Balancing broad support for Faculty of Color (FOC) while also honoring their individuality
How can schools support FOC [Faculty of Color] broadly while also honoring the intersectional identities inhabited by each individual person?

Balancing broad support for Faculty of Color (FOC) while also honoring their individuality is an important one. It is crucial to foster an inclusive environment that doesn't inadvertently marginalize individuals by reducing them to a single identity. Here are some strategies to consider:

Intersectional Approach: Encourage an intersectional approach when discussing diversity and inclusion. Acknowledge that individuals have multiple identities that intersect and influence their experiences. Ensure that these intersections are recognized and addressed in your communication, programs and initiatives.

Diverse Representation: Promote diverse voices and perspectives within the decision-making processes and leadership roles. This helps avoid tokenism and ensures that the different voices of FOC are heard in meaningful ways.

Individualized Support: Provide space for FOC to express their unique needs and concerns. Offer support and resources tailored to the specific challenges “they” may face, while also recognizing that there may be common issues that affect the group as a whole.

Cultural Competency Training: Invest in cultural competency training for all staff and faculty to promote a better understanding of different cultures, backgrounds, and identities. This can help create a more inclusive environment that acknowledges and respects individuality.
Feedback Mechanisms: Establish feedback mechanisms where FOC can share their thoughts and suggestions openly. This can help in fine-tuning language, communication and initiatives and most importantly, ensuring they align with the needs and desires of the individuals you aim to support.

Celebration of Diversity: Organize events and activities that celebrate the richness of cultural diversity. Highlighting the unique contributions of individuals while fostering a sense of belonging can counterbalance broad support.

Continuous Learning: Promote ongoing learning and growth in the area of diversity and inclusion. This should include not only awareness of broader issues but also an understanding of the specific concerns faced by FOC.

Allyship: Encourage allyship among the entire faculty and staff. Allies can play a crucial role in supporting FOC while also advocating for individuality and diverse experiences.

Balancing broad support and honoring individuality is indeed a delicate task, but with commitment and a genuine desire to create an inclusive environment, it can be achieved.

Warren Reid
Founder & CEO