Since its founding in 2010, the mission of Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Office for Sustainability (OfS) has been centered around “building a diverse and flourishing learning community around sustainability… [to] improve quality of life for all.” A myriad of OfS jobs, internships, research projects, and initiatives provide opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and volunteers to explore this commitment in meaningful and impactful ways.
The OfS has developed a Diversity & Inclusion (D & I) initiative to strengthen these core commitments. Throughout this process we have been exploring ways to focus on the inclusivity, equity, and diversity of our office environment, and how essential a dedication to these values is in successfully pursuing a sustainable future. By developing new connections among community, education, social systems, and quality of life, the OfS will advance its efforts to create a workplace culture that is safe, accessible, and inclusive. We have made it a priority to restructure internal and external communications that foster collaboration among a diverse group of students, employees, volunteers, and community partners. We have also developed aspects of our work to expand our office’s capacity for cross-cultural understanding and inclusive practices that support all our employees fully. Through ongoing assessment, reflection, and refinement processes, we are working to increase awareness and action around the role of D & I in meeting our collective sustainability goals.