Equity in Action

An Inclusive Practices Series for Faculty & Higher Ed Professionals

The Aspire Alliance is excited to host a six-part seminar series built upon work developed through Aspire's Summer Institute, which was piloted in June 2020. The seminar series is grounded in Aspire's Inclusive Professional Framework and the Collective Impact professional development Aspire has done internally focused on understanding our work on a continuum between social equity and social justice. Through this collaboration we will offer two seminars this fall and four through winter/spring 2021.

Sessions are offered at no cost, are 1.5 hours in length, and will include overview, interactive components, discussion, and take-a-ways. The series will use Zoom to support the seminars.

Registration will be session by session with a cap of 120 participants, however you can indicate interest in the full series to receive reminders to register when the next session registration opens.

Participants in this series will have the opportunity to develop an awareness and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion along with concepts of identity, power, privilege, and anti-racism in the context of faculty, staff, and administrator responsibilities. Through the process of addressing one's own biases and privilege in our system of oppression, participants build the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to broaden participation in and success for underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

This series will be of interest for faculty, faculty developers, staff, administrators and those connected with inclusive practices in higher education.

The Aspire PD series is grounded in the belief that equity and social justice are key elements of inclusive faculty practices and institutional cultures. The series aims to normalize conversations and promote individual capacity-building exploration of these topics in the context of local institutional and a national Community of Practice.

Inclusive Professional Framework

The Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty) identifies three core domains - Identity, Intercultural, and Relational - which underlie inclusive practices in higher education. The IPF: Faculty promotes student success by providing a set of skills in the three domains that can be applied to inclusive practices across faculty roles such as teaching, research mentoring, advising, leadership, and colleagueship. These skills also contribute to health and well-being and inclusive climates within the institution.

Sessions are designed and facilitated by experts in diversity, equity, & inclusion.

Kecia Thomas Headshot

Dr. Kecia Thomas

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor, Psychology
Victoria Womack Headshot

Dr. Veronica Womack

Northwestern University
Project Manager of Inclusive Learning, Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning
Bennett Goldberg Headshot

Dr. Bennett Goldberg

Northwestern University
Director of Research in Higher Education, Training and Evaluation in the Office for Research
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Ebony McGee Headshot

Dr. Ebony McGee

Vanderbilt University
Associate Professor, Diversity and STEM Education
Chris Castro Headshot

Dr. Christian Castro

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Director, Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence
Levon Esters Headshot

Dr. Levon Esters

Purdue University
Professor, Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education
Christine Pfund Headshot

Dr. Christine Pfund

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Director, Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research (CIMER)
Nicole Buchanan Headshot

Dr. NiCole Buchanan

Michigan State University
Professor, Department of Psychology
Sean Bridgen Headshot

Dr. Sean Bridgen

Associate Director for External and Institutional Partnerships, NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
April Dukes Headshot

Dr. April Dukes

University of Pittsburgh
Faculty and Future Faculty Program Director
Pitt-CIRTL Instructional Co-Leader

Self-Reflection Guide

Aspire has developed the “Equity in Action” Series Self-Reflection Guide as a resource that can be used whether or not you attended this series. It presents an overview of the Inclusive Professional Framework for Faculty (IPF: Faculty), key takeaways from each of the six series sessions, and IPF: Faculty-based prompts to help you in self-reflection and action around diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice topics. Additionally, you might consider using this guide as part of a professional development event for a group, either as it’s currently presented or reorganizing it into worksheets, activities, or other formats as best matches your context.

Individual resources from each session are also listed below each session description in the following section of this page.

Aspire EiA Self-Reflection Guide.pdf

Past Seminars

From Equity to Justice
October 16, 2020

What’s the difference between a social equity and a social justice framework? How do you ground your work between these two frameworks? These are both questions we dig into during this first session of the Equity to Justice series!

Participants in this session will have the opportunity to develop an awareness and understanding of social equity and social justice frameworks along with concepts of identity, power, privilege, and anti-racism in the context of faculty, staff, and administrators responsibilities.

This interactive workshop will be moderated by Dr. Veronica Womack, Dr. Bennett Goldberg, and Dr. Travis York with an introduction and conclusion by Dr. Kecia Thomas.


"Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation" discussion with author, Dr. Ebony McGee
November 13, 2020

Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation draws upon "narratives from hundreds of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals, Ebony Omotola McGee examines the experiences of underrepresented racially minoritized students and faculty members who have succeeded in STEM."

