Updated: Oct 28, 2021
By: Kristen Beachy
The policy statement for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Ohio Wesleyan University states that “Ohio Wesleyan University recognizes and celebrates that each member of its community is unique and that diversity is both essential to and a highly-valued principle of the University as a site of learning and work.”
To make sure the DEI policy statement is implemented on campus, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) was created. Chief Diversity Officer, Dawn Chisebe, has been working with other members of the council to ensure that the DEI policy statement is followed through on campus. More recently, Dawn Chisebe and the DEIC council members have been “working through providing workshopping and training opportunities, centering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and anti-Racism, for faculty and staff on campus,” said Chisebe.
Chisebe went on to say that they are “in our second iteration of a workshop series through Mosaic Education,” which is a Black-owned space in Columbus. The DEIC has also been facilitating discussions on campus about inclusive language on campus. Likewise, the Council is working on what training and programming will be for the upcoming academic year. Chisebe as well as the Council have “Laid the groundwork for the OWU DEI Dashboard,” said Chisebe. Another member of the council, Jason Timpson, the Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, has helped with student programming as well.
These events that promote DEI on campus can be found on OWU’s event calendar on their website. Some of these events include “lunch and learns” as well as Zoom links and scheduled events that promote DEI. Examples of these events include "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Fraternity & Sorority Life" and “Being White in the Anti-Racism Movement” presented by Jason Timpson, and “At the intersection of Queer, and Latinx Identities”, presented by Sergio Gonzalez.
Along with events that support DEI on campus, there are many clubs that promote DEI as well. For example, Black Men of the Future is a club “committed to providing the OWU community with a strong, positive image of Black men,'' stated on OWU’s website. Another club, Viva Latinx, gives students the opportunity to provide tutoring for children and adults who want to learn English as a second language. Another club and also SLU is the Sexuality and Gender Equality House (SAGE), which works to raise awareness and provide support in the areas of feminism, women's issues, and LGBTQ+ issues.
In addition to events and clubs that promote DEI on campus, many SLU’s promote DEI on campus as well. For example, the Butler A. Jones House of Black Culture is a SLU on campus that houses 10 students, named after former sociology professor Butler A. Jones, who was known for his work with race relations and the Civil Rights Movement. This house promotes Black culture and serves as a safe space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students. Another SLU that promotes DEI on campus is the Citizen’s of the World (COW) House. This house is home to a diverse group of students from all over the world as well as students from the U.S. COW promotes DEI in many of their house projects, such as one in which students made dumplings for other OWU students that had facts about the Chinese New Year written on the packaging.
Ohio Wesleyan University has implemented DEI on campus in many ways through various events, clubs and even SLU’s. Along with the DEIC’s review of DEI on campus, students have helped to implement DEI on campus with many student-led events as well as clubs on campus. With the help of everyone on campus, the implementation of DEI on campus has been brought to light and will help everyone in the campus community to grow and succeed.