Every employer has rules for behavior; however, as an employee have you ever made a contract for your employer?
Brandeis' Heller School for Social Policy and Management has drafted a “diversity and inclusion pledge” for employees.
According to the website:
Every year, Heller students and staff renew the pledge. They also post the pledge on the doors of their offices.
The oath includes terms whose meanings have drastically changed over the last few years.
First, the vow reads, “I pledge to make Heller a safe and welcoming place for all people.”
“Safety” is certainly open to interpretation.
In 2016, this idea was used as a shield against Ben Shapiro's words.
“I promise to be aware of my beliefs about people different from me and to make myself accountable for my words and actions regardless of whether it's uncomfortable.”
In addition, employees are advised to suppress any speech that's not “sensitive” to opposing views. When “insensitive” implies disagreement, this may be a little over the top.
“I promise myself to participate in respectful dialog and use of language that is respectful of the views of other people and devoid of snark and rage both inside and outside of the classroom.”
Then, the faculty are required to pledge their energy to fight against a variety of outcomes.
“[I promise] to deliberately and continuously act to combat social injustice and inequality within the larger community.”
Finally instructors must assist students in achieving their goals:
“In the end, I vow to fight for a future where everyone is able of being who they want to be and lead a fulfilled life without having to face discrimination.”
When it comes to reworking the world, Brandeis is moving forward. In June, RedState's Jeff Charles covered the college's “Oppressive Language” list.
In the course of “Violent Language,” students are urged not to use phrases such as “killing it” when describing the way someone did well. Why? because “if someone is doing well, there are other ways to say so that don't equate it to murder.” …
In the same way, the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) recommends using the phrase “general rule” instead of “rule of thumb,” since “this expression allegedly comes from an old British law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb.”
Also, they ruled out: “crazy, “lame,” “wild.” The institution says that “ableist language can contribute to stigmas about and trivializes the experiences of people living with mental health conditions.”
Under “Language That Doesn't Say What We Mean,” PARC insists on students not using words such as “victim” or “survivor” due to the fact that “these terms could make someone feel like they are a part of an experience. Person-first language is great in this case, however, it is not a good idea if the individual identifies with either of these terms. In the event that they do, you should honor the person by using the word!”
In 2020, PARC released the “Response to Anti-Blackness.”
“In order to address our own anti-Blackness, we have looked at our practices and have identified specific ways to uplift our Black community through our work,” it stated.
In the middle of the plan it says:
“Be determined to challenge the oppressive language we use in our lives, our programs, as well as our community.”
“We must consider the role of whiteness in our work and resource collection by expanding the library of resource materials along with training and education materials, to accommodate the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) and LGBTQ voices.”
More information from Brandeis:
“All of the above could provide an understanding of what's expected from employees who make pledges.”
Whatever the case, one thing is certain: If you're Professor of Brandeis University, much more is required of you than just teaching.