Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP)
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Inclusion and Equity Resources During the COVID-19 Crisis

Training Resources

The Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity is committed to maintaining an inclusive environment for the entire Brown community during this difficult time. We are working with our partners across campus to ensure we continue our collective work of promoting diversity and equity — now primarily through virtual interactions.

We must actively seek to promote empathy and understanding to reduce stigma associated with the current coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes on its COVID-19 webpage that fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to stigma that results in the mistreatment of individuals. One of the best ways to address stigma is to remain informed about the facts related to the pandemic by visiting the CDC webpage and Brown’s COVID-19 website.

As we continue to manage most operations remotely, we are writing to remind the Brown community of the following:

  • We call on all staff, faculty and students to promote an atmosphere of respect and facilitate a sense of belonging in all interactions, whether virtual or in person. Acts of hate and unlawful discrimination or harassment have no place in our community.
  • If you believe you have experienced bias or unlawful discrimination or harassment at Brown (on campus or virtually), there are several resources in place to support you. Visit the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity Incident Reporting page for information on resources and the process to report a bias incident or how to file a complaint of unlawful discrimination or harassment. You can also report bias to the Department of Public Safety by calling 401-863-3322. Additional information about reporting bias or a hate crime is also available on the DPS webpage.
  • Be mindful of the ways in which a crisis can impact various communities and how individuals from different backgrounds (race, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) may have varying responses to the same situation based on their lived experiences. Be cognizant that during a global crisis there may be increased tension and heated discussions. If these moments lead to a bias incident occurring, you can report incidents of bias to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity for resources and support information.
  • Use good judgment when communicating about the pandemic. Never use the term “Chinese Virus." Refer to the virus as either “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” in both oral and written communications. Do not use derogatory terms that target certain communities — particularly those of Asian descent in this instance.
  • Ensure that your materials are accessible for individuals who may be differently abled. For video meetings with Zoom, you can record the meeting and enable captions that will appear when the video is downloaded. You can also utilize the chat box feature to share written notes, which can be saved and shared later.
  • Use language that exhibits respect and sensitivity to all constituents you are communicating with (students, staff, faculty). As one example, you can use generic greetings like "Dear Students" or "Good Morning, Staff," when addressing a class or large numbers of individuals in emails, announcements and video conferences to avoid gender-specific language.
  • Be kind. Be flexible. Be adaptable. Remember that people may be operating with limited resources and could have additional stressors during this time (family member ill, family member lost a job, parenting and teaching children, etc.).

Please review the Brown Statement on Bias and Hate and the statement on civil rights during COVID-19 issued by the Rhode Island Attorney General. For general questions about diversity, equity and inclusion at Brown, please contact us at institutional_diversity@brown.edu.

Tip Sheets

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References and Resources

All members of our community are encouraged to use the Brown University COVID-19 website for the latest updates and view the references and resources listed below for additional information.