Racial Justice Commitments

The Center for Leadership & Involvement is dedicated to inspiring purposeful action and positive change, to address racism and dismantle systems of oppression.  Our staff is committed, individually and collectively, to this work.

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View CfLI Racial Justice Statement - Summer 2020

The Center for Leadership & Involvement staff acknowledges and shares in the pain and anger experienced by our students, colleagues, and community at the senseless death of George Floyd at the hands of police.  This tragic act serves as a stark reminder of the existing and historical oppression of our Black and African American communities.

We have an obligation, as a leadership department dedicated to inspiring purposeful action and positive change, to address racism and dismantle systems of oppression.  Our staff is committed, individually and collectively, to this work.  That labor has historically been shouldered by our most marginalized communities, including our Black and African American colleagues – student organization leaders, advisors, and staff.  We seek to share that burden and stand committed to:

  • Intentionally reaching out to our marginalized students to support them where they need it through advising, leadership development, and funding.
  • Providing leadership training to our UW-Madison community that elevates and centers minoritized voices while addressing existing systems of power and privilege.
  • Reviewing our policies and procedures to make certain they meet the needs of marginalized students.
  • Assessing our programs, resources, and services through a social justice lens and making necessary changes to limit gaps and ensure accessibility.

We look to translate this moment into a movement.  An inherently inclusive movement that appreciates the shared struggles and the unique stories of our marginalized communities – advocating especially for those whose intersectional social identities often result in disproportionate suppression.  This will require listening, on-going learning, and a commitment to change.

Ultimately, we will be judged by our behavior and not on our mission, core values, or statements.  We acknowledge and apologize for our silence to date.  We will hold ourselves accountable for our actions and we encourage you to partner with us in bringing forth a more just University and community.

In Solidarity,

Center for Leadership & Involvement Staff

Commitments List

  1. Intentionally reaching out to our marginalized students to support them where they need it through advising, leadership development, and funding.
  2. Providing leadership training to our UW-Madison community that elevates and centers minoritized voices while addressing existing systems of power and privilege.
  3. Reviewing our policies and procedures to make certain they meet the needs of marginalized students.
  4. Assessing our programs, resources, and services through a social justice lens and making necessary changes to limit gaps and ensure accessibility.

Commitments Tracker (last updated Summer 2021)

Commitment Number(s) Initiative Spring 2021 Progress Fall 2020 Progress
1 Provide training and culturally relevant resources that support CfLI marketing and communications student staff.
  • Attended DDEEA & University Communication’s sessions on culturally competent communications and marketing in order to train our staff.
  • Adopted new practices informed by the Social Media Accessibility Webinar that was attended by marketing student staff.
1 Implement high-touch advising and outreach for marginalized students in Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and the Leadership Certificate program.
  • Finalized process to connect students with Leadership Certificate reviewers via phone or virtually to supplement comments they receive in Canvas.
  • Worked with campus partners to provide support messaging and resources related to ongoing racial violence to RSO leaders.
  • Sent high-touch email messages about our student organization services to cultural and ethnic based RSOs.
  • Created process to remind upcoming Leadership Certificate applicants about our advising services.
2 Create quarterly training for CfLI student staff that addresses power, privilege, and elevates marginalized student voices.
  • Began this effort during CfLI Orientation Day in Fall 2020.
  • Hosted training session during Winter 2020.
  • Hosted training for student staff on building inclusive relationships.
2 Create social justice orientated leadership development workshops accessible for all students.
  • Worked with the Student Leadership Program to allocate funds for All Campus Leadership Conference breakout speakers to diversify our breakout offerings and compensate our community partners.
  • Sent outreach messages about leadership development workshop offerings for units that primarily work with marginalized student groups.
  • Provided individualized leadership development workshops for the Posse Program, PEOPLE Program First-Year leaders and WIScience Peer Leaders program.
  • Created a RSO workshop series that includes a session on developing an inclusive environment.
2 Develop an RSO Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Program. 
  • Working with the Office of Inclusion Education to create a required social justice education series by Fall 2022.
  • Training to be piloted with select groups in Fall 2021.
2 & 3 Align our entire organizational social justice competencies to keep ourselves and our student staff accountable.
  • Created plan to align our competencies during our Winter 2021 Professional Staff Retreat.
3 & 4 Conduct CfLI social justice organizational audit.
  • Consulted with Leadership & Engagement’s Diversity Coordinator to select an external consultant. 
  • Researched and selected external consultants, CultureBrokers, LLC, to facilitate audit during ‘21-’22 academic year. 
  • Created an internal Social Justice Change Team to research and select a consulting team to conduct an organizational equity audit of our center.
4 Review the Leadership Framework through a social justice lens and make necessary changes to ensure cultural relevance.
  • Created a new Leadership Framework principle that prioritizes the need to address systematic discrimination and honor people that marginalized.
  • Revised our Leadership Framework outcomes to align with critical theory and related social justice concepts.
  • Created an Expert Reviewer team that is diverse, student-centered, and centers social justice concepts with leadership development theory to review our Leadership Framework outcomes.