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Spheres of Influence

Spheres of Influence


The Seven Spheres of Influence is a conceptual framework used to identify and articulate the seven components of the campus community where the Office of Diversity & Inclusion can impact the greatest level of individual, institutional, and environmental change. Although the University Diversity Council can theoretically impact change in all components of the campus environment, the three spheres that directly correlate with the council's  mission and objectives are: (1) Instructional Pedagogy and Practice, (2) Related Research and Assessment, and (3) Environmental and Institutional Culture.

Instructional Pedagogy and Practice

Culture in the Classroom

This program will fall under the leadership of the Diversity Council and will assist faculty members across campus in reducing the level of cultural hegemony subscribed within classroom instruction. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion in conjunction with the University Diversity Council will provide faculty with one on one consultation as they develop a firmer understanding of how to create a more inclusive curriculum and syllabus within their courses. All requests for assistance should be made by sending an email to diversity@longwood.edu. Trainings and or presentations for groups over 10 individuals should be requested at least 30 days in advance to provide the council enough time to organize an efficient presentation or workshop. Those faculty interested should contact the Culture in the Classroom Coordinator to outline their specific needs and interest. The coordinator will match faculty clients with a council member who best align with the needs of each specific project and discipline. The Office of Diversity & Inclusion will also provide training and instructional resources for faculty and staff to facilitate discussions around diversity and inclusiveness within academic courses or organizational meetings. Individuals should contact the office to learn of available resources.


Related Research and Assessment

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the University Diversity Council is committed to fostering an evidence based environment, in which all departmental decisions and or initiatives are grounded in relevant data and or practical and professional research.  In addition, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is interested in collaborating with any member of the Longwood community in designing, conducting, reporting and presenting any research project designed to promote the further understanding of equity and equality.

Environmental and Institutional Culture

The level of environmental congruence a student experiences can have lasting effects on their ability to actively engage and integrate socially and academically into the campus community (Pascrella & Terenzini, 2005; Stern, 1970; Strange & Banning, 2001). Additionally, according to Strange and Banning (2001), the four aspects of an educational environment an institution must consider when designing their campus include: (1) the constructed environment, (2) the physical environment, (3) the organized environment, and (4) the Human-aggregate. In attempt to learn more about our current educational climate, the University Diversity Council will incorporate the use of Strange & Banning's (2001) four environmental constructs; mainly searching for institutional messages, artifacts and norms that reflect environmental-incongruence for many multicultural populations. When and if issues are recognized, the appropriate steps will be taken to elevate the level of environmental press placed on students, staff, and faculty.  

PRAXIS: Discussions around Difference

Considering the constructs set by the Theory of Oppression, Freire (1968/1987) postulated that praxis occurs when dialogue, reflection and action take place between the oppressors and the oppressed in order to transform the world. PRAXIS: Discussions around Difference, will consist of monthly conversations, workshops, and debates on current campus topics and or issues around diversity, equity, equality, access, and inclusiveness. PRAXIS programs are open to the entire academic community and should be considered safe spaces. Additionally, these programs and activities should serve as opportunities to foster healthy dialogue and reflection about individual experiences with injustices and inequalities, in hopes to develop solutions for the common good of the Longwood community.