Everyone Counts Diversity Learning Communities


Diversity at Western Michigan University encompasses inclusion, acceptance, respect and empowerment. This means understanding that each individual is unique and that our commonalities and differences make the contributions we have to offer all the more valuable. Affirming diversity takes intentionality, knowledge, and experiences with people who hold identities different from one’s own. WMU is committed to doing what it takes to become a truly diverse and inclusive university where community members feel welcomed, included, and have equitable access to resources.

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Office of Faculty Development collaborated to offer Everyone Counts Diversity Learning Communities. The program began in February 2010 as a way of engaging faculty, graduate students with assistantships, and staff members on diversity through the Southwest Michigan RACE Exhibit Initiative. As such, the inaugural program focused on race and ethnicity and empowered participants to explore this topic in a supportive community. These learning communities serve to equip staff members, faculty members, part-time instructors, and graduate students with assistantships.

Each year participants will focus on a topic area of diversity. In this year-long experience, participants will engage in regular meetings within a diverse group of 8-12 people who discuss literature on their diversity topic area, share best practices, listen to guest speakers, attend workshops and conferences, and dialogue around challenges and opportunities. Participants will:

  • Learn how to affect systemic, transformational, institutional change toward greater inclusion.
  • Acquire tools to facilitate dialogue between and within diverse groups.
  • Work and lead more effectively to create a campus climate which is affirming and validating of diverse experiences and perspectives.

Each participant will select an individual or group project focused on systemic, transformational, institutional change. Participants are supported in the development of learning outcomes by their facilitators and their community. Participants are encouraged to engage in action to create an inclusive environment in their workplace and greater campus. 

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Participant Expectations

Each participant will be expected to:

  • Consider new ways of thinking about what you do, who you are, your beliefs about others and your vision of diversity.
  • Be an integral and active participant in your learning community.
  • Attend bi-weekly meetings.
  • Attend initial large group meeting.
  • Attend three all-community meetings.
  • Develop an “outcome”—a project that integrates your experience into your work on campus.

Participant Poster Projects

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education 2014-15

Everyone Counts open house and reunion luncheon

Photo-Voice Project

A mental health perspective of the Race Exhibit

Building an understanding of the effects of power and privilege on human development

Race and the Society for Historical Archaeology: Steps toward claiming an anti-racist institutional identity

Reaffirm and update WMU's Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan (DMAP)

Fireflies: A performance addressing racism, sexism, and other forms of dehumanization

Feast of Nations dinner

Everyone Counts! campus project: Online learning modules

Welcome to Western Michigan University

WMU Bronco Night at the Museum

Enhancing diversity in FYE 2100 and beyond

Partnering with Organizations within the community to build awareness and understanding

WMU Campus Climate Survey Committee: Accomplishments and goals

The Diversity Book Club

Participant Feedback

“The learning communities gave me a chance to voice my questions and thoughts on diversity which I think, in turn, has helped me get over any shyness of being a voice for diversity in a larger context.”

 “[The learning communities] changed the way I look at the culture at WMU, and has encouraged me to try to find ways to facilitate discussions about those things that make us unique, as well as those things we have in common.”

“I shared with our community members and facilitators that our bi-weekly gatherings were, at times, the most meaningful, difficult, and rewarding blocks of time I would have in a two week span while at work.”

“Everyone Counts has been an extraordinary journey for me and I will always be grateful that I was a part of this very important work on our campus.”

"It has been excellent for enabling a diverse group that shares common goals to come together in a supportive environment to focus on changing our campus for the better."

"It has helped me to develop a vocabulary for identifying, addressing, and discussing issues of social justice, and has helped me be a more fully-informed person, allowing me to be more effective and engaged in all areas of my personal and professional life."

"I am more able to adequately address issues of oppression in class and to notice (or force) times for it to be addressed."


Lauren Carney, Jan Gabel-Goes, Diana Hernández, Mariam Konaté, Nathan Nguyễn, and Lindsey Palar


2018 - 19

Gender and Sexuality Identity in Higher Education

Elisabeth Carnell, Augusto Cesar Dominguez-Hernandez, Kaycie James, Lillian Manning, Kellie Skiba, Michael Smith, Tiffany White

Race, Privilege, and Power

Jennifer Armstrong, Adriana Cardoso-Reyes, Lori Farrer, Coreen Geary, Ashley Glass, Meily Lightcap, Betty Ludwig, Alice Molvern, Heather Petcovic, Elizabeth Shaffer, Jeff Spoelstra, Brittney Young

International Student Inclusion in Higher Education

Enedelia Cruz, Vun Doubblestein, Korey Force, Nathan Nguyễn, David Paul, Caroline Ray, Toni Woolfork-Barnes

2017 - 18

Disability, Access, and Holistic Inclusion in Higher Education

Christie Bierlein, Adriana Cardoso-Reyes, Lisa Carnell, Jennifer Clements, James Kison, Natalie Nguyễn, David Paul, Chuck Pearson, Christopher Roach

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education

Paula Andrasi, Jane Baas, Kourtney Bakalyar, Judy Buchanan, Jeff Carr, Doug Davidson, Korey Force, Erik Pye, Dion VanAtter

