The Global DEI Initiative provides opportunities to examine the intersection of the goals of increasing intercultural understanding through global education and the goals of creating a culture of belonging in our communities, especially to historically underrepresented, often marginalized people in the U.S.
About the Initiative
Why is it important?
Historically, “international education” work was perceived to operate separately from “diversity and equity” work. Broadly speaking, international educators were primarily focused on student mobility, i.e. crossing geographical borders, and about learning from other cultures outside of the U.S. where diversity professionals have focused on equity efforts within the borders of the U.S. In recent years, however, the conversation has shifted to look more critically at the intersection between the goals of increasing intercultural understanding through global education and the goals to create a culture of belonging in our communities, especially to historically underrepresented, often marginalized people in the U.S. Questions related to this intersection include:
- How do the identities of U.S. students impact an experience abroad?
- How do the identities of international students impact an experience in the U.S.?
- In what ways has the field of international education systematically (if unintentionally) excluded marginalized communities?
- What can University of Minnesota administration, faculty and staff do to provide better access, inclusion and equity to students on all of our campuses who participate in our programs, both at home and abroad?
Goals of the Initiative
The GPS Alliance is uniquely positioned to address these difficult questions and to advance the conversation across the UMN system. Our Global DEI Initiative seeks to:
- Engage and educate the UMN community about the intersection of DEI and International education
- Generate dialogue about diversity and inclusion through a global and intercultural lens
- Explore notions of diversity across and within cultures
- Facilitate conversations about identity and intersectionality within a global context
Campus Activities and Engagement
Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change
The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change offers numerous Global DEI-related talks throughout each academic year, as part of its Brown Bag Series and other thematic series. Examples include:
- “Contract Farming, Gender Relations of Power and Rice Production in Mngeta, Tanzania”
- “Trauma, Translation, Motherhood, and Madness - Peering into The Bell Jar of Arabic Literature by and on Women”
- “Gestures Towards Scarring: Colonial Architectonics of Gender & Trans*Poetics Subductions Along the U.S.-México Border”
International Student and Scholar Services
- Global Gopher Caucuses — identity-based affinity groups for international students
- A History of Diversity and Equity in the U.S. — ISSS staff and international students discuss diversity in the United States.
- Intercultural Workshop Series — of particular interest is the Disruptive Practices for Interculturally Inclusive Communication workshop, which aims to “revisit our ways of communicating and interacting across differences to create spaces of belonging for all”
Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum
The Internationalizing the Campus and Curriculum unit offers many trainings and resources for instructors who want to bring an international, global and intercultural lens to their classrooms, regardless of their discipline.
- Workshops — interactive workshops address a range of topics to support student engagement in globally diverse classes and to deepen international, intercultural, and global learning for all students
- Teaching in Globally Diverse Classes Certificate Program
- 30-minute Teaching Activity webinars — Examples include:
Learning Abroad Center
The Learning Abroad Center recognizes and supports a diverse student population on its study and volunteer abroad programs.
- Identity-based resources for students
- Diversity mission statement
Resources and Articles
- Supporting Non-Native English Speakers at the University of Minnesota, College of Continuing and Professional Studies
- Anwer, Megha. 2022. "Equity-Minded International Education." Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence and ADVANCE Purdue Center for Faculty Success Working Paper Series 5(1): 13-19.
- Bell, Kati; Donaghue, Jennifer; and Gordon, Andrew. 2018. "Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Comprehensive Internationalization in Higher Education." The Global Education Office | Staff Scholarship. 2.
- Pew Research. A Changing World: Global Views on Diversity, Gender Equality, Family Life and the Importance of Religion.
- Berger, LaNitra, Editor. 2020. Social Justice and International Education. NAFSA Association of International Educators.
- Sandiford, N., DeGuzman, K. & Brandauer, S. 2021. "Using the Intercultural Praxis Model to Build Bridges: Identity, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in a Global Context." In S. Brandauer and E. Hartman (Eds.) Interdependence: Global Solidarity and Local Actions. The Community-based Global Learning Collaborative.
- Churchill, Mary and Palladino, Meg, hosts. International Education and DEI with Nicole Stokes. The View from Venus, season 5, episode 7, Inside Higher Ed, 16 June 2022.
- Farah, Boyah J. 2022. America Made Me a Black Man, A Memoir. Harper Collins.
- Miller, Kerri, host. Boyah J. Farah on how America made him a Black man. MPR News with Kerri Miller. 30 September 2022.
The Global DEI Initiative was launched in 2022 and is led by the UMN Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. For questions or more information, contact:
Senior Director, Global Initiatives and Scholarly Engagement