Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
CTE takes pride in contributing to the university's Spiritan mission of providing education as an enriching experience for all members of our community. CTE's commitment to fostering the development of the whole person means that our definition of diversity is intentionally fluid so as to allow for continued expansion and inclusion of all identities. That said, it is worth acknowledging that our definition of diversity currently includes (but is not limited to): race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, class, religion, disability, age, military status, visa status, economic status, geographic location, language/linguistic ability, neurodivergence, and current/past involvement with justice systems. It is also important to note the complexities of identity that emerge when multiple diversity aspects intersect.
The staff at CTE consistently work toward developing and maintaining an acute awareness of our own personal identities and how those identities have informed our approach to experiences, situations, and other individuals. At CTE, we believe that understanding who we are (our historical social context, values, goals, and biases) informs every aspect of the teaching and professional development in our educational environment. As such, we encourage all instructors and students to reflect on their own context and positionality as well so that they can work toward addressing and eliminating (intentional and/or unintentional) endangering behaviors that imperil the richness that diversity can, and does, provide classrooms and departments.
CTE also recognizes the historical lack of diversity that has troubled universities, including our own, for too long. Interconnected with discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a trauma-informed approach to education and learning environments. Trauma, defined broadly, is any event that causes bodily, emotional, mental, or spiritual harm and/or heightened distress. However, trauma is not limited to singular events like a car crash or the loss of a loved one; trauma can also be induced incrementally over time. Every person processes life's events differently due to a variety of factors, this means there is no way to put limits around "what counts as trauma." Consequently, trauma is whatever an individual reports as traumatizing. Many individuals are impacted by the cultural trauma of racism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other forms of prejudice. Being aware of this trauma and creating educational spaces that can carefully and empathetically address and move through traumatizing content is central to creating inclusive learning environments that allow the diversity of each whole person's lived experiences to flourish through deep and meaningful engagements with course content. It is just as necessary to create these healthy and informed learning experiences for students as well as for ourselves and our peers.
Inclusive Teaching at Duquesne
We encourage all instructors to participate in our Inclusive Teaching Challenge and review the inspiring work of their peers in our Inclusive Teaching Showcase. We also encourage you to look over this guide for Inclusive Syllabi Design inspired by What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching (Stylus 2021).
University Centers and Resources
Interview with Resmaa Menakem (Author of My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies)
"What I Wish My Professor Knew" Video by First-Generation and/or Low-Income Students at Stanford
Additional Online Resources for Promoting Diversity