During the comment period for the initial working draft of Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University (shared with the Brown community on November 19, 2015), there were 62 submissions, edits, comments, etc. in the category of inclusion (see the Proposals Received section below listing the input). Appendix D of the final DIAP summarizes how the University addressed this input in the final revisions to the DIAP.

There were calls for a clearer indication of how Brown plans to invest in the local community. Suggestions included creating educational programs and resources for K-12 students, hiring from the local community, and investing in the children of families disadvantaged by slavery or injustice in the region.

Respondents asked for more collaboration with local, private, educational and social institutions that serve historically underrepresented populations (e.g. John Hope Settlement House). Comments encouraged Brown to leverage the Annenberg and Swearer centers, among others, to develop local pipelines of students from local schools to Brown, and to improve the Providence education system.

Proposals Received: Community Engagement

  • Add language to the DIAP working draft that reflects how Brown engages and plans to engage with the local Providence community.
  • Endow the Community Fellows program at the Center for Public Humanities to expand community leadership positions from two to five at a cost of $50,000/year.
  • Provide low- or no-cost professional advancement opportunities for state educators.
  • Convene a Providence Community Advisory Board to provide an independent, external perspective and serve as a liaison between the city and university.
  • Review and expand Providence residents’ access to campus resources, including libraries, meeting spaces, forums, courses, recreational facilities, and admissions.
  • Include a link on Brown’s homepage, with translation options, that lists all activities and services available at the University for community members (for example, Brown Summer High School or events mailing lists), including specific contact information.
  • Increase seats and financial support for Providence public high-school students to attend tuition-based pre-college or summer programs at Brown.
  • Establish a community-relations arm of Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA), which would function as a central coordinating hub for existing and future service-learning and community-based projects, with the goal of optimizing their implementation and potential impact. (Service learning is a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with community service.)
  • Develop standards for working or conducting research with communities. This should be introduced to first-year medical students and be made public on the medical school’s website.
  • Develop initiatives that facilitate collaborations among medical students of color and graduate students of color (e.g., those in the School of Public Health and Wellness), with the goal of fostering interdisciplinary work and promoting professional development. Through the ODMA, these opportunities could increase dialogue on best practices, innovations, and documented attempts to address health and wellness disparities.
  • Develop a plan in collaboration with the Office of University Advancement to establish a permanent funding stream for service learning at the medical school, aimed at improving the health and wellness of underserved communities and patients in Rhode Island.
  • Establish a community advisory board composed of stakeholders from health, social-service, and faith-based organizations in Rhode Island to guide the strategic direction of the medical school and its programs in local communities. Alpert Medical School could strengthen its commitment to health and wellness promotion and advocacy by ensuring continuous feedback from local stakeholders.