“Creating the future-perfect campus through acts of diversity and inclusion – cultural transformation through resolving unconscious bias.” That is the motto for the Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Council (GDIC), who’s board is currently made up of four MPA students: Loretta Simpson, President; Tranard Harvin, Vice President; Chloe Stuber, Secretary and Advocacy Chair; and Melanie Seidel, International Chair.
The mission of the GDIC is to build and sustain a supportive community for minority students that contributes to their academic development, social growth, and well-being. It seeks to increase enrollment and retention of minority students by organizing professional workshops, engaging in community service, and providing a professional and social network for students. The council pursues activities on the College of Charleston campus, but their mission parallels the aspirations that they, along with many MPA students, have for the larger public sector.
By creating policy in diversity and inclusion, we can demonstrate our democratic values and encourage equality and equity at the intersections of ethics, state policies, and government mandates. We must lead in diversity and inclusion if we are to create a campus of free thinkers and change agents. We must be change agents who are working toward diminishing the marginalization associated with employment, housing, education, and public services, all of which are associated with the general welfare of a shared community.
The role that diversity and inclusion play at the College of Charleston is important if equity is our goal. Gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, geographical origin and age are some of the personal identifiers that determine how we interact with one another. We must learn to respect and value each member within our campus community if we desire to grow as a unit. Now is the time for us to move in the same direction and experience real change that will produce campus-wide success. Our goal is to work with campus administrators to help change the landscape of how the College approaches bias and inequality across the board. In this current climate, diversity and inclusivity is the answer.
Learning to measure diversity and inclusion can be advantageous for our economic and social growth as a campus family. In the same vein of learning; the decision makers, administrators, faculty, staff, and students are all obligated to understand the impact that diversity and inclusion have on student learning and the overall success of the College. GDIC’s purpose is to move diversity and inclusion beyond table talk and into an achievable reality for all students. We are here to help all of CofC’s stakeholders recognize that all students have a right to a quality education that is free from insult, microaggression, racism, and exclusionary practices.
There is an African Proverb that says, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ Let us all move toward diversity and inclusion together!
– GDIC TEAM