Jefferson’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Jefferson holds a deep commitment to our values of diversity, inclusion, and equity. As the most racially diverse higher education institution in the state, we want to acknowledge the strain on our African-American faculty, staff and students during this time of heightened racial strife in our country and in our community. We see you. We hear you.
We’re living in a time where innocent African-Americans such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others have been taken from this world because of police brutality.
This is an especially local wound as Breonna Taylor studied at Jefferson from 2012-2014. This tragic event in our community is deeply personal to Jefferson.
Many of us cannot imagine the fear and stress that these types of discriminatory actions and behaviors have on our African-American friends, family and community.
As a college, we will and must continue to ensure equity and inclusion for students, employees, and the communities we serve. We have made progress to close the equity gap, but our work is not done, and it will not be finished until it is completely erased.
In addition to the work we are doing to improve the African-American experience at Jefferson that has resulted in significant improvements in our African-American retention and graduation rates, we commit to the following additional initiatives:
- A team of faculty and staff will participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers later this month. A College action plan will be developed and recommended.
- I and other administrators will commit to meeting with African-American students, faculty and staff to listen to their experiences and seek their input for areas of improvement on a regular basis, at least once per semester.
- A campus cultural audit will be conducted by an external consultant to illuminate areas in need of improvement and we will act on those findings.
- Bias prevention training will be developed and required for all Jefferson Community and Technical College employees.
- We will increase communication to students about the College’s Anti-Discrimination policy and encourage students to report incidents of bias.
Structural racism is alive and well in our country and our community. We MUST be part of the solution. We must lead with care, respect and appreciation for all. This is our responsibility and duty.