Our ongoing commitment to dismantling systemic Barriers

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is unequivocally committed to the movement to create equity for Black lives and all marginalized groups. We stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Having said this, our focus going forward is to clearly define and understand our role, which is to educate, advocate, and provide programming to dismantle institutional and systemic racism at Western Michigan University. 

As a public university, we have a responsibility to promote truth and the expansion of knowledge. Albeit, this truth, at times, can be uncomfortable and must be acknowledged and grappled with. Therefore, we will be engaging the WMU community in the uncomfortable but necessary journey of addressing racism on our campus. We feel it is imperative to begin with this issue for two reasons; 1) the historical dehumanization of Black people through oppressive systems and 2) recognition that the Black struggle has served as a catalyst for many movements in the U.S. 

Toward achieving our desired goal of building an antiracist institution in order to address threats to racial justice, we must first examine its standards of operation, policies, procedures, beliefs, values and the historical context in which the institution was created. We are asking our community to support this effort by beginning exactly where you are, educating yourself, and examining the areas where you work, live and learn. This is a collaborative effort that requires the engagement of all members of this institution. For example, how does my course work integrate issues of equity? What stereotypes might I be promoting in my teaching or research? How do the hiring and promotion practices of the institution create inequities?  Am I considering equity in my policies, programs and practices? 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is working to create engaging and challenging programming with an emphasis on expanding perspectives. We will be calling on all levels of the University to weave anti-racism practices throughout the work that is conducted on behalf of this University. Together, we can build a better University that truly demonstrates the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

 

PHOTO: I STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS 2018

 

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Land Acknowledgement Statement:

Land acknowledgement is a process by which individuals are prompted to consider the history of the space they currently inhabit.

We would like to recognize that Western Michigan University is located on lands historically occupied by Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadmi nations. Please take a moment to acknowledge and honor this ancestral land of the Three Fires Confederacy, the sacred lands of all indigenous peoples and their continued presence.