Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success

Strengthening and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University

The VCU Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success (IES) launched the VCU Non-discrimination Training on Oct. 28, 2021. The purpose of the VCU Non-discrimination Training is to provide all VCU faculty and staff with a common foundation of concepts related to non-discrimination and equity in the workplace. The training is one way IES sustains its commitment toward a more inclusive and equitable university community.

During 2018-19, the national climate led to an increase in concerns of discrimination both nationally and at VCU, with heightened pressure for the university to respond expeditiously and transparently. By 2020, there was a clear need for civil rights compliance training to address concerns about discrimination in the employment context.

The Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan (EEO/AAP) office was operationalized in mid-2021 by Cleo Magwaro, LL.B. (Australia), LL.M. (U.S.), associate vice president for institutional equity. This reimagining and reframing of civil rights and equity was in response to VCU’s need to specifically prevent and respond to non-discrimination concerns unrelated to discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities, which are handled by the Title IX office. The non-discrimination training was implemented under the new EEO/AAP office so all VCU faculty and staff have access to non-discrimination and equity resources. The office is part of VCU’s civil rights Equity and Access Services (EAS) and has purview over VCU’s non-discrimination policy.

As a civil rights compliance and best practices effort, mandatory training provides a common baseline foundation regarding expectations in the workplace. The nondiscrimination training is a proactive first step in preventing, redsponding to, and eliminating discrimination.

“Because of [VCU’s] human-centered approach to civil rights outreach and support, the non-discrimination training will remove structural barriers of reporting, enhance openness about expectations in the workplace and expedite efforts towards a VCU culture that supports our core values of mutual respect and civility, which in turn supports inclusivity and the retention of a vibrant and diverse workforce,” said Magwaro.

EAS is scaling its outreach and support services to provide additional training in the future. The office encourages VCU faculty and staff to further explore non-dscrimination and equity concepts through resources such as IEXcel’s RAMmalogues series, where faculty, staff and students can engage in dialogues on important social and cultural topics.

The VCU Non-discrimination Training must be completed by Jan. 21, 2022. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Equity and Access Services training coordinators at LearnEquity@vcu.edu.

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