Hosted by: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Date: November 22, 2013

Over 90 diversity professionals from across the state and representing 11 different institutions, convened at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the North Carolina Diversity and Inclusion Partners (NC DIP) Fall 2013 Conference, “The Architecture of Inclusion.”  Held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, participants gathered to hear and share ideas on the practical work of building diverse, inclusive communities in higher education. Click NCDIP 2013 Fall Conference Program to view a pdf version of the program.

Keynote: Susan Sturm, George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, Columbia Law School

The focus of the conference, “The Architecture of Inclusion,” is a concept that keynote speaker Professor Susan Sturm is deeply familiar with. Sturm is the George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility at Columbia Law School, as well as the founding director of Columbia’s Center for Institutional and Social Change.  She has conducted in-depth studies on workplace equality, institutional change, and the transformative power of diversity and inclusion, and has applied her knowledge to developmental projects funded by the Ford Foundation.

At a time of growing inequality and shrinking confidence in our country’s ability to address the complex problems facing our communities, higher education institutions are key to building societal capacity for meeting these challenges. Sturm offered a new institutional framework for integrating diversity and equity, publicly engaged scholarship, and student success initiatives with each other and with higher education’s core values.  This “full participation” framework focuses on creating settings that enable people—whatever their identities, backgrounds, or institutional positions—to enter, thrive, realize their capabilities, engage meaningfully in institutional life, and enable others to do the same.

Sturm described a process that builds the architecture for full participation by linking projects, people, resources, practices, and networks, and building these values and practices into the hardwiring of institutions.  She showed how this strategy is responsive to the legal risks exemplified by the affirmative action case before the Supreme Court.  She also highlighted the risks and challenges that accompany full participation work, and strategies for navigating them.  Sturm also conducted a workshop for participants to enable them to engage with the challenges and opportunities for advancing full participation at participants’ home institutions.

Sturm’s address was followed by afternoon sessions with Rachel Glickman and Jane Ehrenfeld from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, who presented on Title IX regulations and compliance, and William Crews from the North Carolina Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.