When news of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the airwaves in January, little did we know how much it would change our lives two months later. For those of us who are on the frontlines, advocating for greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in our organizations, policies, practices and actions, during “good” times there are persistent challenges to make sure EDI is front and center. In light of our current global situation, some would contend that EDI advocacy and work has been marginalized further, making EDI invisible in the rush to get things done and confront this pandemic as it threatens to change our way of life, forever. However, all is not lost as I perceive ways in which EDI is showing up in the COVID-19 narrative. In this second video post, I talk about the March 18, 2020 letter from NADOHE (National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education) which prescribes 9 action steps of best practices for Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) in response to COVID-19, and give some examples of what we’ve done at Ryerson University: https://youtu.be/qfXif26P5RY
In the NADOHE letter, entitled “COVID-19 and the Role of the CDO and DEI Leaders in Higher Education”, the following is highlighted:
- Handling crisis is not new to us. As a profession we have become adept at it.
- We must lend our collective voices and reason to respond to COVID-19 as we do in all situations of conflict: with respect, awareness of the experiences of others, and care for all.
- We must continue to be active in speaking for those who are marginalized or left without resources financially, technologically or socially.
- Prescribe 9 action steps that outline best practices for this short-term.