Empowering Future Leaders for an Inclusive Academy is an initiative aimed at preparing graduate students and postdocs to be change agents in academia. Building on the university's long history as a center for social justice, we provide participants with the tools needed to plan a career of impactful change and incorporate social change into their teaching, research, and outreach. 

Sponsored by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL @ UMass) and the Graduate School's Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE).


Past Events (Spring & Summer 2021):

Inclusive Teaching Learning Community

6 sessions, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays January 18 - January 29 | 1:00-2:30pm

6 sessions, Tuesdays, Thursdays June 15 - July 1 | 3:00-4:30pm

Interested in creating a welcoming classroom that supports all learners? Join us for a deep dive into inclusive teaching. We’ll work through a Columbia University MOOC that uses expert interviews, case studies, and reflective questions to explore topics such as designing courses for accessibility, inclusive course climate and course content, and cultivating critical self-reflection. In synchronous sessions, we’ll practice applying the inclusive teaching principles from the MOOC to our own teaching. We ask participants to commit to all 6 meetings.


Past events (Fall 2020):

Learning Community on Inclusive Teaching

6 weekly sessions, Thursdays September 3 - October 8

In this Learning Community, we meet weekly for discussions and activities based on the materials from the Columbia University Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) "Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom". The MOOC explores the principles of inclusive teaching and how to apply them in your classroom to support diverse learners. We ask participants to commit to all 6 meetings.

Learn more about the Inclusive Teaching Learning Community.  


"How to Be an Antiracist" Book Group for Graduate Students

6 biweekly sessions, Tuesday September 1 - November 10

We are hosting a Learning Community for graduate students to discuss Ibram X. Kendi's book How to Be an Antiracist, as part of the University Office of Equity and Inclusion's Learning Community Book Groups for Fall 2020. This book group is specifically for graduate students, but you can sign up for other book groups on the Office of Equity and Inclusion webpage. Learn more about Kendi's book.

Participation is limited to 10 grad students & postdocs.

Learn more about the Book Group


Diversity Statements for the Academic Job Market

September 14 | 2:30 - 4:00PM

If you are applying to faculty jobs, you are likely going to be asked to submit a diversity statement. This workshop will help you get started writing (or revising): we’ll discuss the two things that every statement should include, as well as tips and examples!

Sponsored by the Office of Professional Development.

Pre-registration Required.


Identifying and Resisting Implicit Bias

September 16 | 2:30 - 3:45PM

Whether you are aware or not, we all hold biases in the forms of stereotypes and implicit biases. We at UMass take diversity, equity and inclusion seriously. We believe that everyone belongs here, no matter their background, and we strive to cultivate a culture of dignity and respect for all.

It is therefore important to recognize our implicit biases so that we can work towards resisting them in our daily interactions with others.This workshop will provide an introduction to implicit bias and will offer some best practices for identifying and resisting implicit bias in your daily interactions.

Pre-registration Required.


Being an Effective Ally

October 7 | 2:30 - 3:45PM

Would you like to play your part in ensuring an inclusive climate for everyone, but not sure how? Interested in learning how to be an ally to your peers who identify as being from a marginalized or underrepresented group? Join us as we discuss and practice strategies you can take to be an effective ally to your peers and students.

Pre-registration Required.


Principles of Inclusive Teaching

October 20 | 2:30 - 4:00PM

You want to ensure all of your students have the opportunity to learn and feel included in your classroom. How can you ensure that students feel a sense of belonging - especially in the online space? This workshop will introduce you to principles of inclusive teaching, and share ideas for creating an inclusive and accessible online class.

Pre-registration Required.


Building Inclusion into Your Academic Career

October 30 | 1:30 - 2:30PM

Are you considering a career in academia? Want to be intentional about building a more inclusive academy? In this event, we will discuss the landscape of academia in the US, and ways in which you can intentionally build inclusion into your academic career. We also welcome Dr. Nathaniel Whitaker, Professor and Head of Department of Mathematics & Statistics, who will talk about his career path and his efforts to increase the representation of Black people in mathematics.

Pre-registration Required.


Student Evaluations: Collecting Evidence and Fighting Bias

November 9 | 2:30 - 3:30PM

With no centrally required student evaluation this semester, this might be the time to experiment with collecting feedback from students. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the ways that you can gather your own student evaluations that will support your teaching portfolio and ways that you can help overcome the research-proven biases in the evaluation process. This workshop is important for anyone planning to go on the academic job market. 

Sponsored by the Office of Professional Development.

Pre-registration Required.


Successful Research Collaborations Across All Career Stages

November 16 | 1:00 - 2:30PM

Collaborations are central to the modern academic science enterprise, but they require skills and strategies that are not typically developed in formal educational systems.   Students are evaluated as individuals, faculty are evaluated as individuals, and systems of promotion (whether educational or professional) are organized around individual achievement. At the same time, these individual achievements are only possible through ethical behavior, appropriate mentoring, and effective collaborations.  In this workshop, we discuss stage-appropriate strategies for developing collaborative skills, including managing collaborators, understanding contributorship, and negotiating credit.

Presented by Professor Monica Gaughan, Global Studies Department, Arizona State University.

Co-sponsored by the ADVANCE Program and the Graduate School, as part of the Empowering Future Leaders for an Inclusive Academy series.

Pre-registration required.


Past events (Spring 2020):


Mentoring Discussion: Teaching for Black Lives

Thursday, February 27 | 12:00 – 1:30PM | Furcolo Hall, Rm 101 

Passionate about teaching? Interested in learning about strategies for supporting racial, cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom? Join us for lunch with Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian and Wayne Au, Editors of Teaching for Black Lives! This informal discussion will be an opportunity to discuss challenges, strategies and advice on how to create and support an inclusive classroom.  Co-Sponsored by the UMass Department of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies.


Mentor Training for Graduate Students

March 18 – 20 | Postponed due to COVID-19

Interested in learning how to be a better mentor to your undergrads, or for a future faculty position? Join us for our Mentor Training for Graduate Students. The training focuses on a series of items for discussion – interesting case studies, sample compacts you might have with your students, etc. In a small group, you will discuss these materials with the help of trained facilitators. Not only will it help with your mentoring relationships with undergrads, but also with your current mentors.


Effecting Change in Academia: Tips from AAAS Senior Advisor, Dr. Shirley Malcom

March 30 or 31 | Postponed due to COVID-19

Want to learn how to effect change in academia? Join us for an informal meeting with Dr. Shirley Malcom, Senior Advisor and director of SEA Change at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She works to support transformative change in teaching and learning, research and practice to improve the quality and increase access to education and careers in STEM fields. Dr. Malcom is the 2020 Annual UMass ADVANCE Lecture speaker. Sponsored by the UMass ADVANCE Program.