Villanova in Action: Diversity and Inclusion Week

This year’s Creativity Challenge, presented by the ICE Institute, asked faculty and staff teams for innovative solutions that would create an inclusive community representing all perspectives of a 21st century society. VSB’s Marketing and Communications Team took this challenge to heart when creating Villanova University’s Diversity and Inclusion Week, a holistic and sustainable approach to bring attention to diversity.

The Villanova Diversity and Inclusion Week would occur annually and encompass Villanova faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The week’s objectives would be to stimulate conversation and raise awareness about diversity and inclusion on campus, as well as provide an outlet for discussion and contemplation among students and other members of the Villanova community. A highlight of the idea is its sustainability, with the potential for a week-long celebration occurring every year with the help of diversity officers and designated faculty and staff.

The week includes daily activities and special programs meant to provide an entertaining and engaging approach to discussing diversity and inclusion on campus.

• For Monday’s event, Villanova would sponsor a poetry slam with other Catholic Universities via simulcast, inviting students to share their creative works on diversity and inclusion.
• On Tuesday, the University would offer training on micro inequities to the community of faculty, staff and students, which would stimulate thoughtful, constructive conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion.
• Wednesday would feature campus murals, inviting the community to create and submit murals about diversity and inclusion around campus.
• Thursday’s event would see Villanova hosting a TedX series on diversity and inclusion on campus that would be open to faculty, staff and students, with a professor from the peace and justice department who specializes in this topic sharing their ideas with the student body to ignite a campus-wide conversation.
• On Friday, the idea recommends that Terry Nance, the Assistant Vice President of Multicultural Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, announces diversity officers for each college and university-wide office. These officers would serve a one-to-two year term and provide ideas and leadership in the planning of future events.
• The week would culminate in the National College Diversity Summit, a multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural event that establishes coaching and mentorship relationships and would help Villanova students learn more about diversity and inclusion.

“The ICE Creativity Challenge encouraged our office to think on a very large scale about the issues we see on campus and in our own communities concerning diversity and inclusion” added Shannon Wilson, the Assistant Director of Communications for VSB. “We wanted to develop a big idea that would encourage discussion and raise awareness, but that would also be sustainable and have the potential to be a permanent yearly event on Villanova’s campus.”