Response and Action Steps to the Black Action Plan
As a department, our mission is grounded in listening to the voices within our community and serving as allies, educators, activists, and service leaders. The Department of Community Service has read, reviewed, and discussed the demands and progress of the Black Action Plan. Over the recent years, our team, both professional staff and student leaders, have engaged in numerous conversations centered around social identities, race, and the lived experiences of the volunteers that engage (or may not engage) with our department. Although the Department of Community Service has been intentional with programming over the years, we acknowledge that we have room for growth. Through engagement in conversations, training, and as always, listening to the voices of our community, we have outlined some action steps for us to continue to ensure we are inclusive, anti-racist, and that our values, core competencies, and learning outcomes are embodied by each of our campus and community partners. This brief document outlines a glimpse into the training/professional development of our staff and students (recent past and future), policies, programs, and communication plan in response to the Black Action Plan.
In staff conversations, we also brainstormed a variety of other programs and opportunities that will require additional resources (staffing, time, research) to advance forward. The action steps above are not to represent singular moments in time, but rather create a framework for ongoing conversations, programming, and leadership of the department. As we advance forward, the department will make a commitment to celebrate and uplift differences, and consider equity by ensuring all marginalized populations are represented and supported throughout the department. We commit to elevating our voices when we witness moments of racism and when our social identities are not being celebrated. We seek the partnership of our students, staff and faculty colleagues, community partners, and alumni in this important work. If you have questions, suggestions, or comments please feel free to reach out to any member of the team or Lucas Malo, Director of Community Service.
Please note that in the vast majority of instances and action items when students are referenced this includes both undergraduate and graduate students.
The Department of Community Service strives to center 4 overarching themes throughout this document and a variety of strategies for implementation and systems to ensure this work is in the ethos of our daily work. Our overarching themes are:
- Develop practices that support and ensure that all members of the Brandeis student community engage affirmatively and skillfully across social, cultural and philosophical differences.
- Redefining the communities understanding of service
- Establish and maintain community partnerships that center the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Develop a staff team grounded and informed in the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Dozens of strategies to meet these overarching themes are structured within (yet often extend out) of the categories of funding, representation, redefining service, training and support.
The Department of Community Service is committed to reviewing, updating, and reevaluating our progress and action steps on this plan every quarter through a departmental meeting and at least one annual meeting with the Dean of Students Office or ODEI. We also commit to communicating those updates through website updates, annual reports, and social media. The purpose being for community and campus transparency, collaboration and accountability on overall progress and action steps and ensuring racial justice work is integrated in all efforts by the department.