How to Start an EIJC

Getting Started:

  • Get higher level support and maintain that line of support
  • Start small and build - plan as much as you can ahead of time
  • reach out to a diversity and inclusion staff member at your school
  • find/apply for startup funds through your department or university 

One-time tasks:

  • Reserve a room (or secure a zoom account) to hold the meetings.  This should be done early as to not conflict with other regulary scheduled seminars and meetings.  
  • Assign roles to each facilitator, and decide on the terms of those roles. These may include food/drink, website management, email communication, and more.
  • If serving beverages, buy in bulk and encourage attendees to bring their own cups.  
  • Schedule volunteer speakers for the semester.  Give people the option to sign up when you send a first announcement message.  Also reach out to people individually.  Be sure to contact/schedule outside speakers well in advance.  Leave some spots open on the schedule so that people can still sign up and feel welcome to share ideas.
  • Complete an exit survey(.doc) after the semester is over to find out what is working well and where there are opportunities to learn.

Repeated tasks:

  • Send out weekly announcements in accordance with your department's scheduling practices.  Determine if the speakers themselves will send out the message or if that will be organized within your EIJC.  The email should include the topic of their talk as well as the readings/media to accompany the talk.
  • If providing meals, order lunch to be delivered 15 minutes prior to the meeting - encourge attendees to bring their own plates/flatware.  Also look for "minority owned businesses" (MBEs) or local small business businesses as vendors. A survey in advance can help you determine special dietary requirements.
  • Website management - be sure to update the content of the site to include the resources discussed in the sessions.  Also use the site to honor past organizers.

Content ideas:

  • The content for your EIJC should be driving by those in your community.  If you need inspiration, our previous events page shows the variety of topics we have discussed.
  • We suggest reaching out to individuals prior to the first meeting to get a the first few sessions set with speakers. With this scheduling buffer, you will avoid much stress.