Message from the Executive Director on Inclusivity (May 2021)
Building a Movement of Belonging and Respect
As we come to the end of this academic year, it is more important than ever for us to unite as a teaching and learning community that is focused on strengthening our democracy through the academic and co-curricular experiences we provide for and with our students. This is a time to reflect, share, learn, and support one another in building the movement of belonging and respect that is critical to developing a society where everyone is valued and can live in safety.
Two cultural heritages are being celebrated this month which presents us with a perfect opportunity to connect across differences. The national spotlight is on Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage (Proclamation) and on Jewish American Heritage (Proclamation). If you are from one of these cultures, thank you for the richness that your culture brings to our society through the arts, food, education, science, religion, community, and so many other ways! If you are not a member of one of these cultures, why not spend some time this month to be curious and to learn. Talk with someone or visit the websites listed below that have resources to inspire discussions with colleagues, students, family, and the community.
Links to resources:
- Asian Heritage Month Ideas, PBS Celebrates Asian Heritage Month, National Park Service Celebrates Asian Heritage Month
- Jewish American Heritage Month 2021, Jewish American Heritage Month Resources, National Museum of American Jewish History
Dr. Chene Swart, a Narrative practitioner in South Africa, encourages us to be curious about how we create stories of the “other” and how that influences who we include and exclude in our workplace, communities, and social circles. Dr. Swart reminds us that each of us represents the “other” to someone. She encourages us “to see, be seen, connect, dignify, listen, question, unpack, enrich, narrate, and burst into aliveness!”
May you all find aliveness this month!