President's Page - January 19, 2020

17th Blog – Diversity

As I sit here on this icy morning I am reminded that February, the month we recognize the history and contributions of African-Americans, is fast approaching, Observance of Black History Month gives us an opportunity  to consider what a profound effect African-American heritage has on American culture. This month long celebration of achievements by African Americans is a time to recognize the central role of blacks in U. S history. Observing Black History Month also allows for self-reflection and an opportunity to consider whether we as a society promote the value of diversity in this nation. Accepting diversity ask us to make a conscious effort to live in an inclusive and equitable manner toward all. 

Recently I was challenged to offer my own “Diversity Statement”.  Initially, I assumed that this statement would be a matter of claiming to be non-biased, non-racist, and to hold no prejudices towards any one group that reflects differences from myself.   In following up on the challenge, I determined that my assumption was overly simplified and out-of-context.  What then is a diversity statement?  A reference site that I found to be appropriately helpful is found in The Effective Diversity Statement Essay.

As for an example of such a statement, two useful models are provided from American University's Diversity Statement Resource Guide.

I found that the invitation to make a statement regarding diversity became much more than an academic exercise. I discovered that my own life experiences and situations had sculpted my awareness; my insight and thought regarding the need for diversity were profoundly personal rather than from a theoretical perspective.  After thoughtful consideration, my Diversity Statement was drafted.

I challenge you to consider your own Diversity Statement.