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Within The Graduate School we seek to foster connections among graduate students from underrepresented and marginalized communities, provide tailored programming to engage and advance diverse perspectives, and exchange resources to help advance students and the educational vision of JMU.

New Student Orientation & Welcome Reception

The Graduate Student Orientation and Welcome Reception is designed to introduce new and returning students to existing diversity, equity, and inclusion personnel, programming, and resources on campus. This event features a keynote address from a JMU community member.

Graduate School 101

Once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters, the graduate school hosts drop-in hours for current students to come, discuss their experiences as students, and develop community with one another. Each session will center on a topic related to graduate school and professional development. Potential sessions will address developing a scholarly identity, transitioning from student to professor, and community engagement and public scholarship. Full schedule and details about registration coming soon.

View Sessions and Sign Up

Graduate Student, Faculty, and Staff Meet & Greet

The graduate student, faculty, and staff meet and greet is hosted at the beginning of each semester to connect current graduate students on campus with faculty and staff across campus. 

National Center for Faculty Development

James Madison University has joined the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) as an Institutional Member. The NCFDD is a nationally recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources graduate students.

They provide a variety of virtual programs and resources including:

• Weekly Monday Motivator

• Monthly Core Curriculum Webinars

• Monthly Guest Expert Webinars

• Access to Multi-Week Courses

• Access to Dissertation Success Curriculum for graduate students

• Private Discussion Forum for peer-mentoring, problem-solving and moderated writing challenges

• Monthly accountability buddy matches

• Access to 14-Day Writing Challenges

• Access to the Member Library that includes past webinar materials, referrals and readings

Student Resources

AIM (Advancing Intelligent Minds) Developmental Grant - The grant assists graduate students to gain practical experience or conduct scholarship that is relevant to the student's field of study. 

Accomplice Network- The Accomplice Network is a student serving system designed to promote equity within the collegiate experience while connecting AAAD faculty and students with support across the university.

African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies Center- The African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies Center provides interdisciplinary knowledges, programming, and initiatives related to Black peoples, histories, cultures, languages, economics, philosophies, ideas, and socio-political structures. The Center’s core mission is to cater to student-faculty constituencies with academic interests in the peoples, cultures, and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora 

Center for Faculty Innovation- The Center for Faculty Innovation provides comprehensive professional development opportunities for JMU instructional faculty at all levels and stages of their careers. CFI initiatives are designed to enhance academic culture and support innovations in teaching, scholarship, and career development.

Center for Multicultural Student Services- The Center for Multicultural Student Services is an integral part of the student experience at James Madison University as we educate and advocate for racial equity, intersectionality, and effective allyship. CMSS strives to support an inclusive campus through dialogue, leadership experiences and cultural celebrations beyond the classroom that honor and value diverse identities. 

Center for Global Engagement- The Center for Global Engagement helps organize regular happy hour and dinner potluck events for international faculty, staff, and researchers to which all members of the JMU community are welcome. The goal is to provide informal networking opportunities that include international members of the JMU community. Events are organized through an email listserv. 

D.E.E.P. (Diversity Education Empowerment Program) Impact - The Diversity Education Empowerment Program designed to influence meaningful change throughout the James Madison University campus community through the development of programs and services that heighten awareness, increase knowledge, and celebrate the value of diversity in all forms. 

Furious Flower Poetry Center- The Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry and is committed to ensuring the visibility, inclusion, and critical consideration of Black poets in American letters, as well as in the whole range of educational curricula. Our programming seeks to cultivate an appreciation for poetry among students of all levels—from elementary to graduate school and beyond. In addition, Furious Flower seeks to support and promote Black poets at all stages of their careers and to preserve the history of Black poets for future generations. 

JMU Career Closet - The JMU Career Closet is a clothing and accessory resource for all JMU students, with a specific focus on professional dress and interview attire. This is a donation-based resource, and students are welcome to take one complete outfit from the closet, free of charge. 

Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence- The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence promotes the insights and practices of Being the Change You Want to See in the World by functioning as a local and global hub to advance the understanding of justice and nonviolence through individual and collaborative endeavors. The Gandhi Center prioritizes JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) in education, scholarship, and engagement. 

Madison Hispanic Caucus- The Madison Hispanic Caucus at James Madison University is an organization whose purpose is to be an advocate for Latino issues in higher education, including the educational welfare and advancement of Latinos/as at our University. Our goals are to cultivate a supportive and inclusive community on campus, promote social and cultural dimensions of Latino topics as related to education and well-being, and encourage a vibrant engagement with the diversity of Latino cultures. 

Off-Campus Life The Pantry- The Pantry is a joint effort on campus, with support coming from the newly formed Basic Needs Advisory Board, which is co-chaired by Off-Campus Life and Community Service-Learning staff, and has representation from across the university and Harrisonburg community. We have partnered with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to ensure a consistent supply of quality options. The pantry has started largely with shelf-stable goods, some hygiene products, and limited fresh produce. Options will grow and expand as we better understand the needs of our community. 

Office of Access and Inclusion- The mission of the Office of Access and Inclusion is to assist and lead in creating an inclusive environment for JMU’s faculty, staff and students.

Office of Equal Opportunity- The Office of Equal Opportunity administers JMU’s commitment to providing an equitable and safe environment free of discrimination for the entire JMU community.

Sister’s in Session - The Sisters in Session Caucus (SIS) seeks to represent the interest and wellbeing of African, Black, and African American women who occupy various roles or positions across on the JMU campus. We provide support, professional development, and peer mentorship through initiatives and gatherings. Beyond our primary focus on staff and faculty, SIS strives to support graduate and undergraduate students

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE)- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE) works toward promoting James Madison University's commitment to diversity through education, support, advocacy and the fostering of equity for all students, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. 

Safe Zone- Safe Zone is a voluntary network of faculty, staff and students who believe that every member of the university community should have an equal opportunity to grow and learn in a safe and open environment. 

Students Helping Every Last Fellow Duke- SHELF’D (Students Helping Every Last Fellow Duke) is a resource located just off campus, at 741 South Main Street. Tucked away on the back porch of Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry, SHELF’D strives to offer a stigma-free gateway to nutrition for anyone who feels they do not have enough nutritional food to eat. If you are hungry, you are welcome. No exceptions, no questions asked. 

TORCH (Together Obtaining Resources for College Help)- TORCH is a student organization dedicated to serving first generation college students both at JMU and in the greater global community. Dr. Yenisei Montes de Oca, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, serves as the faculty advisor for TORCH. 

Resources and Initiatives in the Community

Friendly City Safe Space- The Friendly City Safe Space is a community for LGBTQ+ people and aspiring allies of all ages, racial and ethnic identities in Harrisonburg and surrounding counties that will empower them with the resources, education, and community necessary to thrive as equal, healthy, supported, essential members of our society. 

Brown Suga Charlottesville- Brown Suga Charlottesville is a social collective for lesbian, bisexual, queer, trans women and sapphics of color in Charlottesville, Va. and surrounding area. 

Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project- Shenandoah Valley project is a collaboration that began in February 2013. Their mission is to learn, share and illuminate African American history of the Shenandoah Valley. 

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