Office of Global Inclusion announces new plans to advance diversity and inclusion

In a Sept. 28 webinar, the OGI shared inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity and access initiatives for the 2021-22 academic year.

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Lauren Sanchez

On Sept. 28, NYU’s Office of Global Inclusion held a community update webinar. During the event, OGI outlined its plans for each of its six initiatives: Disability Inclusive Culture, the Center for Multicultural Education & Programs, the LGBTQ+ Center, Global Faculty Engagement, Global Leadership and Strategic Innovation & Partnerships. (Photo by Lauren Sanchez)

By Joyce Li, Contributing Writer

NYU’s Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation announced plans to increase accountability, promote collective action, and advance inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity and access (IDBEA) during the 2021-22 academic year, in a community webinar on Sept. 28.

The event outlined the OGI’s plan for each of its six hubs — Disability Inclusive Culture, the Center for Multicultural Education & Programs, the LGBTQ+ Center, Global Faculty Engagement, Global Leadership and Strategic Innovation & Partnerships — in addition to university-wide diversity goals and efforts.

“This time remains a difficult one, as we continue to live with the uncertainty of COVID-19,” President Andrew Hamilton said as he opened the meeting. “I share with you profound frustration and sadness at the pandemic’s disparate health and economic effects on marginalized communities.”

During the webinar, Lisa Coleman, senior vice president for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation, introduced a series of new IDBEA initiatives including the Global IDBEA Foundations Module. The training program will launch during the spring 2022 semester and address issues of racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism and xenophobia. 

The Global Inclusion Officers Council will also use a survey conducted over the past year in partnership with the Student Health Center and NYU’s student government to better understand the experiences of transgender and nonbinary students. In line with these efforts, NYU announced on Sept. 24 that students can have their NYU ID card reprinted to reflect their preferred name or take a new photo to better reflect their gender identity.

“I think this is a necessity,” Stern first-year Wenxuan Zhou said. “If you’re trying to do something for a marginalized group, you need to look at their opinions on what should be done and how they feel about their experiences.”

Coleman announced the continuation of some initiatives from previous years, such as the “[Not So] Difficult Dialogues,” a space for undergraduate students to address current social identity issues and engage in dialogue. Steinhardt junior Elim Wu, who is on the executive board of the Asian Cultural Union at NYU, believes the initiatives bring the university’s student body together. 

“Because NYU’s so big, it’s pretty easy to get sucked up in your own circle,” Wu said. “More opportunities to get to know other people [in different communities] in this context would be really good.”

Inclusive teaching seminars, monthly mentorships and professional development opportunities for faculty will continue to be offered this year, including the Faculty Innovation and Anti-Racism Microgrant Initiative, the Global Inclusive Leadership and Management Institute and FOCUS, a student leadership development program.

At the end of her presentation, Coleman encouraged attendees to get involved by participating in future OGI initiatives and programs, and utilizing its resources.

“As a community, we must be responsible, accountable, and action-oriented,” Coleman said. “That is what we are committed to at the Office of Global Inclusion as we continue with this work.”

A version of this story appeared in the Oct. 4, 2021, e-print edition. Contact Joyce Li at [email protected]