March Newsletter: Inclusion
- President's Post
- Volunteers needed for Anti-Racism Series
- Monthly Community Impact Award
- JASPA Networking Coffee Hour
- Innovation Grant Application Process for 2021
- JASPA 5-Year Institute Update
I went to St. John’s University in Minnesota for college. A key factor in selecting St. John’s was my admissions counselor. He was funny, generous and smart. He went to a high school similar to mine and he grew up in a small midwestern city just like I did. My 17-year-old-self aspired to be like him; in fact, I distinctly remember feeling I could see my future self in him.
When I arrived at St. John’s, I thrived. I couldn’t get enough of college and all it had to offer. Around every corner there was an upper-class student, a professor or a staff member who was inviting me into cool and meaningful experiences. Engaging was easy, I was surrounded by people who could easily relate to me and in whom I could see parts of myself.
Years later when I started working in Catholic higher education, I recognized an interesting and welcome phenomenon. As a relatively young staff member, I met many administrators who could see in me a younger version of themselves. Many of those individuals generously went out of their way to help me grow and advance my career.
I’ve had the opportunity to live with, work with and be mentored by people of color. There is another blog post to be written about those ongoing lessons. The point I want to make here is that the influential admissions counselor and most of the upper-class students, professors, staff members and administrators I describe above looked like me.
Representation matters. Mentorship matters. Learning and advancement matter.
As Jesuit colleges and universities, we need to step on the gas as we seek to diversify the ranks of our students, faculty, staff and senior leaders. Our students’ success, and our colleagues’ success, depend upon it.
Representation, of course, does not equate to inclusion or equity. We need to ensure our schools are advancing representation, inclusion and equity in tandem. On our campuses, all students, staff and faculty should see people who look like them, experience a sense of belonging, and benefit from systems that ensure all constituencies have the equitable opportunities to learn and advance.
Translating these aspirations into reality will take a lot of work. I am grateful for our colleagues who gathered yesterday for part two of our three-part series on a mission-based approach to addressing anti-racism. At the end of the day, we will be judged not by our goals but on our outcomes. These sessions are inspiring and equipping us to improve our outcomes. Details on the final session in this series coming soon.
Dave Johnson, PhD
Volunteers needed for Anti-Racism Series
Facilitators are needed for the 3rd event in our online enrichment series which will focus on institutional anti-racism work. This session is a collaboration with the Conference on Diversity and Equity and will be held in April. More details will be available soon regarding the date, time and facilitation guide. If you are interested in leading a small group in this “Call to Action” event, please indicate your interest through the following link.
For more information, please contact Jean Griffin, Vice-President for Online Enrichment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly Community Impact Award
We continue to recognize members of the JASPA community who are creating innovative ways to integrate our Jesuit values into student affairs work on their respective campus. The purpose of the JASPA Community Impact Award is to highlight a program, service, publication or institutional commitment that embodies the values of Jesuit higher education. Awardees are selected monthly to showcase best practices integrating Jesuit mission and identity to inform our student affairs work. The nomination form for the February Community Impact Award can be found here.
Nominations are due on Friday, March 19, 2021.
JASPA Networking Coffee Hour
Innovation Grant Application Process for 2021
Each year, JASPA will award a limited number of grants for the purpose of applying current research to address pressing issues in Jesuit student affairs. While proposals for all projects/programs that address the goals and values of JASPA are welcome, special emphasis will be placed on those that are focused on efforts promoting diversity and inclusion. Between $8,000 and $10,000 will be available to fund these initiatives each year.
Proposals will be accepted until all funding is dispersed; however, priority will be given to proposals received by Monday, April 5, 2021. Decisions will be made and communicated between May and June, and grants will be awarded in the new fiscal year. More information about the process (including the link to the online application) can be found here: https://www.jesuitstudentaffairs.org/cpages/grants.
Please contact Michelle Bata at email@example.com if you have any questions, and/or if you are interested in serving on a committee to review grant applications. The commitment of reviewing applications will be limited to a period of a few weeks during April.
JASPA 5-Year Institute Update: Looking Forward to 2025
While we look forward to the day we may be able to gather in person again, we know that time is not this summer. As a result, the JASPA Executive Board, in collaboration with the 2020 5-Year Institute Planning and Host Committees, has decided that we will not move forward with the 5-Year Institute at this time. We will instead turn our sights to 2025. The Executive Board is incredibly grateful to the 2020 Planning and Host Committees for their leadership, creativity, and commitment. We are also grateful to all those who submitted presentations. Even though we were not able to engage with each other as we hoped at the Institute, we all remain heartened that so many talented and dedicated professionals are educating our students and each other on our campuses. Information for 2025 planning will be shared in the coming months.
A Word from Our Sponsor
A recent survey found that 60% of Gen Z consumers say that they are supporting local businesses during the pandemic and will continue to shop locally post-COVID-19. Now more than ever, people are focused on staying healthy and supporting their local community while understanding the impact of their choices. In higher education, local partnerships make buying and providing local goods on campus easy. Discover how local vendors strengthen the campus experience today.