The UMass Amherst community came together at the start of the fall semester this week to participate in the first-ever Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) conference, part of the university’s Belonging@UMass initiative, which will continue through the academic year. Read more about the conference.
Below you will find resources from the conference including links to the livestream, copies of presentations, and handouts from the event. You can also download our new "Building a Community of Dignity & Respect" digital assets.
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Research shows that a sense of belonging impacts students’ learning, motivation, persistence, and academic success. As faculty and instructors, we can foster our students’ sense of belonging, whether this be in small seminar, a lecture hall, a hybrid course context, or a lab. Why does it matter that you take such action? Attendees will be guided through activities that demonstrate strategies for cultivating a learning atmosphere of caring and support – one where students feel that their contributions, perspectives and backgrounds are valued. (Audience: Faculty, Instructors, staff, GA/TAs involved in course instruction.)
This keynote invites participants to consider belonging as an active practice rooted in individual and collective values. Penn Pritchard, Education and Development Manager in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, will share the role of culture and cultural archetypes in creating a sense of belonging. During the session, attendees will explore how the brain responds to both pleasurable and challenging experiences around social inclusion. Key takeaways include opportunities for self-reflection and an open discussion of our unique hopes and goals for a culture of genuine belonging at UMass. (Audience: All campus.)
Experts on equitable collaboration will discuss their research and experience related to faculty inclusion and belonging. This session will be interactive, with discussion of practices, tools, and opportunities to discuss ideas for faculty collaborations across units at UMass.
Presentation download forthcoming.
Staff Breakout: Cultivating Belonging
Presented by the Office of Workplace Learning and Development
As a community, we must collectively work to cultivate spaces that reinforce belonging while challenging the spaces that don’t. This interactive workshop focuses on ways our UMass staff are a vital part of our UMass community that have equal stakes in our belonging work. Opportunities for reflection and deep work towards action will be embedded throughout.
In November 2021, all members of our campus were invited to participate in a campus climate survey. Now, we have an opportunity to take a deeper dive into what the results tell us about sense of belonging on our campus. This session will give an up close and personal look at our campus climate data on belonging, lead by Deputy Chief Officer for Equity and Inclusion, Emmanuel Adero. During the session, attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about how these data impact our campus. (Audience: all campus.)
Threats to inclusion and belonging will always exist when hate and ignorance have a powerful platform. This session highlights the work of the UMass police department, U.S. Attorney's Office District of Massachusetts, and the FBI discussing how collaboration between campus and investigators can lead to early detection of potential threats. During this session, audiences will learn what constitutes a hate crime, how bias influences hate, and the significance of reporting. (Audience: all campus.)
**Please note that there was no formal presentation for the student breakout as it was a discussion based session.**
Dignity and Respect Branding
If you are interested in downloading files you can use on your website, social media, or print media with the new "Dignity and Respect" imagery, including email signatures and Zoom backgrounds, click here.
If you'd like posters, pins, or shirts, please come by our office at 301/305 Whitmore and we will be happy to provide them.