Race, Privilege, and Power

Lauren Carney, Enedelia Cruz, Vun Doubblestein, Jan Gabel-Goes, Megan Grunert-Kowalske, Emily Hazel, Melissa Lynserra, Megan McCoy, Renee Moore, Lindsey Palar, Deanne Puca, Liliana Salas, Michael Smith

2016 - 17

Disability, Access, and Holistic Inclusion in Higher Education

Kourtney Bakalyar, Jeff Carr, Doug Davidson, Lisa Emery, Geniene Gersh, Karen Oberhill 

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education

Lauren Carney, Cameron Decker, David Louder, Kaycie Ohmart, David Paul, Codie Stone, Tanya Wolfe

Race, Privilege, and Power

Adriana Cardoso-Reyes, Ron Dillard, Michael Duffy, Sarah Good, Chuck Pearson, Jill Rowe, Christine Scheller, Bonny Sucherman, Dion VanAtter, Megan Way 

Women, Faculty, Staff, and Students in Higher Education

Christina Epplett, Diana Hernández, Christine Iaderosa, Nicole Milliman, Michelle Ringle-Barrett, Laura Winther-Galaviz 

2015 - 16

Disability, Access, and Holistic Inclusion in Higher Education

D. Eric Archer, Ann Ganz, Jen Hsu, Tanya Wolfe, Cheryl Peters

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education

Shaun Ballard, Jayne Fraley-Burgett, Geniene Gersh, Sarah Good, Jim Leja

Race, Privilege, and Power (Community / Brown)

Dalee Camp, Erika Carr, Shari Glaser, Laura Hastings, Rance Kilbourn, Mariam Konaté, Melissa Kuepfer, Cheryl Ririe-Kurz

Race, Privilege, and Power (Community / Gold)

Virginia Bowlby, Tom Commer, Doug Davidson, Glen Dillon, Korey Force, LuMarie Guth, Diana Hernández, Carla Koretsky, Monica Liggins-Abrams, Ola Smith

Religion, Faith, Ethics, and Belief in Secular Institutions of Higher Learning

Paula Andrasi, Magen Dennis, Christine Iaderosa, David Louder, David Paul, Melissa Ray, Carol Weideman

Women, Faculty, Staff, and Students in Higher Education

Mimi Abdul Bellamy, Lauren Carney, Jeff Carr, Jenaba Duymovic Waggy, Lauren Freedman, Tabassum Ruby

2014 - 15

Disability, Access, and Holistic Inclusion in Higher Education

Paula Andrasi, Kathleen Camire, Lauren Carney, William Craft, Jayne Fraley-Burgett

Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education

Parnell L. Fleming, Tracy Hall, Jen Hsu, Michele McGrady, Jill Hermann-Wilmarth, Shana Wolstein

Race, Privilege, and Power

Jane Baas, Dalee Camp, Jeff Carr, Lauren Freedman, Chien-Juh Gu, Mariam Konate, David Paul

Women, Faculty, Staff, and Students in Higher Education

Erika Carr, Myla Edmond, Susan Freeman, Amber Hutson, Fredah Mainah, Christopher Nagle, Cathe Springsteen, Sakhi Vyas

2013 - 14

Race, Privilege, Power

Mimi Abdul Bellamy, Jeff Carr, Lauren Freedman, Kathy Gilbert, Annette Hamel, Michael Hodgkinson, Jen Hsu, Christine Iaderosa, Tierra Marshall, Erik Pye, Kelly Schultz

2012 - 13

Race, Privilege, Power

Nicholas Andreadis, Skylar J. Bre'z, Jeff Carr, Michael Couch, Lonnie Duncan, Lauren Freedman, Samoa Hempfling, David Huffman, Mariam Konate, Carson Leftwich, Peggy Miller, Tammy Miller, Lucy Seefried, Jodie Palmer, Cheryl Peters, Patricia Pettinga, Laurie White, Evelyn Winfield-Thomas

2011 - 12

Race, Privilege, Power

Daniel Blum, Erika Carr, Jeff Carr, Brad Gordon, Peggy Miller, Jodie Palmer, Jerry Pillsbury, Glinda Rawls, David Reinhold, Arnold Taylor

2010 - 11

Race, Privilege, Power

Paula Andrasi, William Arbogast, Gina Betcher, Robyn Bowers, Jody Brylinsky, Jeff Carr, Sue Ellen Christian, Felicia Crawford, Jim Croteau, Katharine Cummings, Bryce Dickey, Sandra Douglas, Shona Drake, Lonnie Duncan, Lauren Freedman, Judy Gipper, Kirsten Harvey, Diana Hernández, Beth Hoger, Michelle Hruska, Christine Iaderosa, Jerrold Jackson, Tracey Lawie, Amber Mosely, Michael Nassaney, Lynn Nations-Johnson, Jodie Palmer, Steven Palmer, Doris Ravotas, Elizabeth Terrell, Delores Walcott, Carol Weideman, Tiffany B. White, Susan Wienger, Mary Zwoyer Anderson