Diversity and Inclusion Training

Professional Development

The Diversity and Inclusion team collaborates to deliver regular presentations, trainings, and workshops on foundational and intermediate diversity, equity, and inclusion content to the Berklee community. 

RSVP for scheduled professional development sessions

Beginning the Journey of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Beginning the Journey of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion foundational series offers participants the opportunity to grapple with core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, terminology, language, and meaning via discussion, dialogue, and interactive critical thinking and application exercises.

In this professional development series, Berklee faculty, staff, and executive leaders are afforded time and space to process, self-reflect, critically assess, and practice adopting inclusive community-building behaviors, language, and actions in professional settings and in interpersonal interactions. It is strongly recommended that individuals interested participating in the Beyond the Basics series have attended the foundational series or otherwise have a strong background in diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.

  • Introduction to the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: This session can be integrated into a divisional or departmental meeting, and provides an overview of the center, including core functions, programs, offerings, approaches, and opportunities for engagement. This session can be expanded to provide participants with an opportunity to engage in dialogue with staff from the center about thoughts, questions, and ideas about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Berklee. These session can range from 30 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the needs of the group.
  • Beginning the Journey: Exploring Foundational Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Concepts: This session introduces core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, and serves as a critical building block for developing a vocabulary and framework of understanding that supports ongoing exploration, conversations, and learning. This is a two-hour session.
  • Understanding the Differences Between Race and Ethnicity in a Global World: Our world is becoming an increasingly globalized and interconnected community. Recognizing the beauty and vast array of heritages, cultural traditions, and contributions is essential for cultural awareness. While celebrating the uniqueness of our holistic and individual communities remains necessary for inclusion to take shape, so too does understanding, examining, and questioning the historical and legal underpinnings of race versus ethnicity. This session provides space and resources for participants to process the history of the racial caste structure, race-based beliefs, biases, and legal decisions impacting and shaping American society, and the ways in which Western-centered constructions of race and ethnicity have impacted the world. Offered as an interactive, dialogue-driven session, participants will engage in prereads and complete a self-reflective presurvey to assist them in their event-day critical thinking and discussion workshop exercises. By participating in this training session, participants will be able to better understand the differences between race and ethnicity, the concepts’ respective histories and meanings, and contemplate pathways toward racial healing. This is a two-hour session.
  • Oops...Now What Do I Do: Navigating Challenging Moments Across Differences: It happens to all of us at some point: we are engaging in a conversation with a student or colleague, and something is said that offends, upsets, or negatively impacts the other. These situations often arise because of differences in identities and background, and it’s difficult to know what to do when we find ourselves in such a situation. This session will explore strategies for what you can do before, during, and after these challenging moments. This is a two-hour session.
  • Ouch...Now What: When the Challenging Moment Happens to You: Whether it is the first time or the hundredth time, the impact of being on the receiving end of an insensitive comment or action brings up a range of responses and reactions. This session provides an opportunity for those in our community who have been on the receiving end of a comment or action that reflects bias (based on their membership in an underrepresented or marginalized identity group) to explore strategies and processes to respond and move forward in a sustaining and productive way. This session is also for people with privileged or nonmarginalized identities (e.g., male, white, cisgender, affluent, abled, etc.) who want to learn more about dismantling inclusion barriers and actively working toward societal diversity and equity.

Beyond the Basics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a follow-up to our Beginning the Journey foundational series, the Beyond the Basics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion series offers participants the opportunity to grapple with advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, language, and terminology by engaging participants in hands-on activities and exercises that foster critical thinking and application. In this series, Berklee faculty, staff, and executive leaders are afforded the time and space to self-reflect, critically assess, strategically plan, and practice adopting inclusive, community-building behaviors, language, and actions in professional settings and interpersonal interactions. Note: It is strongly recommended that individuals who participate in this series have previously attended the foundational series or otherwise have a strong background in diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.

