Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Updates

College of Education

SUMMARY: Updates from the COE Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The DEI’s Corner

I can’t believe we are finishing week four of the semester. Some days it seems as if the time has flown by. How are you feeling these days? Has the time passed quickly by for you as well?

Some days my emotions are all over the place. Since starting this new position, I have learned so much from so many of you. And I have so much more to learn. I am constantly in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mode, so no worries, the job is always front and center with me. I often think about how DEI runs through everything we do. How are we doing DEI here in the College of Education? What more can we do? Those are the questions that are always on my mind. I know that there is more that we can do, but I am feeling pretty good about where we are headed. If you have ideas or suggestions that would move our initiatives forward, please let me know.

I get so excited when I think about all of the projects going on in the College, especially those that are intentional about integrating DEI as a natural, fluid practice that reflects the community in which we surround ourselves. As Dean L’Esperance constantly reminds us, the train has left the station and is moving with a purpose. If you want to ride, all are welcome to get on board! We are heading to a more inclusive place where everyone is welcome, and  Educational Justice is for all.

Back to My Tree Metaphor

treeI want to share a picture of the tree I referenced in our opening College of Education meeting. What I was saying is that there was this huge tree that fell over in the park. Everyone in the surrounding community was coming to look at it, taking pictures, and so I did too. 

I thought about us here in the College of Education and how everyone watched us respond to DEI initiatives.  Everyone has questions for us.  How are you all doing it?  What are you doing?  Why are you doing it that Way?  How will you sustain it?  How much are you spending?  How long will it last?  And the list goes on. Everyone wants to come and take a look at us. Because of our collective efforts, we are called upon to share when we can. 

We have many initiatives planted and growing throughout our College of Education. We are sponsoring and co-sponsoring many more outside the College.  We are committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we continue to put human and financial resources behind those commitments.  Yes, those human positions and finances are new roots, but we are committed to deepening those roots as a college by providing mentoring and other support services.   

Just recently, Dr. Jim Bywater introduced us to his plan for the need to examine Diversity’s absence in and technology at the Crossroads.  We will hear more on this topic from Dr. Bywater in December. 

For now, my colleagues, my question to you is:  As the first College at JMU, we continue to graduate the best teachers in the state and the country.  What are some ways you make sure that our DEI roots go deep so that our teacher education candidates are prepared to meet the needs of the classrooms that they will enter?

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Published: Thursday, September 9, 2021

Last Updated: Monday, January 9, 2023

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