October 5, 2020

Central to the mission of Arcadia Abroad is preparing students for lives of meaningful contribution in an increasingly complex and interrelated global society. We strive to enact this core value through cultivating communities of engaged teaching, learning, and practice for students, faculty and staff. In fall 2018, the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force of the College of Global Studies was formed to meet the needs of our students and sending institutions, in tandem with the advent of the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusive (JEDI) task force launched by Arcadia President Ajay Nair. One of the first charges of the Task Force was to do a thorough inventory and make recommendations for the future of Arcadia Abroad.

Out of this work, in spring 2020, the College Council on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (The Council) was formed along with our College-wide call to action, the Inclusive Excellence Plan. The Inclusive Excellence Plan (IEP) is inspired by the The Association of American Colleges and Universities' Inclusive Excellence framework. Inclusive excellence must be infused not just in our rhetoric, but in the steps we take. The IEP provides a road map for building a culture of inclusive excellence for Arcadia Abroad. Working groups organized under five broad goals involve over 50 staff members world-wide, but this is the work of all members of Arcadia Abroad. We are answering President Ajay Nair's call to be radical changemakers and placing equity, diversity, and inclusion at the core of our work.

One key goal of the Council is to support and offer training for staff around the world to understand issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in an American cultural context. Examples of summer training and discussion series include: required Coursera course on Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History; open sessions for all members of The College about racism in the US and the protests launched after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery; and a book and podcast discussion group (first topics: The Privileged Poor (book) and Being Black and British (BBC podcast)). This work is ongoing.

Arcadia Abroad is committed to fostering a welcoming environment for our entire global community: students, staff, faculty, and beyond. As our work continues, so will the opportunities for dialogue within our community. We welcome your input and suggestions and value your contributions to these critical initiatives.
We invite you to join us for an open session to meet the members of The Council on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and to hear about the work of the Inclusive Excellence Plan Working Groups. Please join us on Tuesday, December 8 from 11-12 pm EST. Click here to register.