[Blackstudies-l] A Message from Carol Geary Schneider on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Thu Nov 12 12:22:16 EST 2015

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*A Message from Carol Geary Schneider on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive

November 12, 2015

With a mission to advance liberal education and inclusive excellence, AAC&U
is strongly committed to helping our members succeed in the long-term work
of educating and graduating students—from all backgrounds—who will be both
prepared and inspired to work for a more just and equitable democracy in
the United States and for the expansion of human dignity and opportunity
around the world.  AAC&U's Board of Directors has affirmed its commitment
to diversity and equity as educational priorities in an official statement
"In embracing a diversity of ideas and experiences, liberal education
likewise embraces a diversity of people, for the opportunity to learn with
and from diverse peers is also a critical element of educational
excellence. This commitment to diversity and equity in all their forms is
what we mean by inclusive excellence."

Today, students of color are leading protests across US higher education,
mobilizing to highlight and resist the persistence of discriminatory
actions on campus and in society. These students, together with many
faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds, are rightly calling for
new commitment and comprehensive action to ensure that higher education
will provide inclusive, respectful, and supportive environments for
learners from communities that are today—and that have always
been—systemically underserved, not just in higher education, but at all
levels of the United States educational system.  Many protestors also are
asking that higher education take action in working to redress the
deepening divides that now characterize our democracy.

That work begins with a searching look at where we are now, both as a
society and in our own institutions, and with a commitment to reversing the
corrosive legacies of discrimination, marginalization, stigmatization, and
violence in our society.  These legacies disfigure democracy.  And too
often they work, insidiously and counterproductively, to create limiting
rather than supportive climates for deep learning on campus.

As educational leaders mobilize to address these questions in their own
institutional contexts, we recommend the following resources as catalysts
for self-study and productive change. Mindful that higher learning
necessarily deals—by definition—with difficult and often contested societal
questions, we particularly call attention to the AAC&U Board of Directors
official statement on "Academic Freedom and Educational Responsibility

Recommended resources:

*America's Unmet Promise: The Imperative for Equity in Higher Education*

*Step Up & Lead for Equity: What Higher Education Can Do to Reverse Our
Deepening Divides*

*Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for
Self-Study and Planning*

Academic Freedom and Educational Responsibility

*A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future*
(especially chapters IV and V)

*The Drama of Diversity and Democracy: Higher Education and American
(Second Edition 2011)

AAC&U's 2016 Annual Meeting
explores directly the question "Land of Opportunity–But for Whom?"  We hope
all our members will join us for this searching consideration of what
educators can do, together with our students, to reverse this nation's
deepening divides.

Carol Geary Schneider

*Association of American Colleges & Universities 1818 R Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009 www.aacu.org
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