Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) at OISS
The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is committed to providing a welcoming environment for everyone, where people from all backgrounds feel included and supported. A space in which we foster cultural exchange, challenge biases, and celebrate pluralism and where Yale’s community is complemented by people and cultures from around the world.
We firmly believe that there is power in diversity, and that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect - regardless of their national origin, ethnicity, race, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, class, age, or other characteristics.
For each of us to thrive at Yale, we all have the right to expect:
- Equal and equitable opportunity to contribute, learn, grow, and succeed,
- Rejection of harassment or discrimination,
- Help and support when needed, and
- Accountability for inappropriate actions.
OISS leads by example through building community. We offer learning opportunities about the multifaceted identities that come together at Yale, and connect international students with community members of many backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. This includes campus programs and centers such as the LGBTQ+ office, Cultural Houses, Student Accessibility Services, 1st Gen Yale, and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.
Goals & Outcomes
OISS has set concrete goals that are in accordance with Yale-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives. Our focus is on the goals listed below.
A few examples of the university committees and key stakeholders that OISS interacts with regularly are:
- Office of the Secretary and Vice President for University Life
- University Admissions
- College, Graduate & Professional, and Postdoctoral Deans Offices
- Cultural Centers & Cultural Centers Committee
- Career Offices
Up next: Continue to engage with DEIB Partners across campus to define and emphasize how international campus members (those on temporary visas supported by OISS) are a distinct and critical demographic in our diverse community.
- OISS has purposefully increased conversations on DEIB topics during our orientation programs. In 2020 and 2021, the office hosted a program entitled “Navigating Race, Identity, and Difficult Conversations” led by Ewurama Okai, an international Yale alumna and current PhD candidate at Northwestern University.
- Additionally, OISS has curated content about DEIB that is included in the student orientation presentation, followed with additional programs throughout the academic year.
Up next: Continue to improve DEIB content during orientation season and in pre-arrival communication with the help of Graduate Professional Experience (GPE) Fellows and colleagues across the institution.
- Recruit a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives Fellow annually to develop DEIB-driven programs for the international community, and help to refocus the OISS website on belonging at Yale.
- The first Fellow was appointed in the fall of 2021, and to date has facilitated workshops on “Navigating Unfamiliar Discourse”, “Implicit Bias”, “Race and Intersectionality in the U.S.”, and “DEIB Work In Practice: Panel Discussion with Yale Leaders.”
Up next: Compile a list of multimedia resources for international students to learn about American social justice movements and their history; continue to develop DEIB-focused workshops and appoint a GPE Fellow for the 2022-2023 academic year.
- In the spring of 2021, each school and administrative division developed a five-year action plan to support and enhance a culture of openness, respect, and appreciation at Yale.
Up next: An OISS staff member serves on the Global Division’s DEIB committee. The committee began to implement its five-year plan in September 2021. Learn more about the unit’s goals and action items.
OISS staff members have sought various opportunities to increase their exposure and understanding of DEIB issues, including participation in workshops such as the “Inclusive Advising for International Student & Exchange Professionals”, “8 Strategies to Mitigate Implicit Bias Training”, and NAFSA's “Let's Talk About Race Workshop”. Resources from these workshops were shared with the rest of the OISS team, and outcomes included:
- Adding pronouns to the OISS team page.
- Updating resources on our website in our Campus & Community Life section.
- Creating the DEI and Belonging GPE Fellowship with the Office of Career Strategy.
Up next: As part of the Global Division’s DEIB Unit Plan, every OISS staff member developed at least one FOCUS goal for 2022-2033 that addresses either personal or professional growth in DEIB topics.
- Beginning in Fall 2020, OISS has included a dedicated “DEIB Corner” in our weekly newsletter that is distributed to the Yale international community. These feature DEIB related events and resources happening at Yale or in New Haven.
Up next: Continue to curate resources on the OISS website that address DEI and Belonging issues for our international community to access.
We encourage you to explore these topics further, and want to highlight a few of the many on-campus resources at Yale: