Diversity Toolbox - November 2021

Diversity 101: Getting Started as a Co-Conspirator

This Toolbox focuses on fundamental information required to understand the magnitude of hate directed at different identity groups in our college and community and how to get started as a co-conspirator. The Toolbox includes articles and other internet resources to help people build knowledge about these issues, address gaps in knowledge, and start getting involved.

Key Terms:

There are several lists of key terms to help people understand what they are talking about when they talk about issues of diversity and inclusion. As noted in the websites below, these terms are fluid and their definitions, use, and the terms themselves are constantly evolving. Additionally, this is by no means a comprehensive list of terms. We have highlighted a few key terms and definitions from the websites for you.

  • This video “Ally vs. Co-Conspirator: What it means to be an Abolitionist Teacher” (6:31 minutes) that nicely describes the difference between ally and co-conspirator.
  • Pacific University Oregon – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms
    • Bias – prejudice; an inclination or preference, especially one that interferes with impartial judgment
    • Diversity – the wide variety of shared and different personal and group characteristics among human beings
    • Equity - Takes into consideration the fact that the social identifiers (race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.) do, in fact, affect equality. In an equitable environment, an individual or a group would be given what was needed to give them equal advantage. This would not necessarily be equal to what others were receiving. It could be more or different. Equity is an ideal and a goal, not a process. It insures that everyone has the resources they need to succeed.
    • Inclusion - Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.
  • Being a Co-Conspirator – Teaching while White – a list of assumptions and actions

JMU Campus Resources:

Below is a list of resources on campus that focus on promoting equality:

  • Access and Inclusion at JMU
    The mission of the Office of Access and Inclusion is to assist and lead in creating an inclusive environment for Faculty, Staff and Students.
  • African, African American, and Diaspora Studies Centers
    provides interdisciplinary knowledges, programming, and initiatives related to Black peoples, histories, cultures, languages, economics, philosophies, ideas, and socio-political structures. The Center’s core mission is to cater to student-faculty constituencies with academic interests in the peoples, cultures, and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora.
  • Center for Civic Engagement
    As a nonpartisan entity, JMU Civic emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge to make one a more informed participant in our democracy, skills to make one a more effective participant, and values that embrace pluralism, open-mindedness, empathy, respect, diversity and inclusion.
  • Center for Faculty Innovation
    CFI provides comprehensive professional development opportunities for JMU faculty at all levels and stages of their careers. CFI initiatives support innovations in teaching, scholarship, career planning, and organizational development. The CFI is led by instructional faculty, staff, faculty associates, and students. They have Sseveral specific diversity and equity focused programs
  • Center for Multicultural Student Services
    CMSS is an integral part of the student experience at James Madison University as we educate and advocate for racial equity, intersectionality, and effective allyship. CMSS strives to support an inclusive campus through dialogue, leadership experiences, and cultural celebrations beyond the classroom that honor and value diverse identities.
  • JMU Campus History Committee
    Tasked with mapping the university’s commemorative landscape, will provide recommendations for (re)naming buildings and other spaces as an act of reconciliation. Many of the individuals discussed in these resources provide potential options for honorific namings at the university.
  • JMU Libraries: Antiracism in Action
    JMU library resources related to antiracism
  • JMU Safe Zone
    Safe Zone is a voluntary network of faculty, staff and students who believe that every member of the university community should have an equal opportunity to grow and learn in a safe and open environment.
  • Madison Caucus for Gender Equality
    Their mission is to 1) raise awareness of gender issues across the university, 2) promote equal opportunities for leadership in offices, programs and units, 3) foster a family-friendly work environment through effective policies that address not only family leave, but child care, elder care, and partner benefits, 4) highlight exemplary policies, programs, practices and individuals in higher education that represent enlightened approaches to balancing career and family demands.
  • Office of Disability Services
    ODS collaborates with the JMU community providing diverse programs and services that support the university creating inclusive, equitable environments that value disability, diversity, and accessibility.
  • Office of Equal Opportunity
    OEO administers JMU’s commitment to providing an equitable and safe environment for the entire JMU community. Learn more about equal opportunity programs and responsibilities here.
  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression Programming
    (SOGIE programming works toward promoting James Madison University's commitment to diversity through education, support, advocacy and the fostering of equity for all students, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minors
    The minor in WGSS is an interdisciplinary 18-credit program with one required course (WGSS 200). WGSS offers a unique and empowering interpretive framework for studying and understanding our world.


If you like to get news and information on social media, here are some hashtags you might want to check out:

  • #8toabolition
  • #antiracism
  • #bethechange
  • #blacklivesmatter
  • #BLM
  • #ICantBreathe
  • #LoveWins
  • #MeToo
  • #nojusticenopeace
  • #SayHerName
  • #socialjustice
  • #TimesUp
  • #vote

Educational Resources:

Below are the links to some, not all, educational resources and organizations that can help contextualize and raise awareness about how antiracism can be addressed in the classroom:

Resources about Native Lands and Populations

  • Native Land is a resource to learn more about Indigenous territories, languages, lands, and way of life
  • Send a text message to 855-917-5263 with your city and state and you will receive a response text message response with whose native land it is and more information about the land