Mercy Summit on Equity and Inclusion

Friday, April 8

Paving the Road Forward: Examining Best Practices to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion on Salve Regina's Campus

One of the signature events sponsored by the Presidential Commission for Equity and Inclusion, the annual Mercy Summit on Equity and Inclusion offers the Salve Regina community an opportunity to listen, to engage and to understand more fully the scope of issues related to diversity and inclusion on college campuses.

Learning Goals

  • Each participant will be able to identify and understand the scope of issues related to diversity and inclusion on college campuses.
  • Each participant will have a heightened awareness of the issues of implicit bias.
  • Each participant will be able to identify ways to facilitate meaningful diversity dialogue based on best practices.
  • Each participant will be able to develop strategies on how to advance diversity work on campus.

Please note: When registering for the summit, participants should also register for two of the educational sessions listed below.

Register for the Summit

Summit Schedule

Unless noted otherwise, all events take place in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall.

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – Invocation
Dr. Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, vice president for mission integration

8:50 a.m. – Welcome and goals
Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president

9 a.m. – Keynote speaker
Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles: "Notes on Belonging: Making Justice the Center of DEI"

10 a.m. – Paving the Way Forward
A community-based discussion focusing on the findings of the campus climate survey and the roadmap for Salve Regina's future work on diversity, equity and inclusion. Facilitated by the Presidential Commission for Equity and Inclusion.

11:30 a.m. – Lunch break (lunch provided)

12:30 p.m. – Educational concurrent sessions

1:45 p.m. – Transition break

2 p.m. – Educational concurrent sessions

3:15 p.m. – Closing remarks
Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president

3:30 p.m. – Wine and cheese reception in Ochre Court

Educational Concurrent Sessions: Faculty Track

Strategies for Inclusive Teaching, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 120
Presenter: Dr. Patrick Campbell, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning

In this session, participants will learn practical strategies for creating an inclusive environment for student learning. Participants will also be invited to share their own experiences in fostering supportive classrooms. Among the topics discussed will be viewpoint diversity, cultural awareness and other issues that affect student learning in undergraduate and graduate settings.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Creating an Inclusive Syllabus: Laying the Groundwork for Student-Centered Teaching and Equitable Classrooms, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 103
Presenter: Dr. Patricia Felisa Barbeito, dean of faculty, director of the Teaching and Learning Lab and professor of literary arts and studies, Rhode Island School of Design

Syllabi serve several important purposes, the most basic of which is to communicate course content, goals and expectations to students, colleagues and accreditors. Syllabi also serve as a guide for faculty on how to plan, implement, evaluate and improve instruction. A well-crafted syllabus that prioritizes equity and inclusion in its tone, content and assessment of student learning can lay the groundwork for a dynamic and engaged classroom environment. This interactive workshop will begin with an overview of the main components of inclusive syllabi, including a discussion of course goals and outcomes, as well as student engagement and evaluation. It will also move to a consideration of how to incorporate practices and strategies that support diverse learning needs and an equitable classroom.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Research in the Name of Justice: Race and Revisiting the Purpose of "Scholarly" Inquiry, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 107
Presenter: Dr. David Stovall, professor of Black studies and criminology, law and justice, University of Illinois at Chicago

This session seeks to highlight challenges made to the research community regarding the realities of racism. As researchers and faculty members nationwide have dared to shift their approaches to scholarly inquiry, many of the attempts to address diversity, equity and inclusion concerns have been met with vitriol and retribution. Complicating notions of "objective" and "value-free" research, the presentation highlights tangible examples of research that are intentional and explicit in resisting the racist, colonial project of traditional academic inquiry.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Educational Concurrent Sessions: Staff Track

Cross Cultural Communication Skills, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 118
Presenter: Dr. Sami Nassim, assistant vice president for diversity initiatives and student success

This session will provide community members with avenues to enhance their cross-cultural competencies and awareness of other cultures. Participants will be able to have intentional opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and dialogue with each other. Participants will be able to explore the ways in which culture affects the lives, experiences and decision making of Salve Regina community members and those beyond.


Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

How to be an Effective Ally, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 203
Presenter: Rose Albert, associate director, Office of Multicultural Programs and Retention

This session will focus on providing attendees with tools to support marginalized populations at both the personal and systemic levels. The presenter will help attendees with identifying specific strategies for becoming more effective allies.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Arts for Social Action: Integrating the Mercy Mission into your Daily Practice on Campus, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 262
Presenters: Nycole Matthews, Newport Art House executive director, and Melody Gamba, program therapist at Butler Hospital

Nycole Matthews and Melody Gamba will share their community-based, anti-oppressive pedagogical approach, engaging workshop participants in the story of Black Americans while examining their own power and privilege through art making. This interactive workshop will blend arts-based reflection and community conversation to widen experiences beyond a theoretical context in hopes of cultivating compassionate social activists who embody the mercy mission on campus and beyond.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Educational Concurrent Sessions: Student Track

Self Care: How to Prioritize Our Well-Being as a Need, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 205
Presenter: Gessie Belizaire, author of "UnMet Potential"

Start the afternoon with a dynamic workshop featuring author Gessie Belizaire as she shares her practice for how to prioritize self-care through daily living. The session will explore the No. 1 thing that people struggle with – whether dispossessed, disabled or disadvantaged – when it comes to self-care. Students will also discover the importance of prioritizing individual wellness, a personal definition of self-care, tips and tools to encourage self-exploration, and how to enhance self-awareness.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Step Up, Seahawks! An Introduction to Bystander Intervention at Salve Regina, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 206
Presenters: Kathleen Farley, associate vice president for student affairs/dean of students, and Timothy Dunn, assistant dean of students/Title IX coordinator

Did you know that based upon Salve Regina's most recent climate survey, 10% of students indicated they were unsure whether they have experienced harassment or discrimination? Let's dive in together to explore some important terms, concepts and behaviors, in addition to strategies for safely intervening if a peer witnesses this intolerance. Using a combination of strategies adopted from both the Step UP! and Hollaback programs, participants will walk away with a toolkit of validation and de-escalation techniques they can utilize. The new bias reporting process at Salve Regina will be introduced.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

Conversations on Intersectionality and Institutional Racism from a Social Work Perspective, O'Hare Academic Building, Room 260
Presenters: Annie Avila, Ashley Daigneault, Samantha Dick, Breanna Grimes, Nicole Lavender, Madeline Meskill, Lydia Martell, Julia Rivera and Zoe Saurette

Join Class of 2022 social work majors in this interactive workshop that will provide definitions of intersectionality and cultural competency to provide students with the framework needed to have thoughtful conversations surrounding institutional racism and micro-aggressions on campus and in the community. Students will participate in role playing activities and engage in active conversations including how to engage in healthy conversations surrounding anti-racism.

Register for the 12:30 p.m. session Register for the 2 p.m. session

About the Keynote Speaker

Dr. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles is the director of Africana studies, dean's professor of culture and social justice, and professor of Africana studies and women's, gender and sexuality studies at Northeastern University. A Black feminist scholar who works at the intersections of race, gender and justice from a global perspective, her scholarship and teaching include subjects and areas such as rape culture, Black France, African diasporic literatures, Caribbean studies, Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. She is the author of "Looking for Other Worlds: Black Feminism and Haitian Fiction" (2022), "The Trumpet of Conscience Today" (2021) and "Conflict Bodies: The Politics of Rape Representation in the Francophone Imaginary" (2014). She has written numerous publications that have appeared in books, edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets like Ms. Magazine, The Boston Globe, WGBH and Cognoscenti, where she has weighed in on topics such as #metoo, Black girlhood and issues affecting the Haitian diaspora.

Planning Committee

  • Rose Albert, associate director of multicultural programs and retention
  • Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong, president
  • Dr. Oyenike Balogun-Mwangi, assistant professor, Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Belinda Barbagallo, assistant professor, Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Jennifer Boulay, assistant director for assessment and institutional research
  • Tracey Cunningham, graduate student
  • Santiago Durango, assistant director for programming
  • Ashley Dwyer '22
  • Dr. Julie L'Europa, assistant professor, Department of Nursing
  • Jody Mooradian, director of athletics
  • Dr. Sami Nassim, assistant vice president for diversity initiatives and student success
  • Teryn O'Brien, writer/content strategist
  • Dr. Tracy Pelkowski, assistant professor, Department of Education
  • Izabella Solivan '22