Dear GW Community,
As we transition to virtual learning environments due to the COVID-19 crisis, we remain committed to fostering the most inclusive and equitable community. This commitment should be at the core of our academic experiences, student organization meetings, staff interactions, virtual social gatherings, and all other GW related activities. Now more than ever, we need to be purposeful about embodying our GW values: integrity, collaboration, courage, respect, excellence, openness, and diversity.
While the spread of COVID-19 has led to an increased sense of community for some, we know that the crisis has also put a spotlight on inequity and hatred in our nation and in the world. Incidents have been reported to the university since the rise of the virus and the university may see an increase in bias-related behaviors and hurtful experiences. These behaviors do not align with our values. Those who take part in creating a hostile environment will be held accountable through our university processes and policies against various forms of discrimination and harassment. The university’s Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, Anti-Retaliation, and Non-Retaliation policy contains information about available pathways for filing a report. Members of the GW community may also report any bias-related experiences during this period of virtual learning through the Bias Incident Online Reporting form.
Our Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) provided guidance to support us as we continue to move forward. Below you will find five documents with links to additional resources:
- Addressing COVID-19 Related Bias & Discrimination
- Maintaining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments: Guidance for Faculty
- Disability Support Services for Virtual Learning
- Digital Accessibility Checklist for Faculty
- Title IX Protections and Responsibilities During the COVID-19 Crisis
ODECE remains available through [email protected] and all of the staff are accessible via email too. We encourage you to reach out to ODECE if you have questions about the documents above and of course if the team can be helpful in providing further guidance. Staff in Student Rights & Responsibilities, Title IX, and the Office for Advocacy & Support are also prepared to engage members of our campus community virtually.
We want to thank the dedicated staff in the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement for their ongoing work to support and promote equity and inclusion on our campus. We are also grateful for so many other faculty, staff, and students outside ODECE that take up the charge of promoting a diverse and inclusive community. GW will emerge from this crisis better and stronger than ever if we do it together.
M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement