Recently 14 faculty, staff, and students from the NC State Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences piloted a two-day diversity and inclusion bus tour as recipients of a 2014-2015 NC State Diversity Mini-Grant Program award. Sponsored by the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity & Diversity, through the Office of the Provost, 27 proposals were submitted for review and 9 projects were funded. Dr. Nichole Huff, on behalf of the Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences, was the PI for the project.
The two-day bus tour was designed to specifically align with the aims of the NC State Diversity Mini-Grant Program and was in accordance with the strategic plans of NC State University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The mission of the Tour was:
To encourage YFCS faculty, staff, and students to build and sustain a department dedicated to welcoming and promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as maintaining an applied, academic environment that is committed to serving all youth, families, and communities in and beyond North Carolina.
To actualize this mission statement, Dr. Huff tailored the inclusion efforts to capture diverse and/or underserved populations in central North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem). Stops included a mixture of educational and immersive, experiential activities designed to increase exposure and awareness related to Civil Rights and Racial Diversity; Cultural Diversity; Diversity in Sexual Orientation; Gender Equity; Socioeconomic Diversity; and Interfaith Collaborations.
North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Tour activities included visits to and/or presentations by The GLBT Center, NC State University (Raleigh, NC); the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Greensboro, NC); the Diggs Gallery, Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC); John F. Kennedy Magnet School, Juntos Program (Winston-Salem, NC); the Piedmont Interfaith Council (Winston-Salem, NC); the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, Duke University Human Rights Center (Durham, NC); and the Peach Road Community Center (Raleigh, NC).
Project effectiveness was evaluated through feedback provided by participants, which unanimously demonstrated that the original objectives were not only met, but were exceeded. One participating faculty commented, “I found this trip to be compelling in so many ways, most notably by pointing out areas in which we have so much potential for growth. As the information was presented or as we engaged in various activities and discussions, I saw new ways to relate to students and to infuse diversity issues in the content of my teaching. I also can see ways in which this “collective experience” can make it possible for faculty members to collaborate on curriculum development, new courses, new student placements, and even student recruitment.”
Three student representatives from the Department participated in the tour. One commented, “There was so much great information and experiences, which were covered during such a short period of time, it was amazing. The tour exposed and connected me with resources, which I am not sure I would normally seek out to find myself. As a whole, this tour was honestly one of the best educational, influential, and moving experiences I have ever had.”
The YFCS Department intends for the North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Tour to serve as a model that can be replicated in subsequent years by other colleges and departments within the University to promote diversity and inclusion education in North Carolina. We are committed to running the tour based on interest from others at NC State on a cost-recovery basis and plan to replicate the tour as an annual professional development experience in our department.
The Final Report is available from the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.
Link to Facebook photo album.