As you finalize your spring semester syllabus (or get started on it—no judgement here), you may want to put a diversity and inclusion statement in your syllabus. There is no standardized one-size-fits-all statement to use. These statements differ based on context (author, course content, course format). However, we can offer some advice and questions to think through to get you started on writing your statement.
Diversity and inclusion statements can help set the tone for your course. You could explain why writing this statement is important to you. You could describe how diversity, equity, and inclusion relate to your discipline, your course, and/or your desired classroom climate. Often statements are on the shorter side (a paragraph), but yours may be longer based on preference and resources you wish to include.
To get started writing it can be helpful to consider the following questions:
- What type of classroom environment are you striving to create? What is the role of students in creating this environment?
- Does your discipline have a problematic history that may alienate some students? How do you plan to discuss this with your students?
- How does your teaching approach value differences?
- What expectations (if any) are you asking from students? (Are you requesting they create a classroom contract? How do you expect them to respect differences in the classroom? Will you invite them to contact you if they notice/feel bias?)
- What resources would you like to share with your students?
As you consider these questions, it may be helpful for you to see some example statements. Brown University has some sample statements that may be helpful for you.
If you’d like to talk more about what a diversity and inclusion statement for your syllabus could entail, make a one-on-one consultation with us. If you want to learn more about what goes into a syllabus, watch this 5-minute video explaining backwards course design or come to our upcoming webinar.
If you have a diversity and inclusion statement that you are comfortable sharing with a wider audience, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to start collecting IUB examples to share with others.