Inclusion Council Working Groups

As the University System of Maryland leadership previously stated, we believe that public colleges and universities are obligated to help end inequity and to promote social justice. UMBC is committed to promoting social justice and taking action to address inequities on our own campus in a number of important ways, including the work being done by UMBC’s new Inclusion Council.

The Inclusion Council was formed to provide advice and guidance to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights (formerly called the Office of Equity and Inclusion) from a variety of perspectives. Members also act as ambassadors for the office across campus, and Inclusion Council meetings provide a venue for discussing equity issues as they arise. The Inclusion Council is made up of students, faculty, staff, and alumni working with the campus community. UMBC’s important Retriever Courage initiative is now a part of the Inclusion Council’s work, which is also being advised by the Retriever Courage Faculty/Staff Advisory Committee.

The Inclusion Council is committed to partnering with the UMBC community. We acknowledge that there are many faculty, staff, and student groups that are already doing important inclusion work in our community and beyond. We believe in the power of collaboration and seek to help elevate and provide space for the important work that is already underway.

The Inclusion Council has launched working groups to gather information, develop recommendations, and propose a plan of action with respect to a number of issues that have been identified by our community as priorities. We encourage UMBC community members from a variety of backgrounds to participate in these working groups. As a community, we plan to draw on the leadership and wisdom of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, many of whom confront these issues every day through their teaching, research, and activism.

Working Groups (and brief description bulleted below)


Working Groups
OEI Liaison
Bias and Microaggressions and Training/ Education and Intersectionality/ Engagement
  • Where microaggressions and bias are found on campus, how to address and eliminate them, how to be an effective bystander
  • Identify, support, and increase training on racial/social justice, structural racism, and intercultural competency; evaluate and make suggestions regarding mandatory training requirements
  • Supporting the engagement of community members with a diverse range of intersectional identities in social justice work, including people who identify as LGBTQ+, Asian, Muslim, international and disabled students, among other identities
David Di Maria

Mehrshad Devin

Howard Nicholson

Autumn Reed

  • Work on the communications of the Inclusion Council, support for the communication efforts of ECR
Rob Bennett

Marie Lilly

Susan Taylor
Conflict Resolution/ Restorative Practices
  • Alternative resolution, transformative/ restorative justice
Eric Ford

Haley L. Owens

  • Inclusive teaching practices, curriculum resources for faculty, first year experience, international and intercultural studies
Marcela Sarmiento Mellinger

Keisha Allen

Faculty and Staff Diversity, Recruitment, Retention, Belonging
  • Reviewing data, making recommendations to increase the pool of applicants from underrepresented groups, recommendations for how to better retain diverse faculty and staff, how to maintain an welcoming inclusive environment, and how to provide opportunities for growth and leadership

Rehana Shafi
Tamara Bhalla
Michael Hunt


Land Acknowledgment
  • Develop a land acknowledgement statement for use at events and on course materials; provide resources on the history of the appropriation of native land for state use and support related educational programs
Alignment of Economic Decisions and Values
  • Addressing required use of supplies from Maryland Correctional Enterprises, selection and training of campus contractors including food vendors
Shelly Wiechelt
Maggie HollandLoren Henderson
Chris Steele
  • Identify and make recommendations regarding creation or modification of policies to ensure inclusive practices and procedures at UMBC, within USM and the State
Carole McCann

Haley Owens

Melody Wright

  • Examine UMBC Police policies on use of force, examine police training, funding, and transparency
Shannon Ashley

Nicole Telfer

Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, and Interpersonal Violence
  • Continue the work of Retriever Courage, including examining how to continue to address sexual assault, misconduct and harassment in the campus community
Jess Myers

Nadia BenAissa

Jameka Wiggins

Student Recruitment/ Enrollment / Retention and Belonging
  • Gather data on enrollment, retention, and graduation; evaluate policies and practices related to recruitment and enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students underrepresented minority students, students with disabilities, previously incarcerated students, and students from disadvantaged communities within Maryland; explore how to improve retention and graduations rates and time to degree for these students
  • Evaluate and make recommendations to address climate issues, access issues for students with disabilities, programs to increase involvement of students of color in specific student organizations and activities, gender inclusive language and practices, and homelessness and food insecurity
Chris Hawn

Jasmine Lee

Teresa Michel

Nadia BenAissa

We will continue these important conversations and invite all to share their thoughts about the efforts these working groups will undertake through For more resources on inclusive excellence in action, please visit the Office of Equity and Civil Rights website.