Faculty of Color Initiatives


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.

Read a March, 2014 article in the MN Daily about how University of Minnesota Faculty, staff join push for diversity.


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.

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.


"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 List serv

IDEA maintains a list serv specifically for faculty of color to inform them of unique opportunities for professional development, events and resources such as those listed on this page. To receive information specifically for faculty of color please contact IDEA at 625-7439 or oedidea@umn.edu and request to be added to the FOCI listserv.