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Mission Control / Higher Education and Nonprofit

How to Highlight Higher Education’s Commitment to Diversity

Is your college or university determined to further its diversity and inclusion initiatives? Then a dynamic content hub should be a focal point of your marketing strategy.

Ua diversity

In 2015, a rash of racist and discriminatory acts on college campuses prompted demonstrations and sit-ins at several universities, and a national call for new policies and initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.

A short time later, this rallying cry sparked a wave of investment, as Yale, Brown and New York University announced they would increase funding for more diverse faculties and on-campus resources and outreach. This resolution spread throughout higher education, and colleges and universities around the country made it their mission to do better on diversity.

Some of these schools, including the University of Arizona, Tufts University and American University, recognized that one of the most effective ways to boost their message on diversity and communicate it with students, alumni and the entire community, was to create a dynamic content hub dedicated to the topic. These comprehensive digital resources also serve as a forum where diversity and inclusion can be discussed in all its nuance and complexity — and producing original content is a key component of these outreach efforts.

These comprehensive digital resources also serve as a forum where diversity and inclusion can be discussed in all its nuance and complexity — and producing original content is a key component of these outreach efforts.

University of Arizona: Creating a Sense of Community

In 2017, Casual Astronaut partnered with the university in Tucson to build a website exclusively devoted to diversity and inclusion. The site speaks directly to the entire campus community about the myriad issues pertaining to the topic. In addition to housing related news, resources and information, it tells personal stories that help create yet another sense of community within the broader university structure. Also, the dynamic rather than static nature of the site enables Arizona to stay up to date on the university’s initiatives and achievements, such as its recent increase in enrollment by international students, as well as any breaking news, or new events and programs.

Tufts University: Furthering a Mission

At Tufts University in Boston, the school’s mission includes six “strategic themes,” which are part of every program, school and course of study to “advance the school’s commitment to teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and impact on society.” Each of these themes, including Diversity and Inclusion, has its own presence within an individual content hub. The Diversity and Inclusion hub houses pertinent statistics such as the university’s diversity overview, including data pertaining to the race and ethnicity breakdowns of its students, faculty, trustees and more, as well as news, events, resources and “spotlights,” or feature stories on relevant topics.

American University: Welcoming a Diverse Community

Many schools have “centers” for diversity and inclusion, which may be housed on campus as well as on the university website. At American University in Washington, D.C., the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which was founded in 2012, programs events, training and workshops, and provides resources that aid first-generation, LGBTQA, undocumented students and others. The center’s outreach provides students with immediate access to information as well as gives the university at large a greater opportunity to get to know and communicate with its own diverse communities. This is in keeping with its mission to “advance American University's commitment to respecting and valuing diversity by serving as a resource and liaison for students, staff and faculty on issues of equity through education, outreach and advocacy.”

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