Position on Racism and Discriminatory Behavior

As members of Miami University’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI), an advisory body to University Senate, we condemn racist and discriminatory behavior in our Miami community. We continually support the courageous members in our community who have already taken a stance. We especially thank the student activists who have been at the forefront of this fight. Our Diversity and Inclusion Statement creates opportunities for us to build environments on our values of Love and Honor. The tenets of Love and Honor require us to act in ways that respect all persons and foster a safe and inclusive campus environment. We recognize that human behavior is complex and every person is socialized to interpret language and behavior based on their identity and experiences. This does not excuse racist behavior that has been demonstrated by faculty, staff, or students on this campus.

Our charge from the University Senate is to advise the President and Provost on matters of diversity and to engage in and facilitate long-range planning to do the following:

  • Build an intellectual community that recognizes that diverse experiences create a richer educational experience for all students
  • Foster an inclusive campus climate
  • Foster the development of diversity-related competencies among faculty, staff, and students
  • Assess and identify trends, progress, and problems pertaining to campus diversity and climate
  • Facilitate University-wide dialogue to promote understanding and constructive exchange of views on matters of diversity.

Thus, this academic school year, we have restructured the Council to be more inclusive and effective for our constituents through establishing subcommittees to address the goals of the Council. Within these subcommittees, we have supported multiple events on the Oxford and Regional campuses, continued to assess the campus climate across divisions, analyzed the effectiveness of Miami’s current diversity and inclusion website, and consistently collaborated with those in our community on diversity and inclusion initiatives pursued by students, faculty, and staff.

To create an intellectual community, it is imperative for us to have discourse, not discord. It is our responsibility as a community to take the time to have conversations about race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and our additional identities. It is only through this self-exploration that we can truly understand how each of our own privileges interact with one another. We should not rely on those with marginalized identities to teach those with privileged identities about the many -isms that face our students, faculty, and staff. It is on each one of us to dismantle the structural oppression that builds itself off of fear, discrimination, and violence.

We call on our University Senate and all faculty, staff, and students to step up when they see discriminatory behavior. This will be uncomfortable, but only through discomfort will growth appear and flourish on our campus.

James Bielo
Colleen Bunn
Maggie Callaghan
Laura Desmond
Linh Dich
Todd Edwards
Thomas Garcia
Jane Goettsch
Gerald Granderson
Joshua B. Jones
Kelley Kimple
Leslie Haxby McNeill
Susan Miller
Tami Moore
Jennifer Patrick-Gaines
Courtney Rose
Michelle Rosecrans
Carolyn Slotten
Tarah Trueblood
Michael Vanni
Amy Yousefi
Andy Zeisler