Creating a Culture of Diversity at Northwestern University
Creating a Culture of Diversity at Northwestern University WHEREAS recent incidents highlight a culture of racism at Northwestern University inconsistent with its highest ideals and yet sadly continuous with a history of racism and prejudice; WHEREAS these incidents and the ongoing campus-wide discussions they have generated indicate an urgent need for the active promotion of a culture of diversity that works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against under-represented and historically marginalized groups and create a welcoming and inclusive environment where all members can participate fully in all aspects of campus life; WHEREAS a University-appointed work group of faculty, students, and staff has studied issues of diversity and inclusion at Northwestern and presented its findings and recommendations in a September 2010 Diversity and Inclusion White Paper; WHEREAS those findings and recommendations outline a vision of “University Diversity” as a new mainstream and recommends the establishment of a culture of diversity that expands and deepens the Northwestern community; We the undersigned members of the Northwestern University community call on the administration to adopt and implement the recommendations of the White Paper in order to firmly establish a culture of diversity and signal a new chapter in the history of Northwestern University. Specifically, we call on the administration to publicly commit to do the following: 1. Diversify Demographics: double the number of faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented communities, such as African Americans and Latina/os in all sectors of the University, Asian Americans in the humanities and social sciences, women of all communities in the sciences, technology and mathematics, and African American and Latina/o staff in supervisory roles; 2. Diversify the Environment: promote diversity in the built environment as well as the social, cultural, and intellectual environment by creating spaces that welcome diversity and facilitate unfettered participation, increasing funding and support for existing forums and services such as Multicultural Student Affairs, supporting and facilitating discussions about diversity throughout the University, including diversity education for faculty and staff, and conducting a comprehensive review of the visual, iconic, and symbolic aspects of the University environment that may be expanded to include representations and messages of diversity; 3. Diversify the Curriculum: require that all Northwestern students demonstrate competency in diversity by successfully completing two courses on diversity, require every department and school at the University to develop new courses on diversity, and support that course development with sufficient resources; 4. Diversify the Intellectual Culture: mainstream the scholarly dimensions of diversity as significant components of intellectual life at Northwestern by establishing and sufficiently funding new research centers that promote scholarship and teaching directly relevant to diversity, specifically a Center for Critical Race and Cultural Studies, a Center for Critical Disability Studies, and a Center for Critical Sexuality Studies.