In September 2020, MPA created an Antiracist Action Group (AAG) to engage the MPA community in reflection, advocacy, and action to strategically dismantle racism in the school and the larger community. The recommendation of this collaborative group of faculty and staff, students, parents, and alums led to multiple outcomes, most notably the formation of the Office of Equity & Belonging. It also inspired current and future efforts to further cultivate belonging for all students at MPA.
MPA’s 2024ward Strategic Plan defines four pillars, one of which is to "Ensure an equitable and inclusive community." To fulfill this committment, MPA leadership found it imperative to develop the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) Strategic Action Plan that dovetails with the overall strategic plan for the school and serves as a compass to accomplish the goals.
DEIB STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN
Deepen our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and ensure it is reflected in our policies, programs, and practices and in the life and culture of the MPA community (from 2024ward).
PRIORITY 1: BUILDING CAPACITY
Identify and establish the resources and relationship that generate the momentum needed to propel our DEIB commitment forward at MPA.
- Establish formal office for DEIB work that aligns within MPA’s organizational structure.
- Create new assistant director position to support MPA DEIB initiatives, with a special emphasis on student engagement.
- Explore opportunities to partner with key local, regional, and national organizations that reflect our DEIB commitment.
- Create an internal council/committee that will lead implementation and maintenance of DEIB plan goals and strategies.
- Develop a plan to increase and retain percentage of total full-time BIPOC faculty, staff, and administrators to 20% by 2025.
- Establish mandatory training on inclusive hiring practices for hiring managers and committees.
- Explore opportunities to actively attract future BIPOC faculty/staff through programming, internships, and career fairs.
- Create support mechanisms that are intentionally responsive to the specific needs and unique experiences of BIPOC faculty/staff in a predominately white institution
- Create a repository of DEIB-related resources accessible to faculty and staff.
- Develop a comprehensive DEIB employee development program that will include mandatory and optional training and professional development opportunities.
- Establish employee affinity groups.
PRIORITY 2: CULTURE OF BELONGING
Center the MPA experience to be one that embraces individual and collective authenticity.
- Ensure DEIB standards and outcomes are formally incorporated into MPA’s comprehensive curriculum review process.
- Develop pedagogy and curriculum that expands our students' perspectives and experiences and focuses on real-world learning opportunities outside MPA
- Assess anti-racist and anti-bias standards into the scope and sequence of grade-level courses and school-wide curriculum.
- Create student programming and training that expands our students' perspectives around culture and identity, in developmentally appropriate ways.
- Identify and implement ways to enhance the experience and sense of belonging for international students.
- Continue to provide safe spaces for students through ongoing support and expansion of student affinity groups, communities of practice, and clubs.
- Establish a Parent Group to provide a space for our families to dialogue, learn about, and explore issues of identity, diversity, and equity.
- Identify ways to improve relationship with and engagement with BIPOC alumni and support efforts of Alumni Relations DEI Council.
- Provide support for MPA Parents Association DEIB efforts.
- Explore opportunities to engage the broader neighborhood and twin cities community in MPA’s DEIB work.
PRIORITY 3: RADICAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Putting in place the mechanisms that ensure we take ownership of our commitments and actions to DEIB.
- Review, revise and/or create school statements and policies around discrimination, anti-bias, and harassment, and update employee handbooks.
- Review and revise current divisional handbook and policies for students and families. Establish communication strategy that ensures all language, branding, and messaging is inclusive and represents the MPA community across all forms.
- Establish inclusive admissions practices that actively supports increased enrollment of Latinx, black, indigenous, gender expansive, and international students.
- Review and consider indexed tuition and scholarship policy modifications to promote socioeconomic diversity.
- Create a Bias Incident Reporting System and investigation process that is trauma-informed and restorative in nature, while also remaining timely and responsive to discriminatory behaviors and actions.
- Conduct assessment on students and employees to collect data about school climate and culture.
- Create shared DEIB language and defined terminology that can be utilized consistently across the school.
- Establish a culture of DEIB goal setting for all employees and embed measures of accountability in evaluations of performance and compensation.
- Review, and address facility barriers to ensure equitable access and access/usage for all.
- Develop an internal dashboard that illustrates the impact of the DEI strategy and plan by tracking advancement towards goals and measuring data points.
- Create Equity & Belonging BoT Committee that provides strategic oversight and support for MPA’s long-term DEIB vision, contributes to Board level DEIB goals, and determines training/development needs for board members.
- Utilize assessment tools to collect and analyze data to inform decision-making and evaluating effectiveness of DEIB initiatives.