Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee
As a leader in research, teaching, and service to humanity, Vanderbilt must tirelessly persevere and aspire to be a leader in seeking creative and bold solutions to building a true community that values difference, and develops the incredible potential found in all who join our community.
At Vanderbilt everyone must be able to thrive, and to feel truly that this is a university where all are engaged at the core of campus life. Who we are, what we teach, and what we discover must be tethered strongly to the societal challenges that confront our nation and world every day.
This work — to ensure thriving and not simply surviving; to insist on inclusion not exclusion; to be self-aware and not self-satisfied — is essential. There is much at stake. Our excellence and indeed our very existence as a great research university depends upon our being at the forefront of having challenging conversations and forging bold and creative solutions. We should not underestimate the work ahead. It will present many difficult moments. Yet we have distinct advantages. We are a scholarly learning community, and thus we can be passionate, thoughtful, and insightful in our discourse and strong disagreements. We learn from each other, we change our minds in light of arguments and discourse, and those vibrant and rich differences represent the essence of the methods and modes of how new ideas and structures can be created. Our founding also provides the foundation for this work. Vanderbilt was founded in the shadow of the Civil War, to seek to heal up the deep wounds of the nation. The issues of race that the country and Vanderbilt confronted at that time remain very much central to our community, as well as the nation and world we serve. We owe it to those who have tried to fulfill this promise, as well as to those who will come after us, to meet these challenges. For us, we should also realize the sheer joy that comes from taking steps to make Vanderbilt better.