Remarks from Wanda Heading-Grant, Leadership Meeting 6/5/17
These issues matter deeply to me as a long-time member of the UVM community, women, person of color, alum, as well as a campus leader.
Dawn Bennett=-Alexander, a prominent faculty member at the University of Georgia, talks about her Rossetta moment--A defining moment when she was a girl (around the age of 8 years old) and she pulled a chair out from under a young girl named Rossetta. Rossetta fell, cried, while other children laughed.
Dawn said she immediately felt horrified, and disappointed in herself. She did not know why she did it—FOR HER IT WAS CLEARLY AT odds with who she thought she was and what she was all about, which was a good person.
Her story impacted me. I realize that our actions matter regardless of our intentions. Whether we realize it or not, our every action and inaction has an impact on others and our community.
As a campus leader I need partners to walk with me, run with me, and ride with me. And as a campus leader in this space today, I expect that there will be times when you will need to navigate and even drive these efforts.
This map behind me demonstrates how I see our journey for a campus that is more diverse, equitable, inclusive and just for every student, faculty, staff and administrator.
This journey is not a straight line (and true journeys rarely are). Any journey, including this one, has U-turns, pot holes, bumps, detours, road hazards, and more.
Journeys are also filled with beauty, awe, and memories that come from shared experiences (the successes as well as challenges). Regardless of your experience, you must not avoid or retreat - - And clearly we know that resistance gets you nowhere.
The president and provost have both mentioned the Framework for Inclusive Excellence for Building a More Diverse, Inclusive, and Multiculturally Competent Campus, which could be overlaid on this map.
This framework is a tool to be used by our entire campus community to guide us and to challenge us to work collectively and to align us as we move us forward and connecting the dots throughout every layer and level in the institution (including our colleges, schools, divisions and offices).
· Learn more, know more and do better
· Let’s put our core values into action
· Higher education, UVM, is a space of possibilities so let’s optimize our possibilities and lets not step, let’s get to marching