Posted September 11, 2020

Your guide to diversity resources on campus: IDEAL

Learn what the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL) can offer Temple students. IDEAL is dedicated to diversity and inclusion education and there are many ways for students to engage.

a diverse group of people

As Temple’s hub of diversity education, The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL) works to represent and include all identities in the conversation.

What’s the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL)? 
We’re glad you asked! IDEAL works to promote a diverse and inclusive campus through a variety of cultural development opportunities. But, what exactly do we mean when we say diverse and inclusive? Diversity is the representation of a range of psychological, physical and social differences, such as race, gender, physical ability and more. Inclusion is the act of creating environments where anyone or any group can be and feel welcome, respected and supported fully. 

Temple is known for its diversity, but inclusion is critical here. And that’s what IDEAL is helping support—making sure that our entire diverse population feels valued and part of the university community. Think diversity education, workshops, dialogues, events and many other ways to inspire meaningful connections across identities. 

When should students engage with IDEAL?
It depends on what students need or want. A big takeaway, though, is that students can engage with IDEAL at any time because building community and creating an inclusive campus takes all of us. Ultimately, this is a brave space that promotes diversity and inclusion, and they are readily available to assist students of all identities. Some of the following instances are examples of why students may want to connect with IDEAL.

  • To engage with diversity education
  • To access cultural, anti-racist and LGBTQIA+ resources
  • To attend cultural and/or LGBTQIA+ events, which are open to all students
  • To report instances of discrimination/harressment
  • To seek a safe space

Let’s get more specific—what does IDEAL offer for students?
One of IDEAL’s primary objectives is to offer students the tools and resources needed to expand their knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion through informative and perspective-shifting workshops, such as:

  • Social Activism 101 
  • Implicit/Unconscious Bias 
  • Ethnic/Racial Intimidation
  • Xenophobia
  • Social Identity (disability, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.)

Diversity education is simultaneously an independent and collaborative journey that encompasses many different topics. No matter where you are on your journey, IDEAL provides a safe space to listen, learn and grow. 

IDEAL connects students with identity-specific resources, including some of the following.

  • Anti-racism Resources
  • Readings and tools
  • Dialogues, such as Self Care: In a Time of Racial Trauma 
  • Workshops
  • LGBTQIA+ Resources
    • Guide to gender inclusive facilities, student organizations and safe zone trainings to support and uplift the queer community.
    • Organizations in Philadelphia that provide LGBTQIA+ materials
    • LGBTQIA+ friendly health services
    • Political networks
  • Cultural Resources
    • Philadelphia's Ethnic & Cultural Opportunities
    • Regional Ethnic & Cultural Opportunities

IDEAL hosts many events throughout the academic year, and, yes, this year they will be mostly virtual—more on that soon. Look out for National Coming Out Week (NCOW) events in early October and stay tuned for other events this fall. 

Pro tip: They also provide spaces (The Lecture Hall and The Borrow) for organizations to meet and collaborate!

If you’re passionate about this work, there are opportunities to work with IDEAL and gain some professional experience in this space. Students can find opportunities for part-time positions, internships and graduate externships.

Students can also become Diversity Peers. These students work with leadership at IDEAL to advocate and provide culturally-based programming that’s aligned with social justice principles. 

Learn more and apply for these exciting opportunities in diversity education.

What’s different about IDEAL this semester and how can students get involved right now?
IDEAL is still out here supporting students (employees, too!), but it’s mostly virtual. Stay tuned for workshops and events to come this semester, Zoom-style, and more information about how they’ve adapted to this COVID-19 life. There are a ton of virtual resources posted on their website

For starters, students can catch up with IDEAListic, IDEAL’s very own podcast! In their latest episode, our hosts unpack racism and diversity amidst a global pandemic.

To stay connected and up to date with everything IDEAL, join the listserv.

—Nick Eiser