Amber and James discuss how WVU is educating and preparing students for a global economy. To compete in this landscape, WVU seeks to attract people with different skill sets, backgrounds, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This podcast brings to the forefront our ability, as a University, to bring together our collective differences to encourage innovation, engagement, and creativity. Additional resources related to training and recommended readings can be found at diversity.wvu.edu.

Transcript

Hi everyone. And welcome to this week's episode of the Online Roadmap Podcast, West Virginia University Online’s podcast series. Today, we are joined with James Goines, who is the director of Equity Assurance and Title IX. And he's going to talk to us a little bit about diversity, equity and inclusion. So thanks for joining us today, James.

So I always like our guests to go ahead and take a minute and just really introduce yourself and your position with the university. And tell us a little bit about, yeah, just who you are and what you do. Yes. Well, you know, my name is James goons Jr. And I'm the director of equity issuance and Title IX coordinator.

So w and it's regional campuses. So basically, I'm responsible for showing the university is in compliance with all federal regulations in order to governor's policies that prohibit discrimination, and also our prevention and education programs that we have here. Thank you so much. So talking about DEI, we knew that stands for diversity, equity and inclusion.

And can you tell us a little bit about what that means to WVU, to, you know, our students or faculty or staff, parents, just the community in general. Yes. So, you know, w is in the business of NG, became the parents students for a global economy. So if we want to compete in this climate, we have to attract people with different skill sets, different backgrounds, different experiences.

So we can have a diversity of thought, diversity of opinion. And, you know, we said shows that diverse, inclusive environments lead to increased innovation. Creativity and production. And that's what we want for our faculty and staff and students at WVU. So when we're talking about diversity, w we're talking about the presence of differences, we're talking about the collective mixture of all human beings and that identities most visible, invisible, historically institutions and individuals have used those differences to exclude intimate assault, employment, and educational opportunities.

My office basically exists to make sure that Institute, that our institution is in compliance with all federal regulations to prevent Libyan for discrimination. But if we won't talk about diversity, a diversity by itself is not enough. You have to talk about diversity and equity. It's not enough just to have different people here.

We have to treat all people fair when they get here. So when we're talking about equity, we're looking at systems that our institution and finding ways to continue to enable by structures, policies, and processes that may. Being able to be their full self in this space. So equity is about fairness and making everyone making sure that everyone has a fair playing field with most of what category they may or may not be the most important and why I want to come to w feel included.

And to me, inclusion is about creating a space where people feel valued, where they feel welcomed, where they feel respected, supported. And encourage, and three inclusion is a practice. It's about behaviors. It's about the way we communicate with codes to win your feedback. The way we evaluate when we promote is a far more than just allow it, diverse people will be present on our campus.

And so I ensure that that's what the average, whatever it mean. And those. Yeah. Yeah. It's super important to feel like you belong right. And a sense of community within the institution. So I think that's a great way to put it, James, thank you so much. So as an online students what DEI resources are available to students who are taking classes online or in fully online programs with that?

So our online students have the same rights and privileges that are on campus students and have access to the same resources. And of course, that includes options for investigations, with supportive measures and accommodations, if necessary. And what I was suggesting, our online students spend some time on our website at diversity.wve.edu where students can learn about Diversity Week and how to get involved.

They can have access to our new, the classroom, the classroom, to participate in a number of different trainings that we offer. I think in learn about diversity ambassadors and few advocate programs and how to get involved. I would also suggest that our students spend some time looking at that recommended reading and podcasts list and listen to some of the good music that we have on there.

We also have some important links that all successful services are black hole. And the LGBTQ plus center, we have a number of resources as well, online students. That's awesome. Are these resources on the DEI website, James, or what would be the best way to access that information? Yes. If you would go the diversity that then he, that EDU you'll find all of these resources, all this infamous.

All right. That's perfect. Thank you so much. I think it's important to share that so they know how to get there. So that's, that's great. Thank you. And we know Diversity Week misspeak week at the university. So can you tell us a little bit about the varsity week and what our students. Any events that may be available for online students, so that use any of the bursting.

We can demonstrate, promote celebration, education, and understanding that different identities experience that are present on our campuses in aims to create an atmosphere, to provide a civilian community, including our students, faculty, and staff, the opportunity to explore different cultures, engage in discussions and perspectives.

Celebrate the presence of a contribution made by people of all identities and experiences. So we're excited that this year, the theme is a cultural conversation, celebrating the social significance of ethnicity, and it's designed to provide them with the opportunity to explore the ways that ethnic and ethnic identity is linked to sheer social, cultural, historic.

Experiences that can be a source of pride and belong while also being a source of conflict and prejudice. So several of these events will be hosted virtually with those being hosted. In-person also often extremely options for our online students. That's awesome. I love hearing the virtual options.

That'll be a great opportunity for students who mine and live out of state. So I think that's awesome. So where can students find resources on the different laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to DEI web. Well, like you mentioned before, you can find all of this information on our website at Diversity.

That doesn't mean that you are specifically under the equity insurance section. You'll find information related to our board governance rule 1.6, that contains our non-discrimination statement and non-discrimination policy. You'll find the information on Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title IX. Education. And then with the 1972, you'll find information on the NDA. You'll find all types of information that a person might find. Very good. Very good. And we know that Diversity Week is obviously big at the, at the institution. We love students to get involved in that, but what are some other DEI initiatives that are currently active at WVU?

Well, we've got some things we're excited about. We recently launched our DEI classroom. The hope is to allow individuals in our campus and product community to participate. And trainings and educational opportunities without having to belong to a group that's already receiving these trainings. We want our trainings and learning opportunities to be more accessible to small groups and interest in individuals.

So people can have access to that. And listen for a second, inclusion has been working out the leaders as well as them, you community, to develop a diversity communities and communities in all of our schools and colleagues and unions, and many of those committees already up. I will continue to collaborate with others on campus and activate this new committees.

And we also have our diversity ambassadors program, which is comprised of a group of students that serve as an extension to our office who have represented the division and spread our mission as services among their peers that we have. Club unity, which is designed to be a trial weekly gathering for students to dance, enjoy easy to build community.

That's going to expand social culture interaction as well as provide an overall community feeling of wellbeing and togetherness. That's just the name of a few things, but students are interested in launching that and will need help with programming. They can also reach out to us for support just because it doesn't already exist.

Doesn't mean it candidates. Good. Very good. And talking about students reaching out with, with interest. I know we have a lot of students who reach out and might want to mentor or be an ambassador or have a DEI committee. If they're interested in doing that, how, how would they go about getting involved?

Like, is there phone numbers, emails, should they be reaching out to certain departments? What's the best way for students to get involved? Well to get involved in the DEI community, students should reach out to their respective school or college DEI committee chair whose contact information can actually be found on the adversity w website, or they can contact us directly at diversity at mail that you provide that information to them.

Personally, if Susan and rest and get involved with the diversity ambassadors program, they're encouraged to reach out to Eisley and her name is also on our website. And if you look on the staff section, so our students can definitely just go to the website mostly, right. And find all of the information that they need.

Yes. We're all there. Understand that and find me there. They will find vice-president Nisha for they can find in general, if they're interested in being a peer advocate or something of that nature, we're always looking to have students. That's awesome. And I know our online students, sometimes it's hard because they're not on campus, right.

So they miss out on some opportunities. So it would be good to be able to get more, more of our online audience involved as well. So we appreciate you taking some time to meet with us today and talk about DEI and just the importance of that at the university and within our student body. So I appreciate the time that you've given us today.

Thank you so much, James. Alrighty. And guys, we will see you all next week on our next episode of the Online Roadmap Podcast. Thank you.