Dear Carolina Community,
Last week, Provost Bob Blouin and I participated in the seventh annual THINKposium event, hosted by the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion. We were encouraged by the passion and compassion in the room and grateful for the thoughtful questions and comments from community members.
As we emphasized in our panel discussion, and as I noted in my message to the campus last month, building our community together is the first priority in the next phase of the University’s strategic plan. A more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment fosters an ecosystem in which we all can thrive.
To do this, we need your help. Provost Blouin and I would like to hear from you on how we might together define the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals and reimagine the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion to better engage our campus community, including students, faculty and staff. We will host three community building forums:
- Monday, Sept. 23rd 1:30 to 3 p.m., Freedom Forum in Carroll Hall (register at this link)
- Wednesday, Oct. 2nd 3 to 4:30 p.m., University Room in Hyde Hall (register at this link)
- Thursday, Oct. 10th 9:30 to 11 a.m., Toy Lounge in Dey Hall (register at this link)
In preparation for the forums, I ask you to consider the following:
- What should the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals be?
- What are some strategies to ensure we meet these goals?
- What services, tools or supports would you find helpful to meet our diversity, equity and inclusion goals?
- How do we advance diversity, equity and inclusion in schools and units across campus?
- What are some first steps we can take to “build our community together”?
In order to facilitate conversation and listening, space will be limited. Please register using the links above to ensure that everyone attending will have a seat.
If you are not able to attend the forums, you may also submit your responses to these questions through a survey here.
We often talk about Carolina as being a place of low stone walls, a nod to both the physical traits of our campus and to the culture of collaboration that has fostered excellence here for so long. But we cannot become the leading global, public research university if we are not a place in which all members of our community feel a sense of belonging. In building our community together, everyone has an important part to play, and I thank you in advance for helping us.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz