Toppel Career Center @ University of Miami
Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami Builds a Culture Wall? to Create Unity Around Diversity and Inclusion
Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami is dedicated to helping students make educated decisions about their careers. Led by Associate Dean & Executive Director Christian Garcia, the forward-thinking team strives to innovate and add value to the services it offers students. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) were identified as central to this goal.
D&I is a highly sought after an initiative in the corporate world. Higher education is no different.
But many companies make the mistake of treating D&I like something that is solvable through training. Every year, millions of dollars are spent with very little change or outcomes. In some cases, training actually makes the problem worse.
The question that the team at Toppel Career Center had to answer was how to align around D&I in ways that went beyond training or through a generic process that resembled a box-ticking exercise.
Garcia expressed the challenge this way, “It’s one thing to say that you believe in diversity and inclusion, you hear those words thrown out a lot. It’s another thing to really have an exercise where you can think critically and be intentional about it.”
For D&I to Thrive, Organizations Need to Design a Diverse and Inclusive Culture
D&I is less about process and more about creating a more diverse and inclusive culture. As such, the concepts that create context around the pillars of diversity and inclusion are human-centered and personal. This led the team at Toppel to re-engage Gapingvoid Culture Design Group to create a dedicated D&I Culture Wall? and spark a new movement toward diversity and inclusion.
Gapingvoid and Toppel Career Center’s work together goes back to 2014. Toppel is home to an impressive 123 piece Gapingvoid Semiotic Installation and Culture Wall. This successful Culture Design work has helped Toppel transform the way they work, how they interact with students and employers and how they are viewed and valued within the university. This has led Toppel to become a “destination” for forward-culture-thinking within the institution.