Background Towards the DEI Task Force Report
Given the national conversations emerging from the Black Lives Matter Movement, on June 9, 2020, Dean Oliver created the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to address implicit bias among faculty, staff, and students. The task force completed its findings and report in December 2020.
Foreward to the DEI Task Force Report by Dean Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA:
Dear College of Architecture and Design Community,
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force has worked for several months to complete this report. During this time, I have had the privilege of watching this document evolve through regular meetings with the Chair of the task force, Sheryl Tucker de Vazquez. Indeed, the task force and this report, both firsts in the College’s history, will pave the path for the challenging, yet necessary work of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive College and community for our various constituencies. I would like to thank the task force, whose members are noted below, for their extraordinary effort, dedication, and commitment to the principles and goals established in this document.
Sheryl Tucker de Vazquez, Chair
When I formed this task force in July, I knew that its work would be critical. Indeed, the DEI Task Force had a daunting task. In the wake of our nation’s failure to adequately address racial and social inequities, the too numerous and senseless deaths of BIPOC people, including George Floyd, the country had reached a point where nothing less than significant change will suffice. However, this change must be accompanied by deep reflection and honest contemplation of our past, present, and future. All of our institutions must face the challenge of self-examination and assessment. We must boldly move forward with a consistent and sustainable effort to reform our practices and our policies and renew our commitment to a better world.
This goal begins today with our shared efforts and commitment. I do not think, collectively, our faculty, students, and staff realize how comprehensive the changes will need to be to have the kind of enduring result that this task force recommends and the College endeavors to achieve. I do believe, however, that everyone in our College is dedicated to making changes and celebrating our successes along the way. We recognize the need for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment and do, heretofore, adopt the recommendations proffered in this document. Changes to the College culture, our faculty and student policies, our curricular content, and our engagement with our community will strengthen us as individuals and as a college. Moreover, these changes will contribute to the strength of the University.
We recognize that as we move forward, we will need to continually evaluate our progress and update our goals. This document must be an active and dynamic record of our progress. It must change as the College changes. It must keep the College on task and help to celebrate our successes moving forward. Next year, 2021, will be the year of new beginnings and we are eager to begin our journey toward the rich and rewarding world diversity will bring.
Click here to view the DEI Task Force Report.