses and brainstorms their approach to maintaining the essence of DEI efforts under restrictive conditions. Groups will be divided according to levels of severity of legislation and/or state legislation. This activity challenges participants to articulate their DEI-related work and goals without using DEI terminology, focusing on the intention and impact of their actions. This exercise encourages creativity and critical thinking about the essence of DEI work.
Segment 3: Strategic Planning and Implementation (45 minutes)
  • Create a space for participants to develop actionable steps and measurable outcomes to continue their DEI purpose-driven initiatives.
  • Activity 2: This activity involves participants in scenario-based planning to develop inclusive practices that can be implemented regardless of legislative restrictions. It emphasizes practical, evidence-based strategies and encourages peer learning. Emphasis is on actionable steps and measurable outcomes without explicit DEI labeling.
Segment 4: Sharing, Reflection, and Closing (15 minutes)
  • Groups share their strategies and insights from Activity 2.
  • We will facilitate a reflective discussion on how to apply these strategies in their contexts.
  • We will outline a follow-up plan to support ongoing collaboration and sharing of best practices among participants.
Note: This pre-conference workshop will also include a pre-event survey and follow-up.
  • Jamie Gilbert, Valdosta State University
  • Timothy Raines, Raines Consulting
  • Sophie Pierszalowski, University of Washington

Register Here >>

Learn More About ConnectUR 2024 >>


June 24
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Event Category: