It is a new year, Adelphi.
We entered into 2021 with realism and with hope and were soon met with what many of us find unfathomable. On January 6, 2021, we witnessed violence on the grounds and within the United States Capitol. Congress will now try our current president for inciting the insurrection by encouraging his supporters to demonstrate their disagreement with the November election outcome. What should have been a peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of U.S. democracy, turned into a day of destruction and death.
As a nation, we observed the treatment of the Capitol intruders by law enforcement as it unfolded. We continue to see additional footage emerge, along with many questions: Why are we seeing such a stark contrast in treatment between the handling of those who forcibly entered the Capitol and those who demonstrated in protest of the killing of Black people across the United States? What factor does race place in all that we witnessed? What was the motivation for the January 6th violence? As a nation, should we be livid? As a nation, where are we going and what is our path? As a University, isn’t it our responsibility to dive into the history and ramifications of racially disparate treatment, create structures that address and change it, and continue to implement our core values of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice? And as individuals, should we be asking ourselves who we are and if there is more that we can do?
At Adelphi, we welcome all points of view. We will continue to uphold our core values and discuss our shared and disparate perspectives, experiences and beliefs with intellect, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn from one another. We support and encourage discussions such as these to take place in our classrooms and beyond, where we hope you will discuss the exponential dynamics of politics, freedom, privilege and economics.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion conducts open office hours on Mondays and Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 p.m., where we will continue the conversation and listen to what you have to say. Please join us.
A Look at 2020
2020 was a year of great challenges. We all felt the pain and hardships of the year, in varying degrees, and we learned many lessons about who we are as individuals and as a community. We learned that we are stronger than we ever could have imagined, and that we are creative, innovative and resilient. We learned that even in the midst of our own challenges, we can be exemplary individuals who cultivate and develop empathy and compassion for others. This past year forced us to look at who we are as individuals, and as a university, and take all the steps necessary to being and doing better. I hope that your self-inventory revealed valuable insights that you will be able to use to build upon this new calendar year.
The same inner work that we do as individuals during this time of year—reflecting on the year behind us and planning for the year ahead—is the work that we also engage in as a university. It is a good moment for us to look at our progress with our diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism initiatives. If your department or unit hasn’t made the progress that you anticipated, it’s a good time to identify the issues that are impeding your progress and reach out to our office for guidance and resources.
Our Commitment to You
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to providing support, guidance and resources for the equitable treatment and success of all members of our University community. We are committed to providing you with the tools that you need to foster change in your departments and schools and responding swiftly to any questions or concerns. We envision an equitable university where everyone is celebrated for their unique attributes because it is what makes us thrive in our global society.
This year, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will continue to develop and implement strategic initiatives across the University—and here are just a few. We will continue to engage all members of our community in trainings, workshops and critical conversations. We are providing diversity training to our board of trustees and encouraging all faculty and staff to participate in the Adelphi University Diversity Certificate Program. Our Academic Diversity Implementation Team will be offering strategic programming based on the analyses of the submitted diversity plans from the schools and colleges. The Equitable Adelphi Action Team, comprised of students from all over the University, is continuing to grow and take on an active role in enacting change. We are partnering with many offices to ensure that we provide comprehensive administrative services for our students all in one place, without the need to travel from one office to another.
Beginning in February, we will be issuing a monthly newsletter that will allow you to hear firsthand about some of the work that is being done in our community. If you have a particular story that you feel we should highlight, please let us know. While we will continue to update you through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website, the monthly newsletter will allow us to put individuals and individual programs in the spotlight, sharing their innovative approaches to creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive and welcoming community.
Please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com with any questions, comments or concerns. I will be maintaining office hours throughout the spring semester on Mondays and Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please contact Charlene Mayers, executive assistant in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment. Until then, enjoy the remainder of Intersession, and we look forward to working with you in the Spring 2021 semester.
May 2021 become our year of courage, commitment, and change.
Jacqueline Jones LaMon, JD
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion