It is difficult to acknowledge that in 2020, our country and our world are still experiencing systemic racism. That’s why it is more important than ever that we be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we as a university community could be doing more, could be doing things faster, and could be doing things better. Our students, colleagues and community deserve our best, and our ongoing commitment to doing better.
Earlier this summer, the Indiana Tech leadership team developed a statement on diversity, inclusion and justice, which has been posted to the Indiana Tech website for all to read in detail. Since that time, the university has continued to develop new programs, events and related initiatives to support the goals highlighted in the statement.
Starting in June, Indiana Tech’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, led by Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Givan, began offering a series of diversity and social justice-related professional development programs to all employees of Indiana Tech. Additional opportunities will be offered monthly throughout the 2020-21 academic year. The university has also been working on new strategies and tactics to recruit more diverse candidate pools for faculty and staff job openings.
Indiana Tech students have also been active in the work that change requires. After the return of students to main campus in mid-August, students helped organize “A Week of Cause & Affect,” Aug. 24 through 28, in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion team. The week of events included a peaceful protest in the amphitheater in Scully Square featuring remarks by student leaders Monique Goings and Jalil Pollard, Indiana Tech president Karl Einolf, and Lisa Givan.
After the peaceful protest, an Open Dialogue panel discussion was held in the multi-flex theater. Moderated by Indiana Tech Vice President for Student Affairs Dan Stoker, the panel featured Tech students, faculty and staff members speaking about their experiences and insights related to social justice at the university and beyond. Audience members were able to ask questions and share their own experiences during the event.