Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

Letter from the Co-Chairs

Greetings Members and Friends of the Miami community,

We hope you will join us in producing an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. We are grateful to President Crawford for entrusting us with the responsibility of co-chairing the Miami University President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. As long-standing members of the Miami University community, we take seriously the charge put forth by President Crawford and believe in its capacity for change.

Recent events in the U.S. have presented us with an opportunity to critically reflect on the type of community and culture we want to develop and maintain here at Miami University. Like the nation, we must advance and sustain justice and equality for everyone. As an institution of higher education, we also have a responsibility to develop students who graduate and are prepared to successfully navigate the professional, social, and cultural world in which they live which includes having an understanding of how their actions positively or negatively shape and influence our diverse global society.

We are not the first task force to seriously investigate issues of DEI. We acknowledge and appreciate our co-labors in this work and hope to partner with continued efforts. We commit to using data-driven approaches to problem-solving; building diverse committee leaders and researchers that helps reduce bias; carefully considering not only our intentions for change but the consequences, including unintended, of such decisions; and recommending the allocation of resources to evidence systematic measurable change.

We are not naive about the difficulties of this challenge. Living in a free and plural society manifests diversity in the community that will always present challenges rooted in cultural differences; however, this does not mean that those differences should make marginalized students, faculty, staff, and others fearful of living in such a society. We are driven by a goal of creating a campus environment where each individual is valued and respected.

This is a crucible moment for Miami University and local, state, national and global communities in which we exist. Change is hard and focusing on DEI is a deeply personal experience that requires us to step out of our comfort zones and into discomfort. We can no longer privilege our individual discomfort over the collective good.

We look forward to your full and complete participation in these efforts. We simply cannot do it without each and every member of our community: students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Vicka Bell-Robinson, Ph.D., Student Life
Anthony James, Ph.D., Education, Health, and Society

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