The new members of Bard Graduate Center’s 2021–22 Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion Working Group (DEAI WG) met on September 21 and October 5 for introductory meetings facilitated by Ama Codjoe, BGC’s consulting director of equity and inclusion. On September 21, the group discussed team dynamics and possible subgroups. On October 5, Carla Repice, BGC’s senior manager of education, engagement, and interpretation, gave a presentation on the History of DEAI at BGC.

2021-22 DEAI Working Group Members
Ebony Allen-Reece, security officer
Emma Cormack, associate curator
Daniel Chamberlain, first-year MA student
Freyja Hartzell, assistant professor
Jesse Merandy, director of Digital Humanities/Exhibitions
Laura Microulis, research curator
Sebastian Moya, technical services and systems Librarian
Alexis Mucha, associate director of sales, marketing, and rights for publications
Soon Kai Poh, Conservation as a Human Science Fellow
Antonio Sánchez Gómez, alumnus
Samuel Snodgrass, second-year MA student
Leonie Treier, PhD student
Maggie Walter, coordinator of marketing and communications

DEAI Working Group Roles
Alexis Mucha and Freyja Hartzell will serve as the DEAI WG co-chairs. In this role, they will be responsible for facilitating and scheduling monthly meetings, creating monthly agendas, assigning roles, supporting sub-groups with timeline reminders, and supporting the working group with notes, recaps, and next steps after monthly meetings. Sebastian Moya will serve as the DEAI WG note-taker, logging and sharing meeting minutes in order to keep the group on track. Maggie Walter will serve as the newsletter representative, who will communicate the DEAI WG progress to the general public through BGC’s institutional newsletter.

In the October 5 meeting, four potential subgroups were discussed:
  • Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning

  • Digital/Research Accessibility

  • Gallery/Exhibitions

  • BGC Community Experience

These subgroups will be confirmed in the late-October meeting, and separate subgroup check-ins will follow.

Community Agreements

The new DEAI WG discussed community agreements in order to keep members on track.
  1. Be present.

  2. Take space, make space.

  3. Be open to giving and receiving feedback.

  4. Be transparent.

  5. Document work and share honestly.

  6. Be mindful of people’s time.

  7. Keep the ultimate goal in mind: a more equitable BGC.

Next Steps
The full DEAI WG will meet in late-October, November, and December to discuss overall goals and subgroup progress. The subgroups will meet monthly between those meetings to begin their individual work.

Hiring Workshop
In September, Samantha Baron, director of administration, and Ama Codjoe, consulting director of equity and inclusion, held a workshop for BGC department heads about hiring practices that built on the work of the last DEAI Working Group’s Hiring Toolkit committee’s work. Those practices are being implemented in searches under way for open staff positions.

Racial Justice Training
Ama Codjoe, consulting director of equity and inclusion, conducted racial justice training for all incoming BGC students in September. In November, members of the new Visitor Services team will all participate in racial justice training conducted by Race Forward.

Equity and Inclusion Consultancy
Codjoe has also been convening residencies around DEAI topics with BGC departments. Her current residency, with the Department of Research Collections, is focused on team building and DEAI goal setting.

Department of Research Collections
In addition to their meetings with Ama Codjoe, staff in the Department of Research Collections continues to meet bi-weekly to work on three areas of focus for our department:
  • Collection development / acquisitions practices

  • Collection analysis and description

  • Programming and access

We are currently in the initial stages of identifying tangible short- and long-term goals, and hope to have more to share by the end of the semester.