Chancellor Philip DiStefano asks keynote speaker Beverly Tatum a question during the Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Photo by Casey A. Cass.

It is always gratifying that the Diversity and Inclusion Summit occurs in partnership with the city of Boulder, and I want to thank the city for its participation.

Growing up in a diverse community in the Ohio Rust Belt gave me experiences to navigate my life and career.

I hope that our students, supported by faculty and staff, have the same experiences and opportunities that I have had: respectfully interacting with people different from ourselves. Diversity and inclusion makes our lives richer.

How we interact with one another speaks directly to this year’s theme: Intent versus Impact.  

Achieving a diverse, inclusive and communicative community is vital to our campus imperatives to lead, innovate and positively impact humanity.

To that end, our campus diversity plan was posted for community review last Friday. I encourage you to review it, attend town halls and submit comments.

It is our moral imperative, and critical to the success of our campus community, to honor diversity and inclusivity in all forms: race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, religious preferences, socio-economic status, age, intellectual, political and geographic diversity.

We know that social climate on campus, and in the broader community, is foundational to the success of our students. We want everyone to thrive and reach their full potential.

Our goal for creating an inclusive campus is supported by the Colorado Creed, which our students drafted in 2003. The creed calls for respecting the rights of others, celebrating our differences and contributing to the greater good of our community. Our students were fully invested in these ideals 15 years ago, and their legacy continues today. 

The Colorado Creed is posted in high-profile places on campus, including in this building [University Memorial Center]. It reminds us that the dialogue we are having over the next two days should not be limited to an annual or bi-annual summit. It should be part of our daily conversation. Given the events our country has experienced in recent weeks and months, the Colorado Creed is more meaningful than ever.

Sharing and learning from our fellow community members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives makes us all richer, smarter and better citizens of the world. Seeking diverse perspectives should be woven into our fabric as a higher education institution.

A diverse and inclusive community gives us personal growth, broader perspectives and cultural richness. It is also important for another reason.

Having a diverse community with varying perspectives is essential to our success as a public research university. Diversity brings multiple perspectives that drives innovation.

In my State of the Campus speech last month, I quoted William Wulf, from the University of Virginia, who said that without diversity we would have designs that are never realized...ideas that are never conceptualized...and dreams that are never imagined.

We will continue to thrive at CU if we understand, through the many perspectives of our faculty, staff and students, how we can have a positive impact on humanity. Thank you. 

Introduction of Beverly Daniel Tatum

It is my honor to introduce our keynote speaker, Beverly Daniel Tatum.

Dr. Tatum is widely known for her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. She is the author of several books including the national bestseller Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race, which was re-released in 2017.

Dr. Tatum is president emerita of Spelman College in Atlanta, and she is a scholar and teacher of the psychology of race. In 2014 she received the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments and higher education leadership.

We are very fortunate to have her with us today. Will you please welcome Dr. Beverly Tatum.