- Monday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fridays: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturdays: Closed
- Sundays: Closed
- Closed daily for the lunch hour (noon-1:00 p.m.)
In Memory of Buffalo
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved on yet.” Maya Angelou
On Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo New York a young man filled with hate entered the Tops Grocery store with the intent to kill those he saw has a threat to his Whiteness. Payton Gendron killed 10 Black people and injured 3 more in his act of hate. This was not an impulsive act but on that had been planned for several months. In Payton’s eyes his victims where not innocent but in the eyes of myself and others these victims were innocent guilty of only trying to live their lives. In my 51 years on this earth I have heard rhetoric that promoted hate and have seen behaviors that demonstrate and foster hate. Often those speaking the rhetoric or engaging in the hateful behaviors claim that their actions are righteous. Never is hate justified because as in Maya Angelou’s quote hate only caused destruction it never promotes peace, justice, joy or love. Hate is unable to create.
Although none of our actions or words can restore the lives lost in Buffalo, we can use our words and actions to conquer hate by replacing it with love. I call each of us to identify how we can in our individual lives use our words and actions to combat hate. And as we begin to engage in our individual work then we must convene as a collective to challenge the status quo and hold our nation accountable for transformational change. This goes beyond protesting in the street to and writing statements but in engaging in the political, economic and educational arenas to create change that will be transformational. We can on longer wait for someone else to ensure that we uphold the words of our constitution and have those words apply to all who stand as Americans. America is not a White country, Black country or a Hispanic country it is our country. So, as we continue to fight to eradicate hate, let us use the lives lost in Buffalo and so many other tragedies as our motivation to fight.
As stated by Nido R. Qubein “Hate is the most destructive force on earth. It does the most damage to those who harbor it.”
Our ongoing commitment to dismantling systemic Barriers
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is unequivocally committed to the movement to create equity for all historically marginalized groups. We stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Having said this, our focus going forward is to define and understand our role, which is to provide educational programming and strategies to dismantle institutional and systemic inequities at Western Michigan University.
As a public university, we have a responsibility to promote truth and the expansion of knowledge. Albeit, truth, at times, can be uncomfortable and requires us to sit in our discomfort in order to learn and grow from the experience. Therefore, the WMU community will engage in the uncomfortable but necessary journey of addressing inequities on our campus. It is imperative, to begin with, 1) the historical dehumanization of Black people through oppressive systems and 2) recognition that the Black struggle has served as a catalyst for other movements in the U.S demanding equity.
Toward achieving our desired goal of building an inclusive and equitable institution in order to address threats to justice, we must first examine our 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 the WMU community. For example, how does my course work integrate issues of equity? What biases 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 policies, 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 equitable 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
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATEMENT
Land acknowledgment is a process by which individuals are prompted to consider the history of the space they currently inhabit.
Photo: WMU administrators and representatives alongside President Montgomery pose with a gifted blanket after the university approved a land acknowledgment statement.