The Office of Academic Affairs is committed to diversity and inclusion as guiding principles. One key way is by supporting affinity groups on campus with the Associate Vice President for Graduate Academic Affairs and Diversity acting as a liaison to Academic Affairs, providing access to modest funds, and offering logistical support or strategic guidance as feasible or desired.
Affinity groups are formed around a shared identity or common goal to build community among members of non-dominant groups and to foster inclusion and awareness in the broader university. Affinity groups can play an important role in fostering an inclusive campus environment, including contributing to efforts to:
- foster inclusion and community through a support network of mentors, allies, and peers;
- educate the broader campus community on a minority group’s perspectives and concerns;
- recruit and retain members of minority groups and their allies; and/or
- advocate for policies and programs to meet the needs of members of nondominant groups.
Each affinity group determines its own scope and priorities. To receive support and recognition from Academic Affairs, a group should be:
- as open as possible to all Loyola employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) around the affinity topic or identity;
- have a clear sense of purpose, including a mission statement that contributes to the larger university’s mission and core values;
- have a public presence, such as a website;
- and its meetings should be open.
Affinity groups are not part of the formal governance structure (i.e., not a committee), but rather are sites of community engagement and formation. Current recognized affinity groups are below, with links to their own websites. If you are interested in starting an affinity group, please contact Cheryl Moore-Thomas to discuss the needs, viability, potential scope, and next steps.
Faculty Thinkspace on Race and Diversity (ToRaD)
A new faculty-led initiative. In response to the Faculty Statement of Support of Students Acting Against Racism, professors Jean Lee Cole and Amanda Konradi created a Moodle "Thinkspace" open to all Loyola faculty. The thinkspace will be a repository for materials on critical race theory and pedagogy, and also will hold discussion forums on topics initiated by participants. All individuals who signed the statement above will be/have been invited to enroll as a Thinkspace participant. Any other faculty who are interested in participating should contact Jean Lee Cole or Amanda Konradi for an invitation. Visit the Moodle site, or you can search for ToRaD in your main Moodle page.
Started in 2004, OUTLoyola
is a group of faculty, staff, and administrators of all backgrounds who are interested in promoting equality for the LGBT members of the campus community and informed dialogue about LGBT issues at Loyola. OUTLoyola also often coordinates with Spectrum, Loyola’s LGBTQIA student organization. In recent years, OUTLoyola has hosted social gatherings, sponsored speakers on LGBT issues, and played advisory roles on such initiatives as benefits for legally domiciled adults. OUTLoyola also developed and offers Safe Zone training.
Safe Zone Training
Safe Zone at Loyola University Maryland fosters a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) members of the University community and their allies. Organized by OUTLoyola, the training includes three sequential modules and is offered once or more per semester. Some offices require the first training module for diversity awareness. Those who opt to complete the full training can formally identify as Safe Zone resources to members of the Loyola community.
Women Faculty Leadership Coalition
The Women Faculty Leadership Coalition (WFLC) is an affinity group that serves as a forum for networking and communication among the women faculty of Loyola University Maryland with the goal of increasing and encouraging the presence of women in the life of the University and as academic leaders on campus. Relaunched in spring 2016, the effort dates back to 1998.