The Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity (BUILD) initiative is a new certificate program that has the goal of educating faculty and staff at the university to deal with issues of diversity. Students in the program will take courses in coalition building across diverse groups, navigating and defusing conflict situations, and fostering a climate where diverse opinions, backgrounds, and identities can flourish and be respected.
To earn the BUILD certificate, students must complete two core courses and five electives. At the current time, there are 25 courses offered in the program which is administered by the Chief Diversity Office on campus. Lindsay Jarrett, diversity resources manager for the Chief Diversity Office, said that “the response has been very positive. So far we have several hundred people signed up for various courses. We’re trying to create a place where people can come and continually increase their knowledge and skills, and hopefully it’s a safe place for them.”
Jarrett added that “at a very minimum, I hope this will empower members of our community to work as allies who promote an inclusive and diverse environment on our campus. We also want our courses to rotate and evolve so that it’s clear there isn’t a endpoint in our need to continue improving our efforts for diversity and inclusion.”