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Dr. Morris Shares Inclusion and Diversity Efforts, and More Ways to Get Involved

Fiske Quad

Dear Keene State Community:

I am thrilled to share this first of our monthly updates about the initiatives that are underway with the Office of Diversity and Multiculturalism. These messages also provide you with information about how to get involved in important conversations and actions to help us all live our shared commitment to the values of equity, inclusion and diversity.

First, I want to emphasize that our students’ voices are incredibly important to how we define and deliver on our values. We heard our students and are acting on their requests, for the betterment of our whole community. Thank you, students, for sharing your thoughts with us.

Several efforts are in action that prevent and educate against bias, and inform how we respond to and heal from bias incidents when they occur.

  • Both our first-year seminar and new student Orientation provide sessions that explore and educate students on how bias works, how it impacts all of us and how to address it in their lives. The seminar and Orientation sessions also point students toward resources that are available to help them.
  • We reviewed and refined our reporting and policies around bias incidents. Specifically, we created a Bias and Hate Reporting platform for any member of our college community, or the greater Keene community, to use for reporting concerning incidents on campus and off campus. These reports will initiate investigations.
  • We now have a Community Restoration Protocol, which formalizes the way we respond to reports of bias and hate through the reporting platform. The goal of this protocol is to thoroughly capture, understand and respond to concerns, and to provide education and information to people in order to prevent future incidents. Depending on the situation, the Student Conduct Office will be a part of this process when disciplinary action is needed.
  • To facilitate the Community Restoration Protocol, a dedicated team of faculty, staff and students are trained and ready to participate – this is the Community Restoration Team. This team will take on the process that I describe above.
  • We will thoroughly review our Discrimination and Harassment Policy starting this month, to ensure that there are no blind spots that could allow for bias or discrimination. I will provide updates to you on this process in our next message.

Each of us has an important part in making all of these efforts come to life, and I encourage you to reach out to our office to find ways to get involved in the steps outlined above. Please contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness and we’ll be happy to include you.

In the meantime, there are other ways to engage in important dialogue:

  • Join our three-week community book discussion of “Me and White Supremacy”. Register in advance for this meeting.
  • Join us for a five-week community conversation about the book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 50th Anniversary Edition” starting on Friday, October 16 at 2 p.m. Register in advance for this meeting, too.

I look forward to hearing from you about your interests in getting involved. It truly takes all of us! Please look for our next update by early November.

Thank you,

Dr. Dottie Morris
Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Keene State College

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