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Screening and DEI

The purpose of this article is to further the reader’s understanding of how diversity, equity and inclusion inform the Screening team’s work- and to show examples of the DEI-supporting resources we’ve created.

The Screening team makes an intentional efforts to lead ongoing conversations and to seek professional development opportunities around topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. We also actively and perpetually work to understand and remain aware of our own biases to ensure that the objectivity, safety and integrity of the screening process is maintained.  Our aim is to ensure our standards for determining whether a mentor is safe and appropriate are in service of our student population and org-wide DEI philosophy. A common understanding of the systemic inequities which impede access to opportunities and resources around post-secondary education, for low-income students of color, drives the work that we do. 

The resources listed below are a few examples of the resources we’ve produced to inform our day-to-day work. Each is a work in progress—we strive to collaboratively develop resources and tools to use in our DEI work and update as we continue to learn.

This resource breaks down some of the coded language that has come up in the Screening interview and explains how it may indicate bias.

This tool can be used when you detect dog whistle language or bias and want to probe further.

  • DEI section in every weekly internal screening bulletin
  • Monthly DEI-related discussion in Screening Weekly meeting 

Some examples of the Screening team’s ongoing professional and personal development around DEI include:

  • team trainings and discussions around various topics, including implicit bias and code switching
  • group outing to an anti-bias afternoon training
  • an internal DEI book lending library
  • Screening Team representation in iMentor’s Diversity Committee (when it was active), and the Unpacking Whiteness group, members of the Screening team co-facilitated Monthly Learning Moment discussions with staff and mentors around topics related to DEI (when those were active), and some screeners led mentor orientations where iMentor’s commitment to DEI is explicitly reiterated

In summary, we believe very strongly in the idea that organization-wide DEI work is only as effective as the individuals and teams activating it. Screening will perpetually work towards broadening our awareness of our own individual biases and systemic inequities which impact our student population and many of our mentor applicants.