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BUILDing a more inclusive DePaul

BUILD certificate
The Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity presents BUILD certificates to participants after completion of all courses and requirements. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

Diversity is a core value at DePaul and has been since its founding. In 2013, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity developed a certificate program to provide the university community with the “building blocks to develop an inclusive campus." To date, about 2,100 faculty and staff members have participated in the BUILD certificate program. Over the past year alone, participation in the BUILD program has increased 452%.

Elizabeth Ortiz, vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity believes there are a few reasons for the increase in participation.

"First, the current climate. Employees are seeking different opportunities to dialogue on racial justice and are invested in growing in their understanding of DEI," she says. “Second, we are working in a remote setting. Individuals may have more flexibility to attend these online workshops than they had in the past. Third, we believe past participants are sharing their experience with colleagues and encouraging others to get their certificate."

To keep the BUILD program relevant to present-day events, OIDE assesses the BUILD workshops each year to ensure classes meet the needs and interests of participants, and reflect current climates, topics and conversations. 

“This year many of our workshops focus on racial inequity, microaggressions and social justice," Ortiz says.

The basics about the BUILD Certificate

Designed to be a complete-at-your-own-pace curriculum, the two-level BUILD program requires the completion of a series of core courses, electives, and completion of a reflection paper and a capstone project.  The program offers faculty and staff a safe space to discuss challenging issues and learn skills and techniques that can prove to be helpful in both work and personal lives.

BUILD workshops are scheduled throughout the year to make it convenient for participants to fulfill the course requirements. Individual workshops are offered to all faculty and staff. If there is a specific topic of interest, employees can attend the workshop without being part of the BUILD program. 

Participants can learn more about the BUILD Certificate program by attending an information session. Registration for the BUILD workshops can be completed through the BlueSky Learning tile.

The future of BUILD

Historically, the BUILD Certificate program has been offered to DePaul faculty and staff. However, for the past few years, students have expressed an interest in the BUILD program.

To address this need, OIDE piloted a Student BUILD Diversity Certificate program this quarter. This first cohort of Student BUILD participants consists of 35 undergraduate and graduate students who will complete eight hours of cultural competency training.

“Our BUILD diversity, equity and inclusion programming helps our colleagues develop cultural competencies and connect the university's Vincentian mission of dignity and respect for all individuals to our everyday work and interactions with students and each other," Ortiz says.

Learn more about the BUILD Diversity Certificate . ​