Renewing our journey toward inclusive excellence



Renewing our journey toward inclusive excellence

09 Jun 2020    By Sherri Jones

Dear CEHS Faculty, Staff and Students,

My message of June 1 (reprinted below) admitted my struggle to find words yet also asked how the college might be the change we want to see.  While I still struggle to make sense of recent events, I also know that our colleagues and friends of color cannot wait for people in positions of power to reach a state of full awareness before we take collective action. With that in mind, I once again call for change: Change that will address or dismantle systemic racism that exists within our organization.  Change that will ensure a culture of inclusion where all are welcome, all have opportunity, all experience equity, all feel supported, and all can succeed.  As an individual, I acknowledge my white privilege and commit to diligently continue my own learning journey to become a strong ally for racial justice.  I encourage everyone in CEHS to continue to reflect, self-educate, and stand firmly with members of marginalized communities.  

As dean, I commit our college to the following actions to renew our journey toward inclusive excellence:

  • Provide resources to enable college faculty, staff and students to pursue their own learning journey individually or collectively.  For the next several weeks, the CEHS Bulletin will highlight some useful resources on racial justice.
  • Develop safe spaces and brave spaces for sharing, listening, and designing action plans that we will use to achieve our goals for positive change;
  • Change college policies and practices that contribute to marginalization and a culture of domination;
  • Identify systems and practices that need to be in place to achieve inclusive excellence;
  • Align with (and perhaps even lead) campus-wide efforts for anti-racism and racial equity.

I recognize that the college has individuals and groups that have been working on issues of diversity and social justice for a long time and we are grateful for their work.  I hope that we can all support, build upon, and extend their work as we move forward.  To maintain sustained focus on our efforts, I will engage our Committee on Inclusive Excellence and stand ready to identify one or more faculty leaders to assist us.  The actions stated above represent a starting point.  We will move forward with intentionality in forming our strategies and will certainly pursue additional actions over time.  I also hope we will move forward with a sense of shared urgency.  As always, I welcome your input and feedback (cehsdean@unl.edu). 

All my best,

Sherri

 

 

Dean’s Message from June 1:

Dear CEHS Faculty, Staff and Students,

I struggle to find words.  The killing of George Floyd (and many others before him) once again lays bare the systemic racism that people of color live every day.  I know that I have not experienced the weight of racism, bias, discrimination and even violence that many people of color endure routinely, but I want you to know that I see you. I hear you. I stand with you, as a human being, an educator, and as a leader.

The College of Education and Human Sciences has a mission to enhance lives (of every person) and strengthen relationships (with every interaction).  The current environment challenges us at our core and I have spent some time asking how might we be the change we want to see?  I alone don’t have the answers.  Together with you, I want to learn, grow, and move CEHS forward to take tangible and meaningful actions that are true to our mission.

In love and peace,

Sherri


College of Education and Human Sciences