Mission of the Office of Inclusive Excellence
The primary mission of the Office of Inclusive Excellence is to foster an organizational culture in which every person feels valued, respected, safe, and that they have a voice that is heard.
Fostering a diverse and inclusive Georgia Southern Community
The goal of diversity is to create and nurture an environment in which all members of the University community are treated equitably, contribute fully to the university’s mission, and embrace and model the university’s values. The Office of Inclusive Excellence collaborates with departments and individuals across our campuses to prioritize initiatives that reflect the diversity goals and academic mission of GS. Additionally, we are available as a source of diversity-related information, resource, and expertise.
Diversity is the broad range of attributes, experiences, and characteristics (race, gender, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, age, national origin, gender identity, etc.) that make us uniquely who we are. At Georgia Southern, inclusion means creating a working and learning environment where each person has the opportunity to participate fully in order to achieve the mission of the University and is valued for their distinctive skills and capabilities.
Message to Campus – June 5, 2020
We join you in outrage over the recent events in our country, including the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These events shed light on our nation’s deep divide regarding racial equality. We extend our continued condolences to the families involved and all members of our learning community who are personally affected by these tragedies – especially our students, faculty, and staff of color.
Recently, Georgia Southern University learned of some inappropriate and offensive social media posts. We are outraged to see such social media posts that include statements, images, videos and other content expressing ignorance, racism, discrimination, and disrespect. We are saddened that you must deal with these inappropriate messages while also living through a global health pandemic and witnessing violence and division across our country.
There are some real, historical and divisive biases in our society. These biases are shaped by who we are, where we are from, and so much more. At Georgia Southern, we are committed to overcoming these biases. We assure you that when we become aware of possible incidents of racial bias, they are taken seriously. A team representing the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Division of Student Affairs thoroughly reviews each incident and determines the appropriate course of action.
The Georgia Southern community prioritizes Inclusive Excellence where we respect individuals and all the identities we represent. Our success as an institution depends on how well we engage in issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Furthermore, our students’ success is also dependent on their ability to navigate the most challenging of issues, and right now many of them center on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As new leaders at Georgia Southern, we embrace the university’s values of openness and inclusion, and reaffirm our commitment to building a more inclusive community where every member of the Georgia Southern family feels they are heard and valued. We want to reiterate President Marrero’s message to faculty, staff, students and alumni on Monday that we must take measures to stand up for our shared values, and for one another. You should know the university is working on a path forward to our shared value of Inclusive Excellence in the following ways:
- Scheduling Virtual Community Listening Sessions for students, alumni, faculty and staff (a separate email will be sent to each group with meeting details).
- Soliciting ideas for systematic improvement via our Inclusive Excellence Idea Catcher: https://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/diversity/inclusive-excellence-idea-catcher/.
- Undergoing a comprehensive policy review to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are fully incorporated into all university practices and procedures.
- Adding an Inclusive Excellence video to the SOAR orientation curricula for incoming students.
- Ensuring our first-year experience course now includes five modules focused exclusively on Inclusive Excellence.
Let us engage in respectful dialogue about the most challenging issues facing our community and our world while showing what it truly means to be Georgia Southern Eagles. Please take every measure to take care of yourselves during this time and know that your well-being is our highest priority as well.
TaJuan Wilson, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer
Shay Little, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Last updated: 6/5/2020