The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University created a special interest group (SIG) to further their work in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. The SIG has been meeting regularly and engages the larger staff on pressing topics relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion, especially in regard to ongoing racial violence in the US. The SIG also tackles accessibility topics and brainstorms ways to continue to promote sense of belonging at the CLD.
One of the SIG activities focused on self-identifying as disabled. A staff member with a visual disability partnered with a part-time professional with a developmental disability, and together they developed topics and lead discussions about internalized ableism. As part of these SIGs, CLD provided further support to staff as they identified internalized “isms” during the self-reflective discussions.
The SIG focused on promoting belonging within their UCEDD. They guided their first discussion using the diagram below which explores the intersections of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They broke apart each piece and also explored what might happen if one piece is missing and how all three contribute to sense of belonging within organizations.
The SIG also hosts Open Dialogue events guided by the principles of Race Forward:
For example, following the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol in January 2021, the group met to have a brave and honest dialogue about those events and the implications on their work. The Open Dialogues are open to all CLD faculty and staff and have designated facilitators from the ED&I team. The SIG discussions involve 3-5 staff members to ensure all staff have equal opportunity to participate and engage in rich conversations. These timely dialogue events promote both internal self-reflection as well as external reflection on the center’s work.