Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice at IonE

Bridge across the Mississippi River

IonE’s mission is to help people and planet prosper together. We believe we are most likely to achieve our mission and realize our vision when we integrate diverse perspectives into our work and our workplace. We work to continually educate ourselves about the systems and structures that may discourage a diverse, equitable and inclusive community at IonE. We are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive work environment and to collaboration with those most affected by the environmental and climate issues we address in our work.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Action Plan

Our 2024-29 plan represents more than one year of engagement, reflection, and significant contributions from the Institute on the Environment (IonE) community, including affiliates, staff, students, partners, and other stakeholders. We’re delighted to be sharing the outcome of this work: an ambitious five-year plan to foster a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just IonE workplace, community, and world.

In developing this plan IonE worked with Strategic Diversity Initiatives, an external consultant and resource, initially approaching them to become more anti-racist and inclusive. SDI first partnered with IonE staff to deploy a community-wide DEIJ climate assessment survey, after which they facilitated focus groups and two half-day retreats, open to all staff, affiliates, students, and other members of the IonE community. These sessions took up key questions including: What has IonE already accomplished; what buy-in for DEIJ work exists? What might get in the way of IonE’s DEIJ efforts?  How can we address these as we plan? And: How can IonE emerge from this process as a leader on DEI?

Drawing on this community input, SDI provided IonE with a summary and analysis of themes, which were organized into four goal areas:

  1. Reimagining the norms of knowledge and community in education and research
  2. Operationalizing IonE’s DEIJ work
  3. Developing an integrated DEIJ communications approach
  4. Creating a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse culture at IonE

This plan is a complement and essential component of the new IonE strategic plan; each of them will shape our progress and priorities for the next five years. IonE leadership and staff are responsible for implementing this plan, prioritizing actions in the annual academic-year work-planning process.

Each year we will set IonE-wide objectives and key results, to advance the strategies and goals described in these plans. Our key results will include milestones as well as measures – or indicators – of our progress over time. This process will be the foundation of a new biennial reporting cycle, beginning in 2025 with the release of an initial integrated framework (tracking our progress on the strategic plan and our DEIJ objectives); continuing in 2027 with a major mid-plan(s) review; and concluding in 2029 with a final evaluation and report out of activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact.

Neither of these plans would have been possible without the contributions of numerous people, including staff, students, affiliates, advisors, partners, and supporters. This work, in particular, builds on our first DEIJ Action Plan, as well as our Equity Statement, completed in 2022.

UMN Resources, Education, and Events

Welcome To Your Community Guide
A comprehensive guide to systemwide campus resources created by the Office of Equity and Diversity.

UMN’s Equity and Diversity Vision Framework
A model for reimagining and reframing equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota, developed by the Systemwide Task Force on Diversity.

Equity and Diversity Certificate Program
Free for all current students, staff, and faculty on all five system campuses.
Developed by the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED), the Equity and Diversity Certificate helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

Staff Workshops
FREE for all current staff and faculty.
OED has developed faculty- and staff-specific workshops which are offered throughout the year on the TC campuses.

UMN’s Office for Equity and Diversity sponsored DEI events

IonE DEIJ Committee

IonE’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Committee is responsible for supporting conversation and action to help IonE meet its DEIJ goals and vision. The committee meets once a month and is open to participation from all within IonE’s community. Contact the DEIJ Committee to learn more, become involved, or seek support.

Come to IonE’s next DEIJ meeting!