Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

Committee Goals

  • To serve as an information hub for department and university policies regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • To help develop plans for enhancing equity, diversity, and inclusion among the department’s undergraduates, graduate students, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty, including through recruitment efforts.
  • To seek out best practices for promoting equity and inclusion in our classrooms, meetings, and events.
  • To provide resources for graduate students to develop professional and pedagogical tools related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • To assess departmental climate and recommend ways to ensure that the department is welcoming and supportive for all its members.
  • To explore and build connections between equity, diversity, and inclusion among members of the department’s community and our research, teaching, and public events.

Subcommittees

Curriculum and Pedagogy

Madeline Gambino
Jonathan Gold
Elaine Pagels
Kristine Wright

A fundamental project for the Department of Religion is confronting and overcoming biases along not only religious lines, but also those of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class. In addition to interrogating these biases in and around religious traditions, the Department is cognizant of the field’s historical role in constructing harmful categories of difference. The study of religion is motivated by the conviction that learning about the world’s many religious traditions enhances and enacts a commitment to diversity, and helps students and faculty develop the essential skills of identifying and circumventing biases.

This subcommittee provides resources for faculty and graduate students to engage themes of equity, diversity, and inclusion in their teaching by promoting Department of Religion courses that fulfill the undergraduate General Education requirement that promotes understanding of Culture and Difference (CD). The committee also provides resources for faculty and students to consider how the study of religion contributes to confronting and overcoming bias beyond the CD designation and for pedagogical approaches to inclusive teaching and teaching about diversity.

Department Climate

Kimberly Akano
Rebecca Faulkner
Kerry Smith
Chapman Sklar

This subcommittee works with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to administer an anonymous climate survey to evaluate information about the academic environment and general climate in the Department of Religion. The committee also explores policies, practices, and initiatives to protect community members from discrimination in their professional lives.

Events

Jonathan Gold
Eziaku Nwokocha
Judith Weisenfeld

The Events subcommittee focuses on providing opportunities for members of the Department of Religion to explore how the study of religion intersects with questions of diversity and inclusion. The committee proposes an annual theme and reviews student proposals for departmental funding for events related to that theme.

Graduate Recruitment and Support

AnneMarie Luijendijk
Victoria von der Leyen
William Stell

This subcommittee works with faculty and other graduate students to develop and implement plans for recruiting a diverse pool of graduate applicants and creating an inclusive environment for graduate students in the department.

Subcommittee members also serve as resources for prospective graduate students who have questions about the department’s climate regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion.