Inclusive Community Annual Report July 2021 - June 2022
About Inclusive Community
The University of Central Oklahoma affirms and promotes diversity in areas including race, class, gender identity, ethnicity, culture, religion, ideology, (dis)ability, affectional orientation, gender expression and other aspects of self-identification. Our appreciation of diversity includes an awareness of the historical heritage on which the university was founded and the many struggles and sacrifices, both historically and currently, that confront underrepresented communities.
Given this awareness, we actively strive to enrich the experience of the entire community by implementing practices that remove barriers to those communities served least well by existing systems. We do this not only because it is right, but also because diversity enriches the experiences and expands the social and conceptual horizons of students, faculty and staff members while enhancing the university’s ability to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social advancement of the communities and individuals it serves.
Inclusive Community Mission
The mission of the UCO Office of Inclusive Community (OIC) is to plan, lead and implement, in collaboration with university partners, institutional change initiatives to advance equity for the purposes of cultivating and sustaining inclusive excellence at UCO. Our goals are to:
- Provide our university partners with tools to identify and overcome barriers to equity; and,
- Advance an inclusive community that recognizes human dignity and mutual respect.
The UCO Office of Inclusive Community collected the diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work conducted throughout the past academic year to create an annual impact report. This report first highlights the projects, policies and initiatives in which our office directly leads or engages. It concludes with a collection of work from across the university that shows the impact this entire community has on creating a more inclusive and equitable institution.
We hope this report motivates and inspires you to persist with us in advancing a more inclusive community and to create and engage in initiatives that will contribute to this work. It is our intention that it allows you to see the progress we are making, as well as the work that must still be done.
For questions, contact the UCO Office of Inclusive Community.
A Letter From Our Assistant Vice President
I joined the UCO Office of Inclusive Community in November 2021, after having worked in various roles as a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) leader. It is indeed an honor to work collaboratively with the UCO Bronchos community in leading DEIB efforts.
This annual report, reflecting July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022, was compiled by the UCO Office of Inclusive Community, to share progress and exhibit the trajectory of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives at UCO. This is not a comprehensive narrative, but a document that broadly showcases key efforts and initiatives that engage areas of DEIB within the campus community. Our university is at an exciting time of engaging in the challenging work of advancing inclusion on our campus through inclusive thinking, equity-minded learning and transformative dialogue.
The diverse perspectives and experiences of our students, faculty and staff are essential to our ability to achieve excellence in research, transformative learning and innovation. On an inclusive campus, all students, faculty, staff and guests have a sense of belonging, respect others’ right to belong and have an equal opportunity to thrive and fully contribute. Fostering such a climate requires a sustained and long-term commitment, which acknowledges that engaging diversity and difference is hard and sometimes uncomfortable work.
The past year reflects that UCO has increased inclusion-related resources, spaces and faculty/staff associations (affinity networks). As an institution, we aspire to be an inclusive community in which individuals of every gender, race, ethnicity, religion, affection orientation, ability and socioeconomic status can flourish.
While we acknowledge and can be proud of the progress we have made, we know that inclusive excellence will always require our undivided attention and full engagement, as we still have room to improve and grow. We are committed to amplifying a campus culture that nurtures belonging, enriches learning and development, enhances research and celebrates similarities and differences in which all members of the community can thrive and succeed authentically.
We are appreciative of the work of our campus partners, and especially grateful to our colleagues who serve on the Committee on Diversity, and those who led the development of the Inclusive Community Strategic Plan. Together we can continue to build inclusive excellence on our campus and throughout our community
Jennifer Williams Molock, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Community
Office of Inclusive Community
A Department of People and Culture
A Year of Beginnings
The 2021-22 academic year was a year of beginnings for the UCO Office of Inclusive Community. We began working under the direction of a new assistant vice president – Jennifer Williams Molock, Ed.D., who joined us in November 2021, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the university level. Cristi Moore continued in her role as the inclusion strategist focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) education, research, metrics and strategic initiatives.
The implementation phase of the Inclusive Community Strategic Framework began with the intention of inclusive excellence being woven into the institutional strategic plan. We began facilitating new intercultural learning experiences across campus and planning the expansion of our office with the addition of the student-facing Office of Diversity and Inclusion, effective, July 1, 2022. Through these beginnings, we have adapted and grown. We accomplished much through this past year of change and now look forward to continuing that work with our numerous partners throughout the UCO community.
A Brief Summary of Our Work
In collaboration with several campus partners, including the Committee on Diversity, our Faculty and Staff Associations, Information Technology, The Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Inclusive Community has advanced diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) at UCO.
- We reimagined and restructured the Inclusive Community Response Team, allowing for more efficient tracking of the campus environment with regard to inclusive excellence.
- Through the Committee on Diversity, the Native American Student Association, the Native American Faculty/Staff Association, the Diversity Round Table and in collaboration with our Indigenous community partners, a universitywide land acknowledgment was established to recognize whose land we work, live and learn on.
- We developed an informational and actionable land acknowledgment website and ongoing workshops that guide faculty and staff on how to fully engage with a land acknowledgment. Additionally, we presented this workshop at the National Conference for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.
- Our team advanced diversity education through the development, curation and facilitation of multiple DEIB and cross-cultural learning experiences. Those created and facilitated by Inclusive Community include:
- Inclusive Leadership workshops;
- Operationalizing Equity workshops and online course;
- Recognizing, Reducing and Responding to Microaggressions workshops and online course;
- A Discussion on Equity-Mindedness workshops;
- Intercultural Development Inventory administration workshops;
- Intercultural Humility workshops;
- Engaging With Land Acknowledgment workshops;
- Understanding Systemic Racism learning journey; and,
- Inclusive Hiring Workshops
- We collected and analyzed UCO workforce and student demographic data, as well as demographic data of the OKC metropolitan statistical area to develop a diversity dashboard. The purpose of the dashboard is to identify representation gaps to prioritize specific strategies that advance equity.
- In partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, we facilitated the Diversity Leadership Institute, coaching our students to engage in inclusive and equitable leadership practices within their communities.
- To create more inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments, we developed and distributed an interfaith and important dates calendar highlighting dates that might affect student, faculty and staff attendance or participation.
- Through the work of the Inclusive Community Strategic Plan Steering Committee, an Inclusive Community Strategic Framework was developed to guide colleges and departments as they engage in internal assessment and dialogue aimed at implementing actionable strategies to improve the learning and success outcomes of students who have been systemically marginalized.
- In partnership with the Faculty Equity Advocate, Alyssa Provencio, Ph.D., we met with the leadership of each college and division to introduce strategies for operationalizing DEIB within their units.
- To help our campus partners advance their inclusive hiring practices, we developed the Building an Inclusive Department guide and provided inclusive hiring workshops. Additionally, we worked with Human Resources to expand job board resources to include those boards with a focus on reaching systemically marginalized communities.
- We developed and awarded the inaugural Inclusion Champion Award. Timothy Petete, Ph.D., was the first recipient in 2021.
- We reviewed UCO policies and operational norms to provide more equitable alternatives.
Disaggregated data helps institutions determine and prioritize inequities. This dashboard contains OKC metro, UCO student, faculty and staff demographic data, collected and disaggregated to identify representation gaps in an effort to prioritize specific strategies that advance equity.
This chart is a snapshot of the distribution of faculty, adjunct, staff and student self-reported race/ethnicity and sex at UCO compared to the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area's (OKC Metro) racial/ethnic and sex distribution. Filter by sex and race/ethnicity by selecting the sex/es from the "Filter by Reported Sex" menu. The demographic data for the OKC Metro was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 Census, five-year estimates. The faculty, adjunct and staff demographic data was pulled from Paycom and represent all employees who were active as of May 2022. The student demographic data was collected from the Office of Institutional Research's Broncho Analytics and represents all students who were enrolled as of spring 2022.
Practicing Inclusion and Equity Across UCO
The following is a collection of nominations for the Inclusion Champion Award submitted to the Office of Inclusive Community from faculty, staff and students recognizing specific individuals and groups for their diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work at UCO. The winner of the 2022 Inclusion Champion Award was UCO staff member, Barry Lofton.
2022 Inclusion Champion Award Recipient
For the past 30 years, Barry Lofton has served as a subject matter expert for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives across the university. Lofton has continually received millions of dollars in grant money to facilitate programs specifically designed to ensure the recruitment, retention and persistence of minoritized students, such as veterans, students with disabilities and non-traditional students. The hard reality is that whenever top leadership has a question about how to proceed regarding DEI strategy or process, they most assuredly engage Lofton in conversation, proof of the fact.
Camille has worked with the Hispanic Success Initiative since its launch, participating in workshops and activities that have been impactful in helping students understand their own voice and agency. She has actively supported the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in their events, bolstering their resources, and collaborating with the Women’s Research Center. As a part of the STLR team, Camille has been the first point of contact for students who may come to UCO feeling marginalized. She has been an advocate for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), suggesting that STLR consult with ODI to award three scholarships to their students from the proceeds of the Student Transformative Learning Endowment.
To bring additional transformative learning experiences to our College of Business (COB) Student Success Workshops, Niccole Miller worked with Tat Wei (David) Teh on a STLR project to produce a new international success workshop called, What's Up with Culture? Teh developed a partnership with the Office of Global Affairs (OGA), the Centre for Global Competency (CGC) and the International Student Council to create and present the workshop. The workshop covered tips for international students to overcome culture shock as they adjusted to U.S. culture.
Shay Beezley, Library Metadata and Cataloging Team
Shay Beezley and the Library Metadata team led the following projects: removed Sexual Minorities as a catch-all for LGBTQIA+ from library metadata and identified new controlled vocabularies to use instead; coordinated and wrote the library's inclusive metadata statement; started a Library DEI Committee; developed a way for the UCO community to report offensive or harmful terminology found in the library's online repositories; organized Zoom symposium titled Metadata Justice in Oklahoma Libraries and Archives; presented on the process of creating inclusive metadata statements for other libraries; and, replaced the letter N with B in call numbers for materials by, about or relating to Black people.
Lindsey Churchill and the Herland Digitization Team
Lindsey Churchill secured a donation from the Herland sisters including books, magazines, periodicals and more pertaining to gender and sexuality. She and the Herland Digitization team have scanned these items to create a digital repository. History does not often center these voices, leaving these groups feeling isolated and misunderstood. With access to the perspectives of the people who have come before them, this project has the potential to empower people with the wisdom of those who have been pushed to the sidelines.
Sophia Clark took on the chairship of the College of Liberal Arts's Good Trouble Task Force (the interdepartmental diversity, equity and inclusion committee) during her second year on the faculty, and has kept up an energetic schedule of meetings and events, gaining the committee a good reputation with faculty and making a palpable difference to the recognition and valuing of diversity throughout the college.
Jared Scism created programs that help international students on campus feel included and at home. In this time, when we are so divided along the lines of gender, race, health, ability and more, Scism has created spaces where students can interact with diverse cultures and learn about them in a positive way. Along with Nicole Warehime and Caroline Bentley, Scism created the Intercultural Competency course, in which students learn how to successfully and respectfully interact with international cultures, as well as the many diverse domestic cultures here.
Mass Communication's Desiree Hill is an advocate for promoting inclusion and diversity within her academic classroom and labs and has gone above and beyond this past year in growing the student-led podcast program "Central Diversity." She co-wrote and received a grant to highlight race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, ethnicity and minority groups in Oklahoma through the National Endowment for Humanities. Additionally, she has reached out to various departments on campus in spotlighting various diversity and inclusion programs to the students she advises.
In collaboration with other campus groups, Cianfrano created exhibitions and programming centering on social and environmental justice issues. She was a co-pi for the William T. Grant Foundation Research Grant on Reducing Inequality. She also created the university’s first permanent zine library and zine workstation, which centers on intersectional feminism and features topics on activism, gender, race and art, as well as personal zines about identity from LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC authors.