- Build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive department by applying the lens of social justice and anti-racism in our actions.
- Identify and address policies and practices that are barriers to creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for our faculty, staff, and students.
- Be proactive, intentional, and transparent in how we communicate our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts.
- Remain open and have an ongoing dialogue with faculty, staff, and students around DEI issues and concerns.
- Lead facilitated discussions to strengthen our ability to respond to personal and institutional racism and become a more inclusive and diverse department.
- Review and update our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Plan which identifies several goals, objectives, and strategies for improving diversity and inclusion in teaching, students, faculty and staff, engagement, and research.
- Provide opportunities to share feedback across the department (e.g., listening sessions, anonymous feedback form).
- Align our DEI efforts with University-wide efforts led by President Gabel and the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), as well as those led by the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources (CFANS) and its Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).
How We Define Diversity
Our definition aligns with the University. It is our responsibility as an institution—as part of our commitment to creating a welcoming and affirming climate—to serve and support the following individuals and groups at the University of Minnesota:
- American Indians and other indigenous populations.
- People of color, including underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations.
- People with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities.
- People who identify as women.
- People of various gender and sexual identities and expressions.
- First-generation students.
- Individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, national origin, ethnicity, or veteran status.
What You Can Do
- Look inward and engage in learning. We invite you to start with the anti-racism resources collected by CFANS ODI. Other resources, including training opportunities, can be found by visiting the University’s OED website.
- Join the conversation. All are welcome to participate in the FR Diversity & Inclusion Committee, a space where we encourage Forest Resources students, staff, faculty, and community members to attend and contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the Department. If you would like to attend a meeting, please contact Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, for details.
- Take action in your sphere of influence.
- Be humble about where you’re starting from and commit to change.
- Lead with empathy—both for others and for yourself.
- Solicit honest feedback about your own behavior from a trusted colleague or friend.
- Share what you learn with those closest to you.
- Encourage the Department of Forest Resources to seek input on how we’re doing as a department.
- Be prepared to report overt discrimination when you witness it.
- Call out microaggressions.
- Acknowledge and address your own microaggressions.
- Amplify the voices of marginalized people.
- Understand that being an ally is an ongoing process.
- As CFANS ODI Director Jody Gray reminds us, "This is everyone’s everyday work."
I hope you will join me in ensuring the Department of Forest Resources actively fosters an environment that is anti-racist, diverse, equitable, and inclusive for our faculty, staff, and students.
Professor and Head, Department of Forest Resources