  • Understanding Assumptions and the Impact of Implicit Bias on the Work Culture: This session provides space for participants to review core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts within the scope of power and privilege dynamics while also examining the driving force behind assumptions, and implicit bias and its impact. Offered as hands-on, case study–based training, this session allows participants to delve into real-world scenarios that challenge the work environment. By participating in this training, participants will be able to better understand the importance and uses of the cultural competency spectrum while simultaneously practicing ways to implement core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts into the workplace. Session participants will also deconstruct implicit bias and its impact by identifying how and in what ways implicit bias can become explicit and discriminatory, specifically in the work setting. This is a two-hour session.
  • #WordsMatter: Addressing Discriminatory Subtext in Our Everyday Language: Offered as a follow-up to Oops…Now What Do I Do and Ouch: When the Challenging Moment Happens to You, this session invites participants to unpack harmful, explicit/overt, and implicit/subtle use of language via hands-on, application-based language-decoding exercises. This is a two-hour session.
  • Navigating Challenging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Issues in Everyday Conversation: Today people have access to more information than ever before and are often participating in dialogue both in person and online. Quick Google searches and hashtags like #AcademicTwitter and #DiversityandInclusion return countless examples of people conversing about the benefits of and barriers to inclusion. Whether online or in person, someone may bring up a challenging or taboo topic like race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, language, gender, socioeconomic class, ability, political affiliation, or sexuality. The purpose of this training is to provide participants with strategies and tools to navigate conversations that may or may not be in opposition to one’s perspective or beliefs. How we choose to manage difficult diversity- and inclusion-related discussions greatly impacts how useful the conversations are to our personal and professional growth. This is a two-hour session.
  • Book Discussion of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism: Based on the book of the same name, this session unravels the thoughts, feelings, and discomfort associated with white fragility. This term is defined by Robin DiAngelo as a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. The behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Session participants will engage in dialogue, interactive exercises, and reflective mindfulness practices to more fully understand how white fragility impacts and affects marginalized communities, and society as a whole. This is a two-hour session.
  • Journeying Toward Antiracism: Performative Allyship Versus Embodied Solidarity: The ongoing international protests against anti-Blackness, hypercriminalization, police brutality, race-related hate crimes, and other forms of racism and systemic oppression have ignited conversation on allyship and what it specifically means to show up for Black lives. Most notably, countless non-Black persons who have recently become more knowledgeable and aware of the aforementioned forms of bigotry and marginalization are currently asking what they can do to offer and show support within their sphere of influence. This coupled with ongoing discourse surrounding what it means to be and how to embody antiracism, can lead potential social justice allies to experience an array of feelings including shame, fatigue, uncertainty, and mental paralysis—all of which prevent actionable progress. This session provides participants with concrete resources, learning points, and tools for embodying solidarity in support of marginalized communities of people. Also provided in this workshop are examples of performative allyship and its unintended harm. By participating in this training session, participants will be able to visualize, strategize, and take action steps toward embodying solidarity on behalf of justice and civil and human rights. This is a two-hour session.
  • Initiating and Sustaining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Change Efforts: This session explores critical organizational practices used to initiate and sustain diversity, equity, and inclusion change efforts, and shares insights and strategies to support sustained organizational change. Participants should read In Pursuit of a Strong, Clear Vision: Initiating and Sustaining Multicultural Change in Higher Education Organizations prior to the session. This is a two-hour session.

Inclusive Excellence in Education 

A follow-up to our Beginning the Journey in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion foundational series, the Inclusive Excellence in Education series offers faculty participants the opportunity to grapple with advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, language, and terminology by engaging in hands-on activities and exercises created specifically pertaining to the classroom setting. Developed for faculty members of all ranks and status (both part-time and full-time), this series affords Berklee faculty the time and space to self-reflect, critically assess, strategically plan, and practice incorporating inclusive, community-building behaviors, language, and action into their pedagogical approach.

  • Understanding Assumptions and the Impact of Implicit Bias in the Classroom: This session provides space for faculty participants to review core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts within the scope of power and pedagogy while also examining the driving force behind assumptions, and implicit bias and its impact. Offered as hands-on, case study–based training, this session allows participants to delve into real-world scenarios that challenge the learning environment. By participating in this training, faculty will be able to better understand the importance and uses of the cultural competency spectrum while simultaneously practicing ways to implement core diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts into the classroom. Session participants will also deconstruct implicit bias and its impact by identifying how and in what ways it can become explicit and discriminatory, specifically in the classroom setting. This is a two-hour session.
  • The Art of Social Justice Storytelling: Using Narratives to Deepen Classroom Conversation and Student Learning Outcomes: Everyone has a lived experience that is unique and worthy. This session provides faculty with exercises to practice exploring and sharing experiences on diversity without burdening historically underrepresented and marginalized students. Offered as an interactive, practice-based social justice dialogue training, participants will recall their own lived experiences and backgrounds to practice building community and connection for greater empathy, inclusion, and wellbeing in order to enhance the faculty/student classroom relationship. This is a two-hour session.
  • Maximizing the Effectiveness of Search Committees (offered by request in partnership with the Human Resources Department): One of the most important responsibilities at Berklee is being part of a search committee. The outcomes of hiring decisions at all levels have far-reaching implications and impact the future of Berklee for years. It is therefore vital that search committees have and deploy all resources to conduct a thorough, inclusive, and fair search process to find the best candidates. This 90-minute, highly interactive, discussion-based session, facilitated in collaboration with Human Resources, focuses on strategies to conduct consistent, fair, and effective searches that help maximize the diversity of candidate pools. Throughout the session, participants are encouraged to share their own successes and best practices for searches and hiring. This session also helps raise awareness of the impediments to creating strong, diverse candidate pools, which inherently limit the effectiveness of a search. We will also explore strategies for assessing candidates in a fair and effective way. Note: This session is designed for hiring managers, search committee chairs, search committee members, and those interested in learning more about or serving on search committees.