Since the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, BGC has moved forward with the following efforts around diversity, equity, access, and inclusion at the institution.

Alumni Dialogues

In response to the Open Letter BGC alumni sent to Susan Weber, Peter Miller, the BGC Board of Directors, faculty, and staff in August, BGC requested that Ama Codjoe, independent social justice consultant, plan and facilitate a series of discussions between alums and other members of the BGC community. At the first, on October 25, alumni spoke directly to the BGC community about their concerns and hopes for the future. At the second, on November 10, alumni, along with the entire BGC community, learned more about the efforts of the DEAI Working Group and other DEAI initiatives at BGC. At the final meeting, on December 8, alumni will discuss how they would like to be involved in BGC’s DEAI efforts going forward.

Racial Justice Training

By the end of this semester, all BGC students, faculty, staff, and members of the board of directors will have attended mandatory racial justice training sessions. Ama Codjoe conducted training for students during the month of September, and faculty, staff, and board members will attend training sessions facilitated by Equity Allies in December.

DEAI Working Group

BGC’s DEAI Working Group (Amy Estes, Minna Lee, Meredith Linn, Earl Martin, Caspar Meyer, Laura Minsky, Emily Reilly, Carla Repice, Hellyn Teng, Heather Topcik) held its first meeting of the 2020–21 academic year in late September. The group discussed for the first time formalizing how it communicates its work to the BGC Management Committee (director/founder, dean, chief operating officer, chair of academic programs, chief advancement officer) and completing the work outlined in its May 2020 recommendations to the Management Committee by the end of the calendar year.

Group members agreed to rotate note taking responsibilities and to share a summary of those notes in BGC’s monthly newsletter. In addition, the group will report to BGC’s Management Committee about its activities on a monthly basis.

Working Group members broke into three teams, focused on Curriculum, Hiring, and Student Recruitment, to create action plans. The Curriculum team plans to develop and implement an online toolkit for inclusive curriculum design that supports classroom practice and communicates BGC’s values around diversity, equity, access, and inclusion to current and potential students.

The Hiring team will create a general hiring toolkit for BGC that includes a set of guidelines on best practices in hiring and recruitment with attention to the particular needs of different departments. They convened a focus group, in collaboration with the director of administration, to learn from BGC managers what successes they have had and what challenges they face in hiring. In addition the Hiring team plans to make hiring policy recommendations that build on BGC’s current practices and to develop a New Hire Orientation Guide to support departments in orienting new staff members.

The Student Recruitment team will conduct research and make recommendations about the recruitment and admissions process. Research will include gathering information on diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in current recruiting, admissions, tuition, and financial aid practices, both at BGC and at comparable programs, with the aim of understanding what is successful, what isn’t working, and what are the factors that influence success, including those that are under BGC’s control and those that are not. The team plans to use its research to formulate tangible, actionable recommendations for consideration by the director of admissions for the current and upcoming recruiting cycles.

At the October meeting, Working Group members devoted most of their time to working on their team projects. During the final half hour of the meeting, the group discussed the plan for reporting to the Management Committee and presenting at the November 10 Alumni Dialogue. The group held an additional meeting in early November to discuss plans to represent BGC’s DEAI efforts on the website.