Diversity, Inclusion, Community, & Equity (DICE) is an area within Gonzaga University’s Division of Student Development that includes the Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC) and the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Whereas DICE is relatively new, both Centers have existed on campus for many years.
Joan Iva Fawcett, Assistant Dean for DICE, serves as a thought leader and strategist in promoting diversity and inclusion for the campus through the DICE mission: “In order to create a diverse and inclusive community, we utilize the principles of critical dialogue, reciprocity, and solidarity to facilitate learning that cultivates cultural engagement, enriches mindfulness, fosters a sense of belonging, and challenges systems of privilege and oppression.”
Matthew Barcus manages the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center, where the focus is to develop and sustain Gonzaga University as a safe and welcoming community for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions by engaging in education, advocacy, outreach, and programming.
UMEC’s purpose is to advocate for underrepresented students and provide experiential learning opportunities for all students in order to create a university community that integrates and values multiple perspectives and cultural narratives. Deb Ellis manages the area of programming, which is one of the primary ways that DICE can cast a wide net to encourage involvement in the two centers by all students who are interested in diversity and social justice. Sasha Gibson manages the area of intercultural learning and development which helps directly improve cultural competence through interactive and reflective exercises that expose the participants to diverse world views and people with different cultural backgrounds. Ricardo Ortega is responsible for student scholar support developing social and educational multicultural programs designed to increase student leadership and campus involvement among students – particularly those from historically underrepresented populations.
The centers accomplish this work with the help of an amazing work study student staff team! In the words of one student:
“When I reflect on my four years working at UMEC, I think of a common thread that all DICE work study students in the office have. The thread goes beyond what’s put in our job description, it goes beyond promoting events, maintaining an organized office space, and helping the professional staff with anything they need. To be a work study student in the DICE centers is to center yourself in the importance of building community. For our centers, one of the most popular phrases I hear is how the DICE centers give students a home away from home when they enter Gonzaga. DICE provides our students with the space to talk about anything—from how much they miss their family to how frustrated they are with what’s going on in the world to how proud they are of their accomplishments in class. As a DICE work study, we create a network of support, guidance, and friendship for the students who are a part of the DICE community.”