Overall review of multiple communication avenues
Task Force Recommendation: Create and invest in affirming spaces for diverse students
Task Force Project: Overall review of multiple communication avenues:
- Conduct an overall review of diversity in publications and outgoing messages via web and social media.
- Conduct an internal scan of language (i.e. pronouns), messaging, images to make an intentional effort to include people from diverse backgrounds and diverse perspectives
Champion: Brian Beam, Megan Rolfs
Implementation Team Actions
- Ongoing implementation of the Communications Task Force recommendations and review continue throughout UMC.
- During the spring semester 2020, UMC has engaged with Chicago-area DEI consultants, NOVA Collective in three sessions that included DEI understanding and level setting, DEI communications, and scenario exercises. This work is ongoing and has been changing the way campus communicators think about style guides as well as their overall approach to story selection, inclusion of underrepresented points-of-view, and expressing University values through image creation. University Editorial style review and changes are ongoing to keep our publication standards relevant and up to date.
- University publications including Illinois State Alumni Magazine, Redbird Scholar, and Redbird Impact were reviewed by an internal Communications Task Force over the summer of 2019. Areas for improvement were shared in a final report and implementation is underway. Actions include the removal of the letters to the editor section from the print publication, infusing D/I perspectives throughout each publication, better reflection of underrepresented populations in imagery, use of diverse focus groups, updating of editorial documents to reflect the values of Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State, and D/I training for University Marketing and Communications and campus communicators.
- The Division of Student Affairs routinely monitors images used across print pieces and digital media to ensure images represent an accurate portrayal of the Illinois State student population.
- The Student Affairs Marketing Council participates in diversity and inclusion trainings and cultural competency discussions throughout the academic year. Specific topics have included accessibility, inclusive language and images, and the impact of marketing and communication efforts on diverse populations.
- Accessibility has become a major focus area for Division of Student Affairs marketing initiatives in an effort to make content accessible to all individuals. Departments are required to caption all videos, limit or eliminate all text in graphics, and include alternate text or descriptive captions for images.
A Diversity and Inclusion communication guidelines document is being discussed in conjunction with the consultants. Such a document would need to be developed in partnership with university experts and widely vetted. As funds become available communication training opportunities will be offered to campus partners.