Dear campus community:
It is my pleasure to serve as Interim Chief Diversity Officer, and it is an honor to be entrusted with this role. In this message to the university community, I would like to bring up to date on the work of my office, and on other noteworthy initiatives related to equity, diversity, and inclusion — as well as the even more important concept of belonging.
I want to emphasize that much of this work is in response to our students. At the height of the nationwide dialogue about racism, our students developed 13 recommendations for change, closely aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement. They gave us a wonderful blueprint with which to begin our work. Just last week, President Cordano included these 13 recommendations in her Welcome Home address. I want to thank our students for their commitment. I pledge to them that we will follow through on each and every one of their recommendations.
In fact, we have already begun to do just that. Our new Belonging and Equity website shows our commitment to antiracism, equity, and inclusion. We will keep it updated.
Dominic Lacy, our Chief Operating Officer, is leading a committee that is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). I was serving on this committee even before I was appointed as Interim Chief Diversity Officer. We have been collaborating with a law firm to collect concerns from students and other stakeholders. Our goal is to see DPS transform and become more engaged with the community, particularly our students.
COO Lacy is also leading an Office of Human Resources transformation committee. I serve on this committee as well. We will hire a consulting firm to help us examine the effectiveness of the HR organization, policies, and procedures, including the recruitment and hiring processes.
I also want to note a very exciting development within Academic Affairs. As you know, we have established a Center for Black Deaf Studies. Dr. Carolyn McCaskill is its founding director. She is working on developing plans for the new center. It will include coursework, research, academic support, mentoring, and much more. We are very excited to see this Center come to fruition!
Let me return to our students’ 13 recommendations for proactive change. The President’s Executive Team has been working on antiracism plans since last June, identifying individual, departmental, and institutional strategies. We held six feedback sessions with different stakeholder groups last month. Their feedback has been incorporated into the antiracism plans. The antiracism plans are now posted on the Belonging and Equity website. You can visit this site and review these plans between now and Wednesday, September 30. Please feel free to make comments on the antiracism plans. Your input is very important to us!
Our primary goal is to make Gallaudet a better place for all students, faculty, and staff, particularly BIPOC individuals. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to achieve these goals.
Elizabeth A. Moore, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer