Support DEI Efforts in Culverhouse
DEI Retention and Success Fund
The Culverhouse Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Retention and Success Fund supports our DEI work. Our efforts are designed to mitigate challenges among diverse students, and to engage all our students in respect to DEI, shaping their trajectory for academic, career, and life success. Built around mentoring and leadership training along with broader social and financial support as needed, the initiatives form a comprehensive effort to ensure that students reach their greatest potential and become their best selves, ready to make strong contributions to organizations and society. A few key elements are summarized below.
DEI Leadership and Mentoring Initiative
This initiative is focused on the development of historically underrepresented minorities who may have particular challenges relative to retention and success in Culverhouse. Upper-level students (Fellows) are provided leadership, mentoring, and other development training, supporting their retention, success, and enabling them to be employed as well-trained peer mentors to lower-level students (Mentees). The Fellows develop valuable and marketable skills, thereby contributing to their own academic, employment, and life success. While being supervised by DEI professional staff, these well-trained Fellows will be assigned 5-10 mentees. Thus, the DEI Leadership and Mentoring Initiative greatly expands Culverhouse’s organizational capacity to foster and maintain the kind of informational, social, and developmental relationships that are key for the success and retention of challenged students. This effort builds upon our Black History Month Alumni Speaker Series, with some of those participants and other alumni contributing to the organizational and mentoring efforts. It also complements our Diversity in Business Bridge Program. The first class of Fellows is being identified and will be in place for Fall 2021.
DEI Women’s Leadership in Business Initiative
This initiative involves a collection of efforts designed to bolster and support the presence and success of female students and professionals, with a focus on supporting the development of pre-college and college women who are interested in or are majoring in business. This will build on our Women’s History DEI Speaker Series, utilizing the input and skills of some of those participants, and other alumnae and professionals to build out and support these initiatives.
Emergency Support Fund
As the Associate Dean for DEI role was initially filled in April of 2020, one of the immediate goals was to marshal support to help minimize the number of Culverhouse’s underrepresented minority students who abandoned or delayed their educational pursuits because of COVID-19 related financial hardship. While the particular pandemic threat has started, and will hopefully continue to ease, support is still needed to help mitigate emergency financial challenges that are disproportionally experienced by underrepresented minority students, and threaten their retention and success.