Diversity & Inclusion

Wesleyan is an academic community where women of different faiths, different colors, DIFFERENT ABILITIES, and different sexualities learn from and grow with one another. 

Our students are a small, close-knit community of women who are richly diverse. On average about one third of our students are African American and about one quarter are international students. Our small population provides an ideal setting for all students to interact with each other on a personal level, and our diversity provides our students the opportunity to build relationships with people very different from themselves.These experiences improve the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and collaborate harmoniously with others.

Under the direction of Tonya Parker, assistant dean for equity and inclusion, the Office of Equity and Inclusion provides support, advocacy, and intentional learning opportunities to engage all campus community members in the understanding and awareness of inclusive practices and to foster equitable working, living, and learning shared spaces and environments.  

The Office of E&I provides diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops, training, and webinars for all campus community members, including student-focused training for first-year students, club and organization leaders, resident advisors, orientation leaders, peer mentors, and major ambassadors.  

Parker also chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Board (DIB) of Students, a group that meets regularly to discuss and address diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus, awareness and acknowledgement of cultural celebrations, host campus community forums, offer and participate in workshops and trainings, and provide support for each respective club’s events and programs. DIB members serve as leaders of inclusivity on campus and work together to meet the needs of our diverse student body. 

Opportunities to explore and engage in equity and inclusion at Wesleyan are as great as your willingness to get involved and expand your experiences:

  • participate in Diversity Dialogues and Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID)
  • intentionally get to know members of the Wesleyan campus community and open your mind to learn from them and share your own experiences
  • share resident space or become study partners with people who have different beliefs, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds than your own
  • participate in cultural events and celebrations, such as the annual International Student Festival
  • join diverse student clubs and organizations, such as AXIS (Association of eXemplary International Students), BSA (Black Student Alliance), GLBAL (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual ALliance), LUC (Latina Unity Club), and the Diversity and Inclusion Board (DIB)
  • attend convocations that focus on topics outside of your major or your direct interests

 

Diversity and Inclusion Goals

The overall goals of diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives at Wesleyan College are:

  • increase self-awareness and self-knowledge, promote critical and reflective thinking
  • stimulate productive and effective dialogue
  • recognize, realize, and work together to overcome any obstacles that hinder us from advancing to appreciation and celebration of the individual differences in our campus community 
     


Diversity and Inclusion Board (DIB)
A student-led Diversity and Inclusion Board will begin this fall under the guidance and support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. DIB's goals for students include:

  • gain a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities as members of our diverse community
  • develop skills of inclusive leadership, valuing and involving all members of each group for their unique contributions
  • increase self-awareness and self-knowledge by learning with and from others whose experiences differ from their own

     

Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID)
The assistant dean of students for diversity and inclusion and the faculty diversity liaison lead six student leaders through a Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID) process that gives them context to develop skills in facilitation and conflict resolution. DID is the most recent project in our ongoing partnership with the Interactivity Foundation to help our students develop collaboration, facilitation, and critical thinking skills. In DID, students facilitate discussions among their peers, record what they find, and share the results with faculty. DID is a part of an intense campus focus on exploring who we are and how we can live in true community with each other. We plan to extend the program to help our students facilitate DID discussions among high school students, students at other colleges, and others in the community. Our vision is for the facilitators to then help train new facilitators in expanding circles around us.

 

WISe Lab: Appreciating Differences

This workshop for all first-year students helps them understand the benefits and obstacles of diversity and how to work past challenges to become more inclusion-minded.

Students will

  • understand how their biases and thoughts affect their behavior
  • explore the many facets of diversity and how individuals fit into each dynamic
  • gain an understanding of essential and effective vocabulary in discussing diversity
  • explore ways to appreciate and include people who are different from themselves
  • complete a workshop evaluation - stories and reflections on things learned and experienced will be shared

ALWAYS FIRST FOR WOMEN, ALWAYS FIRST FOR YOU!

Alumnae Tonya Parker smiles for the camera

MEET TONYA PARKER ’01

Tonya Parker is the assistant dean for equity and inclusion. Parker, a 2001 graduate of Wesleyan College, previously served as the director of education and outreach at the Tubman Museum of African American Art, History, and Culture, and as the executive camp and program director for Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Inc. Parker’s primary focus is to support students from diverse populations and preside over the student-focused diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives at Wesleyan. Some of her goals include stimulating productive and effective dialogue that promotes reflective and critical thinking, and creating opportunities for campus members to work together to overcome obstacles that hinder us from advancing to acceptance, appreciation, and celebration of the unique, individual differences present within our campus community.

Photo by: Lisa Crosby

 

 

The Office of Equity & Inclusion ensures that Wesleyan College remains committed to equality in educational opportunities and abides by federal and state laws including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Wesleyan does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

This office also administers the policy on discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct and directs the investigation of complaints concerning these matters. Prohibited conduct includes any form of harassment, discrimination, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual violence and related misconduct, including interpersonal (relationship) violence, stalking and any form of retaliation. You can learn more about how our community supports this commitment by searching for “compliance” on the Wesleyan College website. If you have experienced discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual exploitation, interpersonal violence, or stalking, you are encouraged to seek assistance and the help that best meets your needs by contacting Tonya Parker, assistant dean for equity & inclusion, at tparker@wesleyancollege.edu or (478) 757-4028.

Additionally, the Office of Equity & Inclusion is committed to supporting students through engagement, cultural awareness, diversity dialogues, workshops, and inclusion trainings. Through this programming, we work to create a more inclusive and culturally aware environment for all campus community members.

 

 

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Calendar of Events

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