June is Pride Month, putting discussions about equality and inclusion into the limelight. This is such a huge topic in our culture today that calls attention to systemic problems that have long prevented people from achieving their goals and living peacefully.
University of Phoenix makes diversity a year-round initiative. The University has long understood the value of opening its doors to everyone who appreciates the value of education regardless of their ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The University has made numerous efforts to not only hire a diverse staff but also facilitate conversations that spark real-life change. With this in mind, it has worked to promote diversity for all communities including those who identify as LGBTQ through a variety of programs and initiatives.
Employee Resource Groups Support Professional and Personal Growth
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are led by employees and are entirely voluntary to join. Their purpose is to foster an inclusive workplace, one where staff members can engage with each other and develop a deeper understanding of what it means to strive for higher goals.
There are five active ERGs at University of Phoenix currently:
- Allies of Pride
- African American Council of Excellence
- Phoenix Women Rising
These groups raise awareness about important issues and connect people who may have never met one another. By promoting collaboration across different professional disciplines, the goal is to bring more people on the same page through thoughtful, meaningful discussions. Employees are welcome to join one or more ERG, and all staff members are encouraged to learn about the mission and goals of each one.
Educational Equality Webinars Highlight What Equity Means
Diving into long-standing cultural and societal issues is not easy to do, but University of Phoenix knows that the only way to make change is to confront problems head on. With the Educational Equality Webinar series, the University discusses how equity and inclusion play out in the classroom, workplace and community, often without anyone recognizing what is actually happening.
With classes like Where’s My Privilege, Future Challenges for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Storytelling as an Anti-Racist Tool to Create Community, the series explores what it means to promote cultural understanding and serve as a thought leader for other institutions. This gives both students and faculty the chance to rethink the larger societal impacts of common scenarios both at the University and beyond.
The series also provides handy tools for helping open up or change people’s minds without forcing them to feel a specific way. For example, storytelling is one of the most effective methods to help people understand the world. Rather than lecturing or mandating, people can simply tell a tale that inspires others to think a little differently than they did before.
Alliances and Initiatives Broaden the University’s Understanding and Influence
The possibilities for students after graduating from University of Phoenix can be endless personally, professionally and socially. Considering the University’s impact on the broader community, staff look for partnerships and initiatives that promote their values.
The University’s Office of Educational Equity is dedicated to opening doors for students and championing inclusion and diversity. The Office ensures that any partnerships (including members and sponsors) are also aligned with the ideals the University advocates. These organizations spread awareness and provide assistance to students and faculty while receiving support in return. Some of the most notable collaborations include work done with the Diversity Leadership Alliance and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The Office of Educational Equity also started the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey in early 2020 as a way to assess how students experienced the classroom. The collected data was used to identify where and how programs could be adjusted to foster a better, more equitable learning environment.
University of Phoenix participated in the Annual Arizona Multicultural Education Conference in 2019 and sponsored the virtual version in 2021. The event brings together educators, pre-service education majors and community residents to foster the fundamental principles of multicultural education. This collaboration helps everyone involved better understand what it means to uphold and respect different cultures so that everyone can learn without being subjected to the lens of discrimination.
The Inclusive Cafe Promotes Compassionate Conversation
The Inclusive Cafe is another initiative from the Office of Educational Equity created in June 2020. This is a virtual meeting place where staff can learn more about one another during biweekly sessions about topics in diversity and inclusion. The purpose of this gathering place is to help people share any number of perspectives and encourage compassionate conversation.
The Legacy of the University
Whether a person takes part in these groups is secondary to the fact that they exist. The sheer attention paid to diversity on campus and online helps shape everyone who interacts with University of Phoenix and has a positive impact on how they treat one another.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix was created to help adult learners succeed in an often challenging economy and educational system. By providing courses designed to fit busy schedules, people from all backgrounds can receive a quality education that can enhance their careers. Virtual courses create a more accessible system that more people can access, yet they remain interactive enough that students can truly absorb the material. To learn more about how diversity can be seen across online and physical campuses alike, visit www.phoenix.edu.