The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) messages from the Office of the President share Illinois State University’s ongoing progress advancing equity and inclusion with transparency and information exchange.
This update includes a call for business names to be added to the University’s Supplier Diversity initiative, a Milner Library resource guide on systemic racism, and Deliberate Dialogues through the Center for Civic Engagement.
University Supplier Diversity program
The Office of the Vice President for Finance and Planning is seeking assistance in expanding its list of businesses under the University’s Supplier Diversity program.
“As a state entity, we follow the Illinois Procurement Code when it comes to choosing vendors,” said Vice President for Finance and Planning Dan Stephens, who noted the University’s Procurement Office uses the state’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP), which certifies small businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, as well as the Veteran Business Program (VBP), which certifies veteran-owned small businesses. “The lists of BEP-certified vendors provided by the state can be limiting. We’re looking to grow our network of minority-owned businesses in the state.”
One way the Procurement Office looks to growth is through a specific focus on the Supplier Diversity program, which allows ISU to explore opportunities to partner with businesses in the state. “We consider the state BEP program as a first step in working within the state guidelines and promoting minority-owned business,” said Director of Governmental Relations Dr. Jonathan Lackland, who is working with Stephens to promote the Supplier Diversity program to lawmakers.
Those who wish to recommend businesses for projects not subject to full procurement can send them to the Supplier Diversity Coordinator Brienne Reid at bdreid@IllinoisState.edu. In addition, please consult the Supplier Diversity Guide for Campus Users. Businesses that meet the requirements to be a BEP vendor can also register under the Business Enterprise Program (BEP).
Milner Anti-Racism Resources
This fall, Milner Library unveiled an online resource that explores systemic racism. The guide includes links to news and magazine articles as well as books on topics such as anti-Black racism, racism against Indigenous people, anti-Hispanic and anti-Latinx racism, and anti-Arab and anti-Asian racism. Resources can also be found recognizing Black excellence through books and content that celebrate Black life, power, thought, and anti-racist activism. The guide also includes links to films available to ISU patrons via the Kanopy archive. Resources are designed to encourage discussion, engagement, and learning. Access the guide here.
A new program through the Center for Civic Engagement encourages students to voice their perspectives while actively listening to others. Deliberative Dialogues are opportunities for guided conversations on topics that include immigration, climate change, mental health and safety, and justice. Adopted from the National Issues Forum Institute model, facilitators from across campus are trained to guide conversations. Those who wish to request Deliberative Dialogue sessions for courses, departments, or organizations email CommunityEngagement@IllinoisState.edu.