NR 6 Next Steps Action Plan
for Making a Positive Difference on Diversity Issues
First Draft: Due 1 November in Discussion Section
Final Plan: Due 15 November in Discussion Section
The purposes of this assignment, Next Steps Action Plan, are:
- To assess your personal beliefs with respect to race,
ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, language, and customs,
with attention to how this relates to your time as a student
studying the environment at UVM.
- To evaluate how your everyday actions and practices support
your personal beliefs and values.
- To create a plan for specific actions you will take to
contribute to positive change on these issues, considering your
identity as a student studying the environment and natural
resources at UVM.
- To create a document that you will re-evaluate in your senior
year in the capstone diversity course.
The final Action Plan should be approximately 3 pages, 12
pt font, 1 inch margins, 1.5 line spacing.
Your Action Plan should include three components:
- Principles - What
are your guiding principles with respect to diversity, whether
it be race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, language,
customs, sexual orientation, age, or ability?
- Practices - What are
the practices in
which you engage on a regular basis that reinforce these
- Actions - Provide a
list of actions
that you can commit to taking during your four years at UVM that
will contribute to positive change on issues of diversity around
campus. We prefer that your actions revolve around steps that
you can take on campus or in the Burlington area, but you may
expand this to other communities. You may find useful the list
of resources for action planning that is provided on the NR 6 readings list.
Each component should be ~1 page in length.
- Principles - This is a statement of your
personal beliefs and values which rule your thoughts and actions
with respect to diversity, or difference. It is possible, or
likely that this is something that you have not thought about
before, so you may find that this assignment reveals beliefs
that you had not previously considered. The statement should not
be constructed as a lecture or include negative statements. It
should be a positive affirmation of the rules by which you live.
For example: My overriding principle is thoughtfulness. I try to
live with a caring attitude, whether it be a neighbor, a student
with personal problems, or someone who has dropped their
groceries in the check out line. This extends to my teaching
philosophy, in which I try to raise awareness of how issues of
justice and fairness become intertwined with the ways in which
we manage and conserve our natural resources.
- Practices - This section highlights the
day-to-day practices that you undertake in supporting your
principles. In your autobiographical essay, you discussed
specific people, places, events and activities that have shaped
your attitudes. Here, we are looking for actions such as how you
engage other people, how you explore new places, what you read,
what you listen to, who your friends are, how you learn, what
you talk about, etc. This section should directly link to the
ways in which you interact with the people in your community to
support your principles with respect to difference and
- Specific Actions - We want you to develop a
list of 3-5 actions to which you can commit while you are a
student at UVM. These do not need to be grand actions. However,
they should be definitive steps, more than everyday practices,
but not necessarily a long-term plan. In fact, we prefer modest
actions that are truly attainable, such as participating in the
Rubenstein School Diversity Taskforce, or Alternative Spring
Break, or committing to read one book per semester that
Everyone has a different way in which they engage in action.
Some take an active role, and may join and participate in campus
or community organizations, or volunteer/intern in social or
environmental justice groups. Others may take a more passive
role, preferring to educate themselves on issues at their own
pace. Thus, the actions that you set forth should be designed to
support your own personality style. Regardless of your mode of
participation, these actions should be things to which you can
commit during your time at UVM. Links to specific groups and
initiatives on campus can be found here. In addition to
describing each action, also provide a reason why this action is
important to you and how will you benefit from this action.