The Advocates and Allies (A&A) program affirms the value of active intervention and change champions in promoting a campus culture of inclusion and equity. A&A operates through an Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) and an Advocates Team, both consisting of faculty/staff volunteers from Michigan Tech. The program advances change through two strategies: challenging practices and policies that reproduce systemic inequities and biases, and actively promoting equitable and inclusive practices and policies.
Advocates and Allies at Michigan Tech is adapted from the Advocates and Allies program started by North Dakota State University. Using restorative justice and broad engagement to change university culture, those with access and authority such as men or dominant group individuals are engaged to be allies and advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion while those identifying with historically marginalized groups and gender diverse individuals provide guidance and support for advocacy efforts. This integration is intended to ensure that change benefits all, especially those most often overlooked or whose needs and interests are misunderstood or too reductively addressed.
"One doesn't have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient."
Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) and the Advocates Team are looking for new members to join them. This is one program in the larger NSF sponsored ADVANCE grant, which is working to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging through programs for faculty career success and retention. The primary audience for the Advocates and Allies (A&A) program are majority men individuals.
The goal of the program is for the Advocates to be at the forefront doing the challenging DEI work under the guidance and advisement of the A3B. These groups work closely together with the goal that well-intentioned ideas translate into policies and practices that most effectively achieve the goals of equity.
**For those individuals who would like to sponsor activities for women or other identities, please consider joining Women in the Academy or other. The A&A program is designed to reduce the DEIS service load and attendance commitment for underrepresented individuals, while advancing knowledge and education of DEIS through the broad Michigan Tech community.**
Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B)
The Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) is a group of women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals who work with the NSF-funded ADVANCE team to guide and advise the Advocates Team. When advocating for policies and practices, the goal is that the A3B and Advocates will work closely together with the goal that well-intentioned ideas translate into policies and practices that most effectively achieve the goals of equity. Guidance comes in the form of communicating and prioritizing issues that women, historically underrepresented individuals, and gender diverse individuals experience at Michigan Tech that impede their career growth and success. Guidance also comes in the form of educating the Advocates using published resources and sharing lived experiences what topics are high priorities each semester while providing advice on best approaches for the Advocates to employ.
The Advocates Team is a group of majority men individuals in positions of influence at Michigan Tech who have committed to a) continuously learning, b) using that knowledge to educate their majority men colleagues to be allies of women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals, c) advocating with their women, minorities, and gender diverse colleagues, and d) advocating for policies and practices that move Michigan Tech culture to achieve equity for all.
The Journal Club was established to advance learning about DEIS issues and developments among A&A members but is open to interested faculty and staff. The Club meets regularly to discuss a pre-selected article. Articles are selected by the ADVANCE PI team, the Advocates, or members of A3B for their relevance, insight, and readability. Occasionally, an invited guest facilitates the meeting. Meetings are held in person and on Zoom (if necessary). Visit our Journal Club page for dates and readings.
If you are interested in participating, please contact the ADVANCE office at email@example.com or 906-487-2519.