Faculty of Color Initiatives

Events and Workshops


Read about how University of Minnesota Faculty, staff join push for diversity in the MN Daily



Faculty of Color Initiative

The Faculty of Color Initiative (FOCI) is a community-building project supported by the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA). It is an inter-collegiate effort to recruit and retain faculty of color at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus by providing opportunities to socialize, network, and develop mentoring and collaborative relationships with colleagues across campus. This project was inspired by efforts originally launched and supported by the College of Liberal Arts.


Faculty of Color Gatherings

FOCI Gatherings are an initiative created to provide opportunities for faculty of color to build and strengthen communities of support. FOCI gatherings are generally held 2-3 times a year in the early evening at the home of a University of Minnesota –faculty member who volunteers. IDEA provides full funding of the event and assistance from its staff in all aspects of preparation making the evening relaxing and enjoyable for both host and attendees including circulating an RSVP announcement to our list serve so the host can plan accordingly. Gatherings are typically held each year in early Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

**The final gathering of faculty of color for the academic year will be held in early June at the home of Priscilla Gibson, associate professor in Social Work and IDEA faculty fellow. This gathering will be a opportunity to say congratulations and farewell to colleages and friends. Look for an announcement soon in your email.


Welcome Luncheon for newly hired Faculty of Color

Each fall the Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity and the current IDEA faculty fellow invite newly hired faculty of color to attend an informal luncheon to build community
and learn about opportunities specifically for them as well as other ways in which IDEA
supports their development and success.


Summer Writing Workshop for Faculty of Color

One of the most oft-heard concerns of new faculty is how to find time to write. This issue can be especially acute for faculty of color, who are often called upon to contribute additional service and support to departments that are still in the process of building up diversity. To address this concern, the Summer Writing Workshop for Faculty of Color was launched in the summer of 2011 to provide pre-tenured faculty participants with designated time and resources to support their writing.

Through goal-setting exercises, peer editing, and materials about campus resources for writing and research, the summer workshop fosters collegial relationships and new writing strategies for pre-tenured faculty. See our events page for information on an upcoming special event sponsored by this group.


Faculty of Color Writing Group

Fridays 11am - 3pm
April 4 and 11; and May 9
Walter Library, 4th floor, room 404

Based on the tremendous success of the summer workshop, a writing group for faculty of color was begun in fall 2011. Recently featured in the Minnesota Daily, this initiative continues to support faculty writing throughout the academic year by providing previous and new participants with designated time and resources to support and encourage the writing process.  Since its inception, over two dozen pre-tenured faculty of color have taken advantage of this opportunity and regularly attended the fall and spring writing sessions.

The group meets approximately six to eight times each semester and two sessions per semester will be devoted to crafting the research, writing, and service statements for the tenure dossier. This is an informal atmosphere that provides a quiet and supportive atmosphere to support faculty writing. Pre and post-tenured faculty are welcome to attend these sessions as well. There is no pre-registration required and you are welcome to attend once or as many times as you like through the fall and spring semesters. The group meets in either conference room 404 or 405 on the 4th floor of Walter Library on the East Bank campus so grab your laptop and come prepared to write among peers! Coffee and snacks are provided. Facilitated by Priscilla Gibson, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (DIGS) in the School of Social Work and IDEA's 2013-14 Faculty Development Fellow.


"You Have to See It to Be It" Digital Photo Archive

For the last two years, IDEA has been collaborating with student photo assistants of the university photographer Patrick O'Leary to develop a digital photo archive of University of Minnesota faculty of color. We believe that not only will having a rich reservoir of photos will put a face to the names of our most outstanding scholars, it can also serve as inspiration for undergraduate and graduate students as they consider careers in academia.  In her efforts to elevate the university’s work to increase diversity among students, faculty, and staff, Vice President for Equity and Diversity, Katrice Albert, has asserted that "You Have to See It to Be It."  

We encourage you to be part of this effort.  Our staff will work with you to arrange the best date to photograph you teaching and provide you with photo releases. It typically takes less than 15 minutes and is done with minimal disruption to your class. We allow you to see all proofs and make the final decision of what photos we can use. Images are used in university communications from our office that promote the scholarship, teaching, and service of our faculty who participate in IDEA programs and activities, such as those on this website. It is easy, fun and best of all, you can keep copies of all digital photos for your own use. To take part, simply contact IDEA at 625-7439 or oedidea@umn.edu


FOCI Google Group

Feedback from faculty of color regarding the need to communicate, exchange knowledge and share information inspired a newly created Google Group called “FOCI”. Unlike the listserv, the Google Group will allow for more free flow of information and interaction between members. Look for an email announcement this summer from IDEA with information on how to join this Google Group.


FOCI List serv

IDEA maintains two list servs, one for the general University community and another specifically for faculty of color to inform them of unique opportunities for professional development, events and resources such as those listed on this page. Those on the FOCI listserv also receive announcements and information from the general list serv but not vice versa. To receive information specifically for faculty of color please contact IDEA at 625-7439 or oedidea@umn.edu and request to be switched from the general listserv or added to the FOCI listserv.


Soon to be added!

On and Off Campus Resources webpage

Developed from the positive feedback and popularity of our “Welcome to Your Community” publication, a new resource page for diverse faculty to identify resources for teaching, research, and professional development on and off campus will soon be added to IDEA’s website. If you know of a resource that you feel others may benefit from knowing about, please contact IDEA and we may add it to the page. You can reach us at 625-7439 or oedidea@umn.edu


Faculty Research webpage

IDEA is currently working with Jody Gray of the University Libraries to develop a new web page for our website that will showcase not only research funded by the IDEA Multicultural Research Award but also research being conducted at the University of Minnesota by faculty of color and/or that focuses on our diverse communities and pertinent social issues. To have information and links regarding your research add to this site, please contact IDEA at 625-7439 or oedidea@umn.edu