The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion aligns services and programs with the far-reaching goals of the strategic plan. A core focus of the ODEI unit is to identify, acknowledge, and address institutional practices that are exclusionary and instill a sense of belonging and access for any member of GRCC’s community. ODEI aims to accomplish this mission through initiatives that:
- Use data-informed best practices in cultural competence;
- Support students with disparate enrollment and academic completion rates;
- Foster a paradigm shift in instructional practice;
- Advocate for strategies that improve the recruitment, hiring, and retention of faculty and staff;
- Encourage responsive empathy and respect among GRCC stakeholders; and
- Forge partnerships with West Michigan groups and organizations committed to equity
ODEI leads institutional objectives that move forward justice, access, and inclusion in every facet of campus policies, procedures, practices, and culture. At the forefront of ODEI's rigorous pursuit of cultural competency are the programming and professional development initiatives facilitated under the Woodrick Center Social Justice Consortium.
Two theoretical frameworks move ODEI's mission and purpose forward:
The Holistic Student Development Model focuses on students' overall well-being, growth, and intellectual curiosity. The framework articulates the student experience on- and off-campus and recognizes that external factors impeding student success need to be addressed. These factors can include family or home life, housing insecurity, food insecurity, financial insecurity, and other emotional, intellectual, or physiological factors (Broton & Goldrick-Rab, 2018; Patton et al., 2016).
Broton, K. M., & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2018). Going without: An exploration of food and housing insecurity among undergraduates. Educational Researcher, 47(2), 121–133.
Patton, L. D., Renn, K. A., Guido, F. M., & Quaye, S. J. (2016). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. Jossey-Bass.
The Cultural Wealth Model focuses on the ways historically marginalized students, staff, and faculty access and experience college from a strengths-based perspective. Yosso (2005) asserts that six forms of Cultural Capital capture the talents, strengths, and experiences that students, staff, and faculty of color bring with them to the college environment. The six forms of cultural capital are: aspirational, linguistic, familial, social, navigational, and resistance.
ODEI services highlight the lived experiences and contributions of historically marginalized communities as forms of cultural capital that help these communities navigate, unpack, analyze, and grapple with socio-political, economic, and environmental issues within the context of academia.
Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.
The vision of ODEI is to shape a GRCC community that is:
- Steadfast in making principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion the bedrock of institutional policies, procedures, culture, practices, and (new) traditions.
- Intentional in emphasizing the connection between principles of equity and a sense of belonging among historically underserved and underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.
- Innovative in providing equity-centered training and professional development projects.
- Effective in advancing inclusive strategies in recruitment, hiring, and retention of underrepresented faculty and staff.
- Committed to fostering partnerships that are responsive to the needs of GRCC stakeholders and the Grand Rapids community.