How do we Define Diversity & Inclusiveness?
Diversity is not an abstract concept; rather, it is a true picture of an ever-changing national demographic landscape that reflects every sector of society. Diversity is a fact; inclusiveness is an achievement. Inclusiveness is the harnessing of diversity’s potentials.
The level of inclusiveness (i.e., diversity’s achievements) within an institution is evidenced through its statements, structures, curriculum, academic programs, footprints, students’ experience, and also through its faculty, staff, and student body. At the top of the continuum is an inclusive institution that is sought after as the best place to work, learn and succeed. The lowest level is where we meet our basic legal responsibility, as a public institution, to provide equal opportunity and equal treatment for all.
UWG Vision: The University of West Georgia aspires to be the best comprehensive university in America – sought after as the best place to work, learn, and succeed!
Put another way, UWG aspires to be at the top of the diversity and inclusion continuum.
How do we Create Inclusiveness?
We move through the ladder of inclusion through creating intentional opportunities for everyone to be engaged in diversity efforts. Inclusiveness requires a planning process for implementing a comprehensive and well-coordinated set of University actions that begin at equity and focus specifically on engaging everyone at every level of university life.
Inclusiveness asks us to actively manage diversity as an integral and necessary asset of collegiate life rather than as an external or marginal program. Inclusiveness focuses on our commonalities, including our common goals, rather than our differences.
Who Creates an Inclusive Environment?
Everyone is engaged; everyone is accountable for our progression on the ladder of diversity and inclusion. Inclusiveness holds every campus leader accountable for intentionally integrating diversity efforts into their areas of responsibilities in order to maximize the success of the university. The chief or senior diversity officer guides institutional diversity efforts and provides subject-matter expert knowledge. The president and the cabinet set the tone and expectations.
Inclusiveness is important to achieving our strategic imperatives.
Welcome to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion!