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Lesley University Diversity Council

Lesley University Diversity Council (LUDC) is the longest-standing University initiative around diversity and inclusion.   

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Over time, the mission has evolved as student activism on campuses nationwide has demanded a comprehensive and critical examination of power, privilege, and oppression.  

This all-volunteer organization has a modest budget funded by the President to co-sponsor events, and meets annually with the President and Chief Diversity Officer to discuss accomplishments for the year at the annual retreat in May. We use a shared leadership model, with Chair and Vice-Chair positions rotating each year between faculty and staff.  

Three Pillars of the Council

Community Think Tank

Think tank sessions occur during monthly Diversity Council meetings. This is a space for Lesley community members to problem solve, coordinate, and collaborate on any issues and initiatives that have arisen on campus.  

For example, if a group is planning an event and would like feedback from the rest of the community on their ideas, the Think Tank is a great place for that conversation. In addition, if an individual or group has noticed a problem or concern related to diversity and equity on campus, the Think Tank is a place to discuss causes and brainstorm possible approaches.  

We prioritize having a tangible outcome and suggestions, not just conversation. We work together to create ground rules that ensure safety for all involved. Our hope is that we can create a consulting, resource-sharing, and problem-solving space for all Lesley community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.). We invite you to contact the Diversity Council at diversitycouncil@lesley.edu if you would like to contribute an idea to the Think Tank time of our monthly meeting. Please also help us to make students aware of this resource.  

Teaching, Learning, and Development

Our work in this pillar is collaborative with other offices that provide diversity and equity training for students and staff. Examples include LU101 and the First-Year Experience, the Diversity Practitioner Program, and meeting the training needs of transfer and adult learners, graduate students, and staff.  

While we support the annual Cultural Literacy Curriculum Institute, our focus is not on faculty development, as other offices are committed to that role.  

Programming and Sponsorship (our sponsorship application is now online)

The Diversity Council plans and hosts one major diversity-related event per semester. Additionally, our mission is focused on collaboration and sponsorship. We are available to provide funding, guidance, and support for any other group hosting an event on campus. Our streamlined event sponsorship application is online and we work to coordinate events calendars with the University at large.

Key Initiatives 

Monthly Meetings

Diversity Council 2019-20 Meetings: 

Second Thursdays, Alumni Hall, 11:00 am-12:30 pm 

FALL                           SPRING 

Sept. 20                       Feb. 13

Oct. 10                         Mar. 12

Nov. 14                        Apr. 23(Joint UC/DC)

Dec.12(Joint UC/DC)  May 7 Annual Retreat 

Diversity Practitioners Program 

The Diversity Practitioner Program is a group of volunteer faculty and staff who work to engage community members in diversity-based developmental activities (i.e. training, workshops, and diversity action planning) in a manner designed to increase the level of self-awareness of individuals and their ability to engage within and across differences. 

The purpose of the program is to provide a developmental experience for students and staff that will allow for awareness building, identity development, intercultural skill development.  

Ways to get involved 

  • Attend monthly meetings in person (see schedule under Monthly Meetings)
  • Participate in monthly meetings electronically via Zoom (email diversitycouncil@lesley.edu
  • Read meeting minutes (email diversitycouncil@lesley.edu for Sharepoint link) 
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    diversity@lesley.edu)  
  • Apply for an event co-sponsorship

Steering Committee Membership 

  • Maritsa Barros, Chair 
  • Deb Spragg, Vice Chair and Think Tank Chair 
  • Kyle Machado, Events and Communication Chair 
  • Janet Sauer, Teaching, Learning and Development Chair
  • Brittany Gonio, Secretary