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The Indiana Daily Student

IU offering new diversity certification program

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IU’s fall 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Certification Program is set to begin next week on Sept. 8. In the upcoming program, participants will explore diversity, equity and inclusion through historical data, theoretical frameworks and first-hand accounts. 

According to an IU news article, the new program develops and supports current and emerging leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors. The program’s expert-led classes are designed to help organizations become more inclusive by teaching their leaders to be equitable managers and allies.   

“This program specifically is for folks who want to be more DEI-informed in the way they lead organizations,” Monica Johnson, IU’s associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, said in an interview with the Business, Equity and Opportunities podcast

DEI-informed leaders, she said, are the type of people who want to be equipped to lead diverse organizations, work with people from a variety of backgrounds and help those people find a sense of belonging in their company.  

“Build a company that is prepared to adjust to the needs of an ever-changing world.” Johnson said. 

The 10-week program consists of five units and combines two in-person meetings with seven online sessions. These sessions include keynotes from industry leaders, interactive case studies, and assignments that are designed to prepare participants to work, lead and live in today’s diverse world. 

“Through this program I have found my voice in order to create change within my own workplace and within my own community,” Tanya Jones, lecturer and undergraduate coordinator in the IU School of Public Health, said in a video

The program will coach participants on recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse workplace, as well as discuss topics such as philanthropy and community engagement. 

Race, gender and socioeconomic status will also be studied, focusing on how these factors impact instruction, assessment and leadership. 

When people see someone who has come through the IU DEI Leadership Certification Program, Johnson said, she wants them to know they’re seeing a person who has been challenged to see both new and old problems. 

“They’re going to be working with a person who has read considerably, who has engaged in critical conversations and who has been challenged to come up with solutions for today’s problems and not just problems that are reinvented or reimagined,” Johnson said.  

Johnson said participants can carry their certification proudly, knowing they went through a program that involved more than watching a couple videos online. 

“They’re going to be in live, instructor-led courses,” Johnson said. “They’re going to be working with professionals from across the state, across the country at times, working on improving their leader tool bag.” 

The programs instructors include DEI leaders from across the state, such as Director of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino affairs, DEI Director for the Indianapolis Colts, Indygo’s Director of DEI and Teammate engagement and more. 

“We have folks who are coming from all across the world,” Johnson said. “All across different identities and backgrounds, who have been working professionally in spaces that... are also diverse, that are in human resources, that are in tech.” 

Participants will learn to assess their own organization’s status as a diverse community and receive guidance on how to improve.  

This fall’s keynote speakers are Alexander Jun, a professor at Azusa Pacific University, Anne Mitchell, director of strategic operations/initiatives at IU, Vicky Hidalgo, head of early in career talent at Nordstrom, Karrah Herring, Indiana’s chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer and David Humphry, Assistant Vice Chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at University of Colorado Boulder.  

To register, participants must have at least five years of experience in a public, private or non-profit organization. They must also be open to feedback, be able to self-examine and be willing to challenge their beliefs and biases.  

Participants must also hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent according to the program website. The program costs $2,500 and does not include travel. To learn more, visit deicertification.iu.edu 

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