The University Communications Diversity Committee is a group of communicators from across the division with a variety of skills, knowledge, and visions. They represent the various areas of communication, e.g., video, graphics, writing, web services, social media, as well as those who work exclusively in central communications or are housed in particular units or colleges.They meet regularly, generally two times a month, as well as with stakeholders within and outside communications on an as needed basis.
Committee members work on creating and updating the Diversity Action Plan, under the guidelines of the Division of Equity and Inclusion. Members work to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive communications division and ensure that university communications represents all community members and is culturally responsive and responsible.
This committee’s work is broad in range including, for example, recruitment and retention issues, diversity educational and professional opportunities, policy implementation, and more. Additionally, members have both a professional and personal commitment to work on furthering their understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
In 2016, each administrative unit, school, and college was asked to create a Diversity Action Plan—DAP. DAPs were to be in line with the president’s priorities and the IDEAL Framework—Inclusion, Diversity, Evaluation, Achievement, and Leadership, and were to identify tactics, measures, resources, and lead personnel. A UO Communications DAP was originally created in 2017.
In 2019, a Communications Diversity Committee was formed to update the initial Diversity Action Plan for communications and to focus on other needed diversity work. The current DAP includes focus on recruitment and retention of diverse staff and raising the level of cultural awareness of staff to help create more culturally conscious communications across platforms. The committee has also organized and executed a number of diversity trainings, activities, initiatives and events for the communications division.
Meetings were paused in 2020 because of the pandemic and moving to remote work. When the committee resumed a few months later, timelines had to be altered as needed and the critical need to navigate the ongoing pandemic and resurgence of Black Lives Matter/Stop Asian Hate issues.
Members represent the various areas of communication, e.g., video, graphics, writing, web services, social media, as well as those who work exclusively in central communications or are housed in particular units or colleges. Current members:
- Debbie Williamson, co-chair
- Charlie Litchfield, co-chair
- Laura Bottem
- Lesli Larson
- Krystin VanderMeer
Recent and on-going Projects:
- Prioritizing and enacting Diversity Action Plan items and continuing to update and refresh plan
- Creating guidelines for diversity component for evaluations
- Integrating diversity questions, requirements and framework for all communications hiring committees
- Diversity Professional Development:
- Me and White Supremacy study groups project
- Continuing book groups and/or study group options
- Creating content for all staff meetings to address broad and specific diversity and equity issues
- Lunch and learn/educational opportunities
- Conversations with stakeholder groups
- Outreach and relationship building with stakeholder groups
- Supporting and suggesting communications diversity initiatives
- Working in consultation with University Communications leadership and Equity and Inclusion leadership
Do you have an individual or a team whose accomplishments or actions addressing equity, inclusion, or diversity issues at the UO should be celebrated?
Use our shout out form to help recognize their accomplishments!
Gemini group (presented diversity training to communicators)