Participants in this session will have the opportunity to engage in a dialog between Black, Brown, Bruised author Dr. Ebony McGee moderated by Dr. Kecia Thomas to learn from McGee about "policies and practices that must be implemented to ensure that STEM education and employment become more inclusive..."

"Black, Brown, Bruised" can be purchased here (release date Oct. 2020).


Curated list of resources for facilitating an antiracist book circle.

"Inclusive Teaching"

Creating and Sustaining Equitable Learning Environments Through Shared Values Clarification

Teaching is fundamentally a relational process in which our personal and pedagogical values translate into behaviors that drive relationships with and amongst students. Values clarification engages us in deep critical reflection to identify what we value in a learning environment, the personal significance of these values, and their impact on our pedagogical choices and ways of being with our students. The values clarification process supports the creation and nourishment of affirming, equitable learning environments that bolster a strong sense of belonging and academic achievement for all learners. In this session, we will engage in values clarification, generate ideas to elicit and honor what our students value in the learning environment, and explore strategies for co-creating classroom values with students.


Slides and worksheet from the session.

"Inclusive Advising"

Transforming the Student Experience through Inclusive and Equitable Advising Practices

Academic advising is a critical role that many faculty and staff have. For many students, quality advising is a major factor contributing to their success, retention, and degree completion. Unfortunately, students of color, especially those majoring in STEM disciplines, are often not afforded quality advising experiences, because faculty and staff have not been trained in inclusive and equitable advising practices. Simply put, the degree to which faculty and staff can advise students in ways that are inclusive and equitable can do much to transform students’ experiences and broaden participation of students of color in STEM. In this session, participants will increase their knowledge and learn strategies that will enable them to advise in ways that are more inclusive and equitable.


Slides and curated list of resources from the session.

"Inclusive Mentoring"

Enhancing Inclusive Mentorship by Developing Supportive Strategies and Removing Barriers

"Inclusive Colleagues & Leadership"

Disrupting Oppressive Systems through Ally Development and Commitment

Inclusive excellence in mentorship practices is crucial to STEMM fields leveraging the full range of scientific talent in the United States. Strong mentorship has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, and career satisfaction, efforts to improve mentoring relationships can significantly impact the success of mentees’ training and ability to persist in their field. In this session, we will specifically explore how mentorship education can enhance understanding of how identity affects our mentoring relationships and share strategies for inclusive mentorship. We will also outline how universities institutionalize diversity mentoring programs designed mostly to fix underrepresented students of color while ignoring or minimizing the role of the departments in creating racially hostile work and educational spaces. Finally, we will critique how some mentoring programs nurture and promote notions of unhealthy forms of resilience while the social, political, and education systems continue to neglect underrepresented students of color.


Slides and curated list of resources for the session.

Throughout the professional development sessions we’ve focused on how faculty behaviors towards students can impact the ability of STEM to become more inclusive and diverse. Yet as much as these formal practices and behaviors impact the experiences of URG students, so do their observations of faculty behavior and the allocation of rewards and recognition within STEM departments as workplaces. This session directs our attention toward faculty treatment of each other as leaders and as colleagues. We’ll review and discuss research that bridges organizational psychology and diversity science to explore the persistence of implicit bias that derails the careers of URG scientists through epistemic exclusion and the diversity innovation paradox. We’ll also dive into the ways in which colorblindness and microaggressions in STEM workplaces create systems of exclusion and marginalization for URG members. Most importantly our session will provide participants with the opportunity to reflect and practice disrupting these oppressive systems through ally development and commitment.


Slides from the session.

Seminar Planning Team

Robin Parent Headshot

Robin Parent

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Director, STEM Education & Internal DEI Officer, Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
Aspire Project Manager
Robin Greenler Headshot

Robin Greenler

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Assistant Director, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, (CIRTL)
Co-lead of the National Change Initiative
Travis York Headshot

Travis York

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Assistant Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs
Co-lead of the IChange Initiative
Don Gillian-Daniel Headshot

Don Gillian-Daniel

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Director of Inclusive Teaching Programming, Collaborative for Advancing Learning & Teaching
Co-lead of the National Change Initiative
Shannon Patton Headshot

Shannon Patton

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Manager, Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)
Project Manager of the National Change Initiative
Justine Joo Headshot

Justine Joo

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Aspire Project Associate
Lucas Hill Headshot

Lucas Hill

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Associate Researcher/Evaluator, Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Aspire Evaluator

For more information about the seminar series contact Dr. Robin Parent, rparent@aplu.org.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2041006. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.