Jessica Brown, SC4’s Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive and cross-functional emphasis on critical issues in relation to our campus community.
To build her skills in this area, Brown recently completed an eight-week certificate course from Cornell University on Diversity and Inclusion. “It was essential to dive deeper into my knowledge and recognize as an individual how critical it is to understand the multifaceted layers of DEI and what I must know to educate DEI in all communities,” said Brown.
Lessons learned during her training have increased her insight and exposure to key techniques, tools, resources, and theories that have expanded her knowledge about DEI to benefit the SC4 internal and external community.
The college created the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion last June to advance the college’s efforts in providing educational access and support for all.
Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective. Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed.
In a short time, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has sponsored speaking engagements, professional development seminars, a book reading discussion series, a podcast series, and other events. Understanding the racial, economic, and social inequities that impact our students, faculty, staff, and community members are key to advancing DEI initiatives at the college.
“I learned to examine the true meaning of trust, fairness, and inclusivity, the tools to identify implicit biases, and actively listen to concerns that impact the institution’s success and productivity,” said Brown. “No one is an expert when it comes to DEI, and all of us must have a willingness to learn to be healthy citizens for ourselves, the future generation, and the community.”