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 open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni on all campuses of the University of Minnesota.

Register today!

Did you complete your certificate?  Congratulations!
Please fill out the Certificate Completion Request Form here.



The Certificate:

  • 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. 

Download an information flyer on the certificate program


The Certificate has two levels:  Basic and Advanced

Basic Certificate:

  • Ten Certificate Program Workshops, 30 hours

(30 hours total)

Advanced Certificate:

(54 hours total)



Please note that we will be transitioning to a new registration system for our Summer 2018 workshops.
The registration links, unfortunately, will not be available until May/June. Click on the link below to sign-up to be notified when you can register:


Workshop Descriptions

The OED Certificate Program 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 learn from University staff who work to improve campus climate for people of color, women, people with different religious identities, people with disabilities, and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA).  In these workshops, participants design personal action plans to help them identify specific outcomes—and key next steps—toward which they can work to improve campus climate.

My Role in the Work of Equity & Diversity (formerly "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.

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?

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.

Engaging Inclusive Design Concepts to Increase Access 
Growing out of a movement to increase access for people with disabilities, the term "inclusive 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 inclusive design and are given opportunities to assess the inclusivity of their own spaces, products, and communities.

Facilitating Challenging Conversations
This workshop 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.

Addressing Religious and Spiritual Identities in a Public Context
For many people, religion and spirituality are deeply personal, and create values that offer a sense of purpose and community.  However, in public contexts, religion may be seen as either impolite to talk about or as dangerously divisive.  In this workshop, we will explore how religious, spiritual, and humanist identities interact with other social identities in a historical and modern context shaped by power and privilege, and address the complexity of balancing religious and spiritual expression with the separation of church and state within a public context.

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.

Understanding and Advancing Gender Equity (formerly "Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Making the Case for Women's Equity")
TThe media makes it sound like women have reached equality. What's the truth?  In this interactive workshop, increase your knowledge of women’s status today, learn why gender equity benefits everyone, and share ideas for advancing equity.

Exploring Ableism, Advancing Access: Moving Toward Disability Justice (formerly "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.

LGBTQIA 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, intersex, asexual, and/or queer often face isolation, silence, and invisibility. This workshop is an opportunity for participants to learn about LGBTQIA identities and communities, and to identify strategies they can employ to create a more open and welcoming campus climate.


Application Component

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 the Education Program Manager at OEDed@umn.edu about the parameters, expectations, and completion of this component.

Equity and Diversity Dialogue Circles

OED staff will facilitate Dialogue Circles for Certificate participants who completed the ten Certificate Program Workshops.  The Dialogue Circles will meet over the course of nine months—September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May.  Circles are capped at 18 participants, and more than one Circle will run during the year on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campus.  

Top of the page

For any other questions about the Certificate Program, please contact Wendy at OEDed@umn.edu, 612-624-0594