The Stephens College Offices of Equity and Compliance: A Journey Toward a Just, Equitable, and Inclusive Campus

OCTOBER 27, 2021 | 9:50-10:20

Presented By:

Shaashawn Dial, Sady Mayer Strand

Session Description:

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Stephens College Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Shaashawn Dial; Title IX Coordinator, Shannon Walls; and ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, Sady Mayer Strand began meeting weekly via Zoom for connection and collaboration. Out of these meetings, came a vision for a triad:  the three offices acting as one Equity Offices entity to support each other’s offices and initiatives. Our vision was to increase visibility of the three offices as well as create policies, protocols, and procedures for DEI that compliment and connect to the regulations of Title IX and ADA—and promote education and awareness regarding diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion.

We rebranded ourselves as the Equity Offices, created easily accessible individual and joint websites, reworked old equity policies and reinstated new ones, and doubled down on our efforts to serve residential, online, and continuing education students as well as faculty, staff, and alumnae. Initially, we jointly authored seven newsletters and created facilitation for the three R’s of equity: rights, responsibilities, and reporting; presenting regularly to faculty, staff, and students. In an effort toward equity excellence, Shannon Walls used her Title IX knowledge as well as guidelines from ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators) to develop a thoughtful and thorough process for investigating reports of ADA, Title IX, and/or DEI discrimination against students, employees, vendors, and visitors.

To educate and encourage DEI change, Shaashawn Dial created an engaging, informative, and thought-provoking Summer 2020 THINK.SPEAK.DO presentation series. Later during the 2020-2021 academic year, she invited key facilitators to offer campus presentations—which she moderated—on disability rights, gender equity, the multigenerational workforce, and self-growth.

In the space of one year, our triad has laid the groundwork toward hopefully making our small campus a more just, equitable, and inclusive environment.

Video & Transcript:

Shaashawn Dial

Inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Stephens College

Sady Mayer Strand

Student Success Center Director and ADA/Section 504 Coordinator

Stephens College