We strive to create a welcoming community where all students belong and thrive.
NIU makes access, equity and inclusion a top priority. We do this by valuing the perspectives and life experiences of each community member, honoring and respecting our differences, and empowering students with knowledge and skills that promote their success. NIU recognizes the importance of honoring and acknowledging the past, so we can work toward a more inclusive future. We know that our Huskies have the talent, promise and persistence to succeed in their careers, in life and as agents of positive change in our world.
The four locations of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Naperville, Rockford and Oregon occupy the traditional homelands of Anishinaabe peoples—Niswi-mishkodewinan, also known as the Council of the Three Fires—comprised of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa. Other Indigenous peoples who call this land home include the Sac and Fox, Kickapoo, Peoria, Miami and Sioux. NIU's occupation of this land is a result of ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native Americans in part through the Treaty of St. Louis (1804) and the Second Treaty of Prairie du Chien (1829).
We acknowledge the presence and continued vitality of these and other Native communities in our state and Midwest region, as well as throughout the U.S. and Canada. Today, the sovereign Indigenous nations who were forcibly removed from Illinois are located in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan and Wisconsin, among other states. Moreover, one of the largest communities of Native Americans in the Midwest is in the Chicago area.
As an academic institution, Northern Illinois University has a responsibility to acknowledge and redress this colonial legacy. To that end, NIU will educate our students, staff, faculty and visitors, as well as the surrounding community, about this history. Furthermore, as part of NIU's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, we seek to build respectful and authentic relationships with Native students, faculty, staff and local and relocated Native communities by promoting student access and success, academic research and artistry and community outreach and engagement.
As part of the 125th Anniversary Celebration, the Departments of English and History and the Student Government Association have proposed a rededication of DuSable Hall, including the placement of a plaque to highlight the history of DuSable Hall's name. The plaque would draw attention to collaborations between 18th-century Black trader Jean Baptiste Point du Sable and his wife Kitihawa, a member of the Potawatomi community, in the founding of what would become Chicago, and the history of student activists who have emphasized northern Illinois' diverse regional history and student demographics.
Status: In progress AY20-21.
The Presidential Commission on Race and Ethnicity is proposing renaming the Holmes Student Center meeting room named for former Illinois senator and slave owner Stephen Douglas to instead honor former slave, abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass, who believed in the equality of all peoples and the value of making alliances across racial and ideological divides.
Status: In progress AY20-21.
NIU embraces universal design to promote accessibility and inclusion in our policies, classrooms, workplaces and virtual spaces. This commitment, along with federal and state guidance, ensures that faculty, staff, students, applicants and visitors can fully participate in academic, employment, and community programs and services. NIU strives to promote campuswide initiatives that embrace the universal design to accessibility and inclusion in our policies, classroom, workplace and virtual spaces. Some examples include, but are not limited to, ensuring:
In 2019, NIU conducted an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) survey. The survey was distributed to all employees and students with five focus areas:
The summary of these results have been shared with members of senior leadership and college deans. Next steps include wider distribution of results and planning for the next survey. Intent is to conduct survey every two years.
The Committee on Academic Equity and Inclusive Excellence (CAEIE) is preparing a draft anti-racist statement to be reviewed by campus shared governance, with final approval by the president.
Status: In progress - to be completed by May 2021.
NIU Police and Public Safety has invested in the ongoing training of officers regarding anti-racism and bias through diversity, equity and inclusion training. While recognizing that training has to be continuous and ongoing, the department is committed to using both internal resources (Conversations on Diversity and Equity, or CODE) and external resources (Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement, or RITE) to ensure ongoing officer training.
Accreditation by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP) provides the NIUPD with a third-party review and accreditation process that ensures our policies and practices are equitable, fair and impartial in accordance with industry standards in professional policing.
Body-worn cameras are a means of using technology to build community trust through transparency and ensuring fair and impartial treatment of all community members.
Upgrading security cameras and other technology such as locks and lighting is a preventative measure focused not only on crime prevention and community safety, but also on equity and transparency.
The world café is a community dialogue centered around the NAACP 10 Shared Principles. The purpose of the café is to bring law enforcement and the community it serves together to engage in practical conversations about crime, police and social justice. The shared principles are values that NIU police share with NAACP to respect all human life and to treat people with dignity and respect.
The purpose of the Police-Citizen Advisory Group (PCAG) is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and to discuss issues impacting the NIU campus community. Ongoing dialogues are intended to be engaging, open and honest discussions with proactive outcomes to:
The NIU Department of Police and Public Safety is committed to fairness, impartiality, equity in access, services and engagement in a transparent way to build trust and legitimacy between law enforcement and the community that they serve.
Integrating the Huskie Safe Line with the Huskie Bus Line and the larger local transportation system will improve service and access for NIU students and community members.
It is the policy of the Northern Illinois University Department of Police and Public Safety to provide guidance to department personnel regarding the response, de-escalation and mitigation of conflict while engaging the public during the performance of their duties. The department shall provide periodic training to ensure that members understand and implement the processes and tactics used to prevent, reduce or manage behaviors associated with conflict, including verbal or physical agitation, aggression, violence or similar behaviors during an interaction with the community.
It is the policy of the Northern Illinois Department of Police and Public Safety to provide clear direction to its personnel regarding the use of force in response to resistance/aggression occurring in the performance of their duties. The department shall provide training to ensure that members recognize the legal, moral and ethical requirements concerning the use of force, including deadly force. The department shall review and analyze all incidents concerning the use of force by its members at least annually. The policy has several key components, including a duty to intercede, medical aid and reporting.
At NIU, a variety of departments have put forward anti-racist statements. Below are examples of a few of those statements.