Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
These have become buzz words, too easily uttered in a time marked by statements of commitment. In CMCI, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are more than simple statements. They are guiding values and indicators of commitment. They are words that help us craft a vision, and that vision in CMCI is inspired by the words of Angela Davis. An activist, an anti-racist and a scholar, Davis reminds us that we “have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world.”
In CMCI, we envision this transformation as the foundation of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to a larger philosophy of inclusive excellence. Our goal is to build a college that centers the student experience while also fostering a climate in which all members of our college—students, staff and faculty—thrive. Our mission is to ensure that our values and commitments translate into the daily doing of DEI.
If we are to build and sustain a diverse, equitable and inclusive college, we have to begin by recognizing the long histories of inequity as fueled by systemic exclusion. These legacies, born in anti-Black racism, continue to impact college and university cultures, and our task is to challenge the systems of privilege and disadvantage in higher education, particularly as they intersect with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability and social class. We can do so by building policies and practices that are intentionally equitable and inclusive, and by building a diverse community. The DEI work that we do in CMCI centers on teaching and learning, structures and systems, and climates and relationships. It is informed by and responsive to the legacies of anti-Black racism as they play out in and across diverse communities.
As we move forward, we will work on initiatives organized into these areas:
- Teaching and Learning
Both in the classroom and across our research and creative projects, we will build knowledge that advances diversity, equity and inclusion. Expect our conversations to challenge and push as we think together about the imperative that is DEI.
- Structures and Systems
Like any other institution, systems of higher education can only undo the histories of exclusion by examining and rethinking our infrastructure. In CMCI, we do this work through constant attention to, and revision of, our own practices and policies, asking always whether our work is equitable and inclusive.
- Climates and Relationships
Our commitment to diversity means that part of our task is to diversify our college. Our faculty, staff and students must come from diverse communities and reflect varied experiences and knowledges. We build an inclusive and equitable college when we develop relationships and climates of belonging.
Regardless of your relationship to the college, whether you are a student, an alumnus, a member of CMCI’s faculty and staff or a community member, we hope you will join us as we walk and run against the force of systemic exclusion. Across our site, you can learn more about our initiatives and programs. As you do so, know that you can always reach out to me directly or to any member of our DEI team to learn more, to share ideas or concerns and connect.
I look forward to working with you.
Lisa A. Flores, PhD
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion