Welcome Back, Wolfpack!

Young woman sitting outside at a table with laptop

Dear Wolfpack Community,

I would like to take a moment to welcome all of our new subscribers and thank our existing subscribers for your support of diversity, equity, inclusion and multicultural initiatives at NC State.

I and my staff in the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity thank you for choosing to actively support inclusion on campus, and for being an important part of our efforts to move the needle forward. It truly will take all of us, working with focus and intention, to become the university that we strive to be. We hope you will find the resources, information, and community support you need in your personal journey, no matter from what part of the work you join us. Welcome!

As we begin what will be a very different and challenging academic year, I would like to share with you a few important developments. In the midst of the global pandemic and a racial awakening and reckoning, we are actively engaging new opportunities to move forward.

Diversity Training for All Faculty, Staff and Students

We are pleased to announce that every NC State community member will take an online diversity training course this fall, as detailed in the message from Chancellor Woodson and his Cabinet on June 4, 2020, “Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing our Shortcomings, Working to Improve.” We are currently working to load the training into NC State’s REPORTER system so that you will receive an automatic notification when your specific training is available. If you are interested in viewing the learning modules that correspond with your classification, please visit our Road Map to Diversity and Inclusion at NC State. If you have already completed the training, you will not need to take this course again… but there are lots of other opportunities for you to continue your learning journey and we highly encourage you to do so!

SEA Change Initiative

As of this month, NC State is a charter member of the SEA Change initiative, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to support educational institutions in becoming diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine). Membership entails a thorough examination of campus culture, policies and procedures to eliminate barriers to success for members of marginalized groups, resulting in a scientific environment where everyone can thrive.

Chancellor’s Racial Equity Summit

NC State will convene a Racial Equity Summit this fall as part of an ongoing, community-driven effort to improve the Black experience at NC State. The summit will bring together students, faculty, staff and alumni to identify steps and strategies to incorporate into NC State’s next strategic plan. This initiative follows our proactive efforts to thoroughly respond to recent student petitions that enumerated many valid and important concerns affecting our Black students and the campus as a whole. We are working to not only fully respond to all of these demands but to continue seeking ways to improve our campus for Black students, staff and faculty and those from other marginalized groups.

Spotlight on Diversity and Inclusion for Day of Giving

As you may know, NC State’s annual Day of Giving, scheduled for last March, did not happen due to the pandemic. In a time of crisis, we as a university chose to focus on maintaining rather than growing. However, we now face emergent challenges that require resources to help students in need. We must also address the national crisis relating to the fight for racial justice. Toward these ends, a refocused Day of Giving will take place on Sep. 16, 2020, and I am pleased that a major area of emphasis will be funds that support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. There will also be opportunities to give to Survivors Fund, housed in the Women’s Center, which provides support for persons impacted by interpersonal violence. If you are able, please consider contributing online that day. We thank you in advance for your support.

Additional Developments

These are just a few of many initiatives that will unfold this year. In spite of the challenges we face, I am heartened to see real and sustained commitment by so many people to improving NC State’s climate. 

I look forward to sharing with you updates throughout the course of the year. Once again, thank you for joining the OIED family, and please do not hesitate to engage with us through this newsletter or any of our social media platforms. We always want to hear from you!

I close with this quote from the late civil rights leader John Lewis:

“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society.”

We look forward to seeing you at some of our virtual events this fall.

In solidarity,

Sheri L. Schwab, J.D., M.Ed., ‘97
Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
NC State University