Through both the 2016 DIAP and 2021 DIAP Phase II, Brown has committed to focus on improving the climate and culture within and across departments. The University also is dedicated to increasing engagement with communities in Providence and throughout Rhode Island.
The Division of Campus Life has continued to invest in programming, space and staffing for student centers, including the Brown Center for Students of Color, Undocumented First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLi Center), Global Brown Center for International Students, LGBTQ Center and Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. Support also has been expanded for the Student Activities Office and the Office of Military-Affiliated Students.
The centers were strengthened with the hiring of two new staff in two centers, expanding positions in three centers, and increasing funding for programs across these centers.
The U-FLi Center was established and officially opened on Sept. 16, 2016 (initially named the First-Generation College Student Center, with a name change to reflect a more inclusive mission in subsequent years).
Since the DIAP launched in 2016, Counseling and Psychological Services has increased the number of therapists from diverse backgrounds and changed its model to increase its capacity to support students.
The College has doubled its emergency fund loans to support the essential and critical living and learning expenses of low-income students. Brown also replaced loans with scholarship funds in financial aid packages for all returning and incoming undergraduate students as of the 2018-19 academic year. In addition, the University increased efforts to enhance support for the lowest income students at Brown to address food insecurity and provide access to textbooks.
In addition, Brown has extended its need-blind admission policies to include prospective students who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces; increased financial support for veterans; made standardized test scores optional for veterans in the admission process; and strengthened recruiting through a new partnership with the nonprofit organization Service to School.
Professional Development Day was initiated in spring 2016 and is now an annual event occurring each year in February for faculty and staff, engaging over 400 people in discussions related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The Diversity and Inclusion Lunch Series was initiated in fall 2016, offering four sessions per semester. In collaboration with University Human Resources, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity released an e-learning training module for faculty, staff and students on unconscious bias in spring 2019.
The Department of Public Safety has implemented mandatory training for its officers in conflict resolution and de-escalation, cultural competency, unconscious bias and procedural justices. DPS officers have also participated in workshops to expand their knowledge around issues related to sexual harassment and sexual violence (Title IX), fair and impartial policing, and supporting members of the LGBTQ community.
Brown’s Office of Government and Community Relations chaired the Community Engagement Working Group, composed of key staff members from community-facing departments and centers on campus, as well as senior administrators. The working group created a survey to inventory, strengthen and coordinate community-facing programs that currently existed, identified gaps in services and provided information that led toward promoting the University's positive impact on Providence and Rhode Island.
The Community Engagement Working Group Report is available online. The report recommendations led to the creation of the Education Working Group in the 2018-19 academic year and the Education Task Force in the 2019-20 academic year. Chief among these outcomes was the creation of Brown’s education coordinator position, based at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.