UMKC Department of Psychology Solidarity Pledge

·  we pledge solidarity with people across the nation demanding action toward racial equity and justice  ·  we pledge to work to dismantle systems of oppression and racial injustice that target the Black community and other individuals of color  ·  we pledge to create a department where we value diversity and integrate it throughout our teaching and learning  ·  we pledge to foster a climate where students, staff, and faculty feel safe to express their experiences as they relate to diversity, and where such expressions are valued, respected, and acted on in a way that supports inclusion for all  ·   we pledge to work on our personal growth as it comes to privilege and biases and hold each other accountable for this work


UMKC Department of Psychology Solidarity Action Plan

Initiated June 2020


We will commit to at least one day of intensive growth, reflection, and work related to anti-racism in the month of June 2020. Possible ways to accomplish this work include participating in at least one of the days of programming put together by Academics for Black Survival and Wellness during Juneteenth (June 19th – June 25) or the Justice in June program. At the end of the month we will share the work we did with the Department Chair, who will provide a summary of the activities to the larger department community.  In addition, each faculty member will write a brief reflective piece on their work to share at the August faculty meeting.
  • Team: all faculty
  • Time line: June work completed by June 30, 2020, summary report distributed by July 15, 2020, reflections shared at August faculty meeting, 2020
  • Progress: completed
We will participate in an all faculty training related to microagressions and managing difficult discussions.
  • Team leader: McDowd
  • Team: all faculty
  • Time line: Get training planned and scheduled for summer
  • Progress: Training session completed on July 15, 2020
We will strive to create an environment without microaggressions and will identify a process for addressing microaggressions and determining an appropriate response.
  • Team leader: Nilsson
  • Team: Hambrick, Williams
  • Timeline: Get a draft created for review for faculty and students by first faculty meeting in September 2020.
  • Progress: Microaggression Statement and Policy accepted by faculty, October 16, 2020.
We will invest effort in culturally responsive pedagogy. We will seek outside expertise to build our skill in this area.  We will then develop and agree upon our structure/system/expectations moving forward for each instructor to be able to describe their own diversity coverage in their courses.  Once this structure is established we will review the syllabus, course content, and learning outcomes for all courses to ensure appropriate coverage of issues related to diversity (both undergraduate and graduate).  We will draft a plan to assess our students’ response to our efforts at culturally responsive pedagogy.
  • Team leader: Bennett, Rempfer, and Marsszalek
  • Team: Nilsson, Hambrick, Wilfred, Hardt
  • Timeline: Plan by August 21, 2020
  • Progress: The team outlined a multi-step plan. The first step is to share rubric-like materials against which our class content and approaches can be evaluated. We will do this evaluation at the November 2020 faculty meeting in small groups, then share in the larger group. Subsequent steps (action plan) will be an outcome of this meeting.
We will create and make available a list of resources for students to address the stressors that impact their lives.
  • Team leader: McDowd
  • Team: Duffy, Marte
  • Timeline: available on our web page by June 30th; updated regularly
  • Progress: still in progress; not yet on web page
We will create and support an undergraduate social justice committee.
  • Team leader: Marte
  • Team: Nilsson
  • Timeline Fall 2020
  • Progress: Still figuring out best way to do this.  Psi Chi membership is down, complicated by Covid.  Faculty discussed possibility of recruiting from undergraduate Psychology majors.  Decision pending additional discussion at November faculty meeting.
We will develop and adopt a Diversity statement for our Department that makes known our values and expectations, and is linked to both our undergraduate and graduate missions. In addition, we will develop an annual equity and inclusion accountability plan to guide our work on diversity initiatives beyond the diversity statement.
  • Team leader: McDowd
  • Team: Marte, Lim, Ha
  • Timeline: Draft diversity statement circulated by August 1, 2020; annual equity and inclusion accountability plan reviewed at August faculty meeting and drafted for coming year by September faculty meeting
  • Progress: Complete
We will listen, reflect, and actively address concerns raised in the PhD annual evaluation. A summary of survey feedback will be shared with the faculty and graduate students, as will the plan to address concerns raised.
  • Team leader: Williams
  • Team: Hambrick, Nilsson, Eddinger, Wilson, Marsszalek
  • Timeline: June 2020 for summary of concerns; September 2020 for action plan
  • Progress: Team is reviewing findings and developing action plan for presentation at November faculty meeting
We will survey undergraduate students to evaluate the extent to which we are providing culturally responsive pedagogy, mentoring, and co-curricular activities. We will respond with an action plan to address the messages we receive from students on this survey.
  • Team leader: Marte
  • Team: Marsszalek, Bennett
  • Timeline: Create a Canvas course auto-populated with all psych majors and minors to host the survey and prep/pilot test the survey over summer; collect data in November/December 2020 and promote in classes (e.g., post next to syllabus); disseminate during Spring semester 2021 along with action plan
  • Progress: survey items are being collected; team will also coordinate with UMKC efforts so as not to duplicate them and overload students
We will communicate our pledges publicly, and also publicly communicate our progress toward fulfilling those pledges.
  • Team leader: McDowd
  • Twitter: Bennett
  • Blog: Petri
  • Website
  • Quarterly newsletter: Marte
  • Progress: Pledge now posted on Psychology website