Last week we hosted the Collaborative Diversity Conference. I hope you were able to attend some of the sessions. The conference offered great insight as we continue to create a campus environment that values inclusive excellence.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Facing Racism in 2018 and Beyond: A Changing Dynamic.” The speakers and workshops focused on addressing the resurgence of racism, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments and discriminatory actions taken against those from diverse backgrounds. The conference inspired an action-oriented commitment to the public affairs mission by providing participants viable ways to implement and embrace inclusive excellence to transcend the bias that permeates our political, social and economic environments.
The plenary speaker, Dr. Damon Williams, provided insight into implementing an inclusive excellence model to innovate diversity and empower leaders. He also met with our administrative and academic leadership teams to share his expertise in strategic diversity leadership, youth development, corporate responsibility and organizational change.
In addition to Williams’ plenary address, I found the “Conversation with Diversity Champions” panel discussion particularly inspiring. Panelists Jim Anderson (CoxHealth) and Ron Johnson (Missouri State Highway Patrol) shared about their efforts to address and resolve divisiveness, hostility and rancor in the workplace and in society as a whole.
Missouri State University is a leader in Springfield and throughout the state of Missouri on diversity and inclusion. We take this responsibility seriously. I am proud of the work we have done to make our campus more inclusive. The Collaborative Diversity Conference provides us with a meaningful opportunity to share our experiences in inclusive excellence and to learn from the experiences of others.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!