I recently heard a speaker quote something that I really appreciated: “Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a practice and equity is a goal.” This comes from a tweet from @TonyaMosley. Mosley is the Silicon Valley Bureau Chief for KQED, a PBS station.
Here’s what I particularly like about this quote: in light of the propensity to raise questions over the value of diversity and whether we need diversity, Mosley succinctly reminds us that diversity is a fact, whatever our perspective on it might be.
Crucially, though, she then takes us farther, to inclusion and equity, which are important concepts for WSU Vancouver. I think it’s worth thinking deeply about the idea of inclusion as a practice. A practice is something that is customary, habitual, and expected. I call on us all to work to make our behaviors toward others inclusive as a custom and a habit. We can develop these behaviors consciously so that they then become habits. And I would love for our campus to become a place where people from underrepresented and historically undervalued identities can expect inclusion as a practice.
Finally, equity is a goal. We have incorporated equity as a literal goal in our campus strategic plan, and it is a goal that we need to work seriously and mindfully to achieve. As one step toward that goal, I invite all campus community members to take part in the Building a Community of Equity (BaCE) program. Information about BaCE can be found here.
Finally, I want to echo what Chancellor Netzhamer said in his campus update last week when he called on us to do the hard work to improve the ways in which we “call out, condemn and address instances of white supremacy, racism and discrimination on our campus.”
Diversity is a fact. Our campus community is becoming increasingly diverse, and will continue to do so as we move forward into the coming decades. Inclusion is a practice that will make a stronger campus community, as well as a stronger nation and world as we create the circumstances in which all people can develop their talents and contribute to their highest potential. Equity is a goal. It’s a goal that we must commit to and continue striving towards through the hard work and re-learning that it will take. I’m committed. And I hope each of you will commit, as well.