TCNJ Magazine Fall 2020

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8 The College of New Jersey Magazine James Felton TCNJ Magazine: What is inclusive excellence? James Felton: The educational community has policies, practices, and procedures that may be inclusive for some but exclusionary for others. Inclusive excellence is a framework to correct and revise those practices so that we're really thinking about the success of everyone at the institution. So it's ongoing and active engagement with diversity, equity, and inclusion. TM: Many people think of diversity as race, but is it more than that? JF: Absolutely. There's been a progression of diversity in higher education. In the '60s, diversity was really about addressing the underrepresentation of Black and Brown people at colleges. The scope P R A I R I E then expanded to affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and other social identity groups including gender, identity expression, veteran status, disability, international, and religion. That moved us into this 21st-century notion of diversity, which is really looking at coalition building and using the skills and life experiences of individuals to help advance the institution. We're not just looking at what we offer to certain populations, but rather what popula- tions offer to the learning and working environment overall. TM: Walk us through how you build a diverse and equitable campus. JF: It's everyone's work, right? This can't sit on just a few people's laps. People need to see themselves being a James Felton has dedicated his career to diversity work in higher education. Influenced by his grandmother, who bought him his first book, a friend with a disability, and his experience as one of the few students of color at a predominantly white college, he's poised to lead the The College of New Jersey as Vice President of Inclusive Excellence. Felton sat down with us to talk about his plans for making the college a place for everyone. JON ROEMER

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