Oregon State University – Cascades is launching a new laboratory dedicated to advancing social equity and inclusion in Central Oregon by providing business owners and managers tools to foster diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
Erika McCalpine, a business faculty member at OSU-Cascades, who has championed social justice issues within OSU and Bend, will lead the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Laboratory.
The lab will provide intensive diversity and inclusivity training for business owners and managers in Central Oregon, a region where an estimated 12% of the population is made up of people of color. McCalpine will lead two training sessions this summer.
“We’re fortunate to have a thoughtful and collaborative leader like Erika to lead the DEI Lab,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “I’m confident the lab will advance social justice in Central Oregon and help people of color find equal opportunity to succeed.”
The lab also will provide consulting services for area businesses, agencies and nonprofit organizations, advising employers on hiring practices, unconscious bias and other issues.
“The recent national social unrest has heightened awareness in our community of the systemic racism many people of color experience as a part of daily life,” said McCalpine. “The DEI lab will leverage the strong local desire to create more inclusive work environments and more welcoming communities for current and future generations.”
McCalpine plans to engage undergraduate student interns in research and outreach at the DEI Lab.
She serves on the boards of directors of City Club of Central Oregon and Volunteers in Medicine, and on advisory boards of the Bend Chamber. She is a co-founder of Love Your Neighbor, a grassroots effort that encourages Central Oregon community members to appreciate and accept fellow residents from diverse backgrounds. She received the OSU Frances Dancy Hooks Award in 2019 for building bridges across cultures and showing courage in promoting diversity.
The DEI Lab is funded in part by a gift from John Teller and Amy Tykeson.
About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 35 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.