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Miami University’s OIDI provides Cultural Resource Guide

Miami University’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) created a Cultural Resource Guide in August 2022 as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Anyone can access it on OIDI’s website.

The guide serves to acclimate new minority students, faculty and staff to Miami by providing information about diverse facilities, like restaurants, community spaces and educational programs on campus, in Oxford and across the nation. It also grants insight for campus organizations to improve their DEI efforts.

Hiram Ramirez, senior director of Miami’s DEI Strategic Initiatives, sourced the guide based on Miami’s broader campus climate strategy. He communicated with likely users of the guide throughout the area to gather their needs.

“The guide is being used as a resource during faculty and staff searches,” Ramirez said. “We have also circulated this resource widely among our councils, which have shared this resource with faculty, staff and students across the institution.”

Ramirez researched and developed it over a period of months, modeling it after institutions and colleges with similar projects. Various Miami stakeholders thanked him for the work and the guide impacted Miami once it came out. 

“We decided the Miami community could benefit from this type of resource,” Ramirez said. “So far, it seems to be a resource that many individuals have appreciated.”

Miami Hillel’s vice president of programming, Delaney Towers, approves of the organization being in the guide, especially with concerns of rising antisemitism.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Towers said. “It makes antisemitism feel much more real, and it'd be great for Miami to promote the guide more as a support network for students if something were to happen.”

Towers also appreciates the publicity because it brings awareness to the opportunities Hillel offers for Jewish students.

Another campus organization, the Black Student Action Association (BSAA), plans to promote the document internally. BSAA’s political action chair, Jared Perkins, commends Miami for the resource.

“It’s to show people that Miami actually is invested in [DEI],” Perkins said. “It’s also to show that Miami doesn’t have [all] the same type of people.”

Overall, Perkins thinks Miami took a step in the right direction with the guide.

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“There might be some minority groups that can do great things,” Perkins said. “We find it helpful in educating ourselves on how many there are on campus.”