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Equity and Diversity Certificate Program
The Equity and Diversity Certificate helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. It’s free of charge and only open to students, faculty and staff on all campuses of the University of Minnesota.
Completed a certificate? Congratulations!
- Offers participants a theoretical framework for understanding equity and diversity work
- Helps participants develop necessary skills for equity and diversity work
- Gives participants direct experience working and communicating across differences
Access frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more details about the Equity and Diversity Certificate program.
The Certificate has two levels: Basic and Advanced
(30 hours total)
- Core Curriculum, 18 hours
- Supporting Curriculum, 12 hours
- Application Component, 6 hours (Fill out the form online.)
- Equity and Diversity Dialogue Circle, 18 hours (Fill out the Dialogue Circle Admission Form online.)
(54 hours total)
- Completed Basic Certificate is required
- Fill out the online application form here
The Core Curriculum provides participants with the conceptual framework, opportunities for self reflection and group discussion, and skill-building experience necessary for being an effective advocate for equity and diversity—both at the University of Minnesota and in all aspects of their lives. In these workshops, participants design personal action plans to help them identify specific outcomes—and key next steps—toward which they can work.
Workshop 1: Being an Ally in the Work of Equity & Diversity
If “Diversity is Everybody’s Everyday Work,” then where do I fit in? How can I be part of this work if I never thought these issues were “my issues”? This workshop introduces participants to the concept of being an ally. Participants explore how it’s possible, and why it’s necessary, to work toward access, inclusion, and support for marginalized and underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and community members, and for greater equity in all parts of our institution—even from our positions of privilege.
Workshop 2: Leadership in the Context of Equity & Diversity
This workshop explores leadership in both traditional and nontraditional contexts, as well as both personally and institutionally. How can I leverage what formal and informal power I have to move equity and diversity work forward—in my job and in other parts of my life? What do I need to be a leader, and what will it mean to see myself as a leader on these issues? What will it take for my unit/department/college/campus to be seen as a leader on issues of equity and diversity?
Workshop 3: Working Effectively in Groups & Diversity Committees
Most work in support of equity and diversity involves working closely with others, either on formal diversity committees or in informal groups of like-minded people. But shared commitment to equity and diversity values is not always enough to get people working together effectively. This workshop explores how groups and committees can be particularly effective on issues of equity and diversity and offers participants specific strategies for success.
Workshop 4: Communicating on Issues of Equity & Diversity
Our efforts in advancing equity and diversity will mean little if we can't communicate effectively with our key constituents and stakeholders—especially around our efforts and successes. This workshop addresses how our various means of communication do—or do not—send messages that are perceived as welcoming and inclusive. It also addresses the challenges, strategies, and outcomes found in a strong equity and diversity communication plan.
Workshop 5: Engaging Universal Design Concepts to Increase Access and Inclusion
Growing out of a movement to increase access for people with disabilities, the term "universal design" refers to the concept of designing products and environments to be as accessible as possible for all users. Whether it's captioning, gender neutral restrooms, curb cuts or inclusive language, the work of equity and diversity involves paying attention to how we design our classrooms, labs, offices, residence halls, work, curricula, and events to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible. In this workshop, participants learn key concepts of universal design and are given opportunities to assess the inclusivity of their own spaces, products, and communities.
Workshop 6: Educating about Equity & Diversity: Facilitating Challenging Conversations
The last workshop in the Core Curriculum addresses one of the most ever-present and significant aspects of equity and diversity work: education through dialogue. In each participant’s on-going development as an ally and a leader, they will find themselves in more and more situations that call for careful listening, nuanced language, well-timed questions, and skilled facilitation. This worship offers each participant an opportunity to develop these educational skills.
The Supporting Curriculum provides an opportunity for participants to understand equity and diversity efforts within the context of specific social identities. In these workshops, participants learn from University staff who work to improve campus climate for people of color, women, people with disabilities, and those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (GLBTQ). Participants learn specific strategies that all University members can employ to improve campus climate.
Workshop 7: Race, Racism, and Privilege
Talking about race and racism can be challenging for many people. It can be tempting to keep our discussions at a surface level, so as to avoid hurt, anger, shame and guilt. But open and honest discussions on race, as well as basic history and context that are often neglected in the discussions, are necessary for us to address the racial inequities that continue to challenge our personal relationships, institutions, and society.
Workshop 8: Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Making the Case for Women's Equity
The media makes it sound like women have reached equality. What's the truth? And how do you make the case quickly, i.e., in the time it takes for an elevator ride? In this interactive workshop, increase your knowledge of women’s stats today, share ideas for breaking the ceiling, and practice making a one-minute case explaining how achieving women’s equity benefits everyone.
Workshop 9: Understanding Disability & Advancing Access
Our world is becoming increasingly rich and complex as more and more individuals become open about the challenges they face as people with disabilities. Whether the barrier is physical, academic, employment-related, or attitudinal, we are all responsible for understanding how barriers diminish access for some University community members. In this workshop, participants learn strategies for advancing access for everyone on our campuses.
Workshop 10: GLBTQ Identities and Communities
In discussions of “diversity,” not everyone recognizes that gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are important points of cultural difference that merit recognition and voice. Members of the University who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer often face isolation, silence, and invisibility. This workshop is an opportunity for participants to learn about GLBTQ identities and communities, and to identify strategies they can employ to create a more open and welcoming campus climate.
Participants complete at least six hours of 'service' related to equity and diversity work in their unit, department, student organization or other venue. Participants consult with OED’s Director of Education or another OED Director about the parameters, expectations, and completion of this component.
OED staff will facilitate Dialogue Circles for Certificate participants who completed the Core Curriculum. Those who have completed all 6 core workshops will be invited via email to participate. The Dialogue Circles will meet over the course of nine months—September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May—and will be capped at 15 participants, so more than one Circle may run during the year.
For any other questions about the Certificate Program, please contact Ralph Blanco, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-625-8680.