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UNC South BuildingThe University is implementing online diversity, equity and inclusion training for faculty and staff, University leaders announced in a campus message on Feb. 26.

The program, similar to the required Title IX awareness and violence prevention training, is designed to teach new concepts, broaden perspectives and provide the campus community with a common set of terms. Announced last June in a campus message, this required training is part of a series of actions to support campus-wide dialogue, healing and structural change.

The message came from Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz; Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Blouin; and Special Adviser to the Chancellor and Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Sibby Anderson-Thompkins.

“We remain committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive community where everyone feels welcome and inspired to do their best work,” Guskiewicz, Blouin and Anderson-Thompkins wrote. “This goal is at the core of the first initiative, Build Our Community Together, in our strategic plan Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.”

The initial course, Managing Bias, explains that understanding bias in the workplace is the first step in handling it. The training defines bias and describes how it influences the workplace and how to reduce its negative effects. Participants will learn how biases affect their actions and impact others when left unchecked, including creating unhealthy work environments and reinforcing unjust practices.

In the coming weeks, all faculty, staff and postdocs will receive an email invitation to Managing Bias training, which will be available from Monday, March 22, through Friday, April 16. All employees will be required to take this course, which takes about 20 minutes to complete.

This summer, the University will follow up with a broader course on the important concepts of diversity, inclusion and belonging. This subsequent required training will offer common language to better understand how the world shapes and informs our shared values and experiences and will use an interactive platform to explore topics such as identity, power, privilege and communication. While these two initial trainings are designed for faculty and staff, there will be similar modules built for students.

“We hope these trainings will provide our community with a better appreciation for our shared experiences of difference, shared expectations of respect and our shared need to belong and feel appreciated,” Guskiewicz, Blouin and Anderson-Thompkins wrote. “Ultimately, we want the trainings to help us all identify how to create a more inclusive and accepting workplace to conduct our mission of teaching, learning and service.”