As the most diverse research university in Colorado with students of color making up 50 percent of the undergraduate student body, CU Denver understands the importance of offering support catered to individuals’ experiences and needs. To help in this area, CU Denver is excited to announce a new partnership with the Steve Fund, a national organization made up of college and universities, researchers, mental health experts, and others, focused on supporting the emotional well-being of young people of color.
The Steve Fund’s efforts are purposeful and designed to address the significant inequities in mental health and the disparities faced by students of color throughout the country. In its analysis of current research, the organization has found that:
- Black students are significantly more likely than their white peers to say they tend to keep their feelings about the challenges of college to themselves.
- Students of color are significantly less likely than white students to rate their campus climate as “excellent” or “good.”
- Students of color are more likely to report feeling isolated and less likely to report feeling that their campus is inclusive than white students.
For the next two years, CU Denver will be working with the Steve Fund team to improve the racial climate, policies, and practices on campus to prioritize the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. The partnership exemplifies the importance of serving all students and supports CU Denver’s 2030 Strategic Plan goal of becoming the nation’s first equity-serving institution.
CU Denver’s priorities include:
- Developing programming and assessments of the needs of CU Denver’s students of color.
- Creating an action plan that outlines ideas and measurable goals.
- Implementing policies, programs, and practices that are developed with the support of Steve Fund experts and coaches.
- Creating evaluation and sustainability plans to ensure continued success.
As part of the initiative, the university will assemble a steering committee to work alongside Steve Fund staff. Faculty and students who are interested in serving on the steering committee should email Kristin Kushmider, PhD, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Health, Wellness, Advocacy, and Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.