Diversity Advancement Committee
Commitment to Diversity
The Department of Psychology is committed to recruiting, retaining, and supporting diversity among its undergraduate students and majors, graduate students, faculty, and staff. We define diversity in its broadest form—referring to the range of individual experiences, worldviews, and ideas that stem from differing and intersecting cultural and social statuses, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability/disability, religion, language, socioeconomic status, and age. The Department of Psychology is comprised of individuals from diverse cultures and social backgrounds, including many international students and first-generation college students. Faculty in our department contribute to diversity science by studying topics related, but not limited to, inter-group relations, social identity, health, education, social disparities, socio-economic classes, and bilingualism. The University of Illinois at Chicago is recognized as one of the most diverse universities in the country, making us nationally unique and competitive.
Structure of the Diversity Advancement Committee
The Diversity Advancement Committee (DAC) steering committee consists of three faculty members and two graduate students. The faculty members of DAC are appointed by the Department Head and serve three-year terms coincident with the program chair positions. The Department Head, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of Graduate Studies and the two Committee of Graduate Students (COGS) representatives and two Department support staff members serve as ex officio steering committee members. The DAC steering committee also aspires to invite at least one faculty member from each graduate program to participate actively in DAC planning and programming. The student members are nominated by the graduate students and officially appointed by the DAC faculty members. The students serve two-year terms. The two students co-chair the DAC Student Advisory Board (DAC-SAB), which organizes student functions, department events, and other activities that facilitate community building and foster a sense of belonging.
Structure of the Diversity Advancement Committee- Student Advisory Board
The Diversity Advancement Committee-Student Advisory Board (DAC-SAB) consists of two appointed student leaders serving as co-chairs of the organization and graduate student members across all programs and years. The student co-chairs are nominated by the graduate students and officially appointed by the DAC faculty members. In the event that more than two students are nominated to serve as chairs, an election will be held among the graduate students. The student co-chairs serve two-year terms organizing student functions, department events, and other activities that facilitate community building and foster a sense of belonging.
Mission and Activities of the Diversity Advancement Committee
Building upon the Psychology Department’s commitment to diversity, the Diversity Advancement Committee (DAC) is committed to actively creating and sustaining an inclusive environment where individuals from different social backgrounds are valued, respected, and supported. We believe that the diversity of our people, worldviews, and ideas are essential to fostering and sustaining intellectual excellence in our Department. We aim to achieve our mission by:
- Supporting efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining graduate students from diverse backgrounds that reflect our society’s diverse and changing demographics by:
- Encouraging the mentoring of undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds through UIC’s Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) and other UIC undergraduate research initiatives;
- Routinely obtaining student feedback about diversity-related issues and experiences regarding teaching and research training, faculty-student relationships and mentoring, and peer relations within programs and across the department;
- Supporting student-led initiatives that are aimed at building community and promoting diversity within the department;
- Supporting efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds that reflect UIC’s and our society’s diverse population by:
- Organizing talks/workshops related to the unique challenges faced by historically underrepresented faculty and ways to thrive in the academy;
- Providing mentorship, support, and facilitating networking opportunities where appropriate.
- Promoting the Department’s awareness of and engagement with issues of diversity in psychological science by:
- Fostering dialogue related to issues of diversity between students and faculty through departmental research presentations and collaborations;
- Inviting speakers to address aspects of diversity in research, teaching, and mentoring;
- Inclusion of issues of diversity in the Psychology curriculum and training.
Mission and Activities of the Diversity Advancement Committee- Student Advisory Board
The mission of the Diversity Advancement Committee-Student Advisory Board (DAC-SAB) is to celebrate, promote, and increase awareness around issues of diversity in the UIC psychology community. DAC-SAB is a student-led organization, welcoming all student, staff, and faculty members. DAC-SAB embraces diversity broadly, recognizing a number of identities and domains that affect us all including but not limited to: ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability/disability, mental health/ability, religion, socioeconomic background, age, and diversity of ideas. Importantly, DAC-SAB acknowledges that (1) such identities more often intersect than exist individually, and (2) individuals cannot be solely defined by any group, or combination of group membership. Additionally, DAC-SAB enthusiastically welcomes allies of all identities to participate and support our mission. Lastly, DAC-SAB perceives diversity as a verb – an action – rather than a noun.
DAC-SAB is committed to actively creating and sustaining an inclusive environment where individuals from different social backgrounds are valued, respected, and supported through action. We aim to achieve our mission by:
- Supporting efforts targeting the recruitment and retention of graduate students from diverse backgrounds:
- Conducting the DAC-SAB Reception during Visiting Week
- Conducting Students of Color Breakfast during Visiting Week
- “Food for Thought” Series focusing on student-generated topics
- Conducting social events to foster community
- Engaging students in events to increase and promote awareness of diversity-related topics:
- Regular DAC-SAB meetings
- Assist and participate in annual DAC Colloquium Event
- Promoting awareness of UIC events related to diversity