Building upon President Emerita Ruth V. Watkins’ vision for the future of One U, and united in serving the people of Utah and the nation as a flagship institution at the forefront of scientific research and innovation, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) launched One U Thriving as a synergistic approach in developing methods to achieve inclusion and equity on throughout the University. One U Thriving fully embraces the daily practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It is the platform on which EDI communicates and leads structural change to build a more equitable, diverse, accessible, and inclusive campus where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
One U Thriving themes will provide an overarching narrative around the internal shifts the university is making under Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The messages will also give voice to the overall approach to live out the EDI-in-progress efforts.
The Power of Naming
To change institutions, we must not be afraid to call out the disparities that are present so we can identify and change them. If we have it out in the open for all to see, then we can have conversations that answer the questions “how does it operate?” or “how have I participated in it?” or “how does it affect all of us?” and, most importantly, “how do we change it?”
One U Thriving Committees
One U Thriving is supported by a steering committee with four teams, each designed to courageously name the issues and design equitable and inclusive solutions to address them:
Friday Forums is a commitment to the state and region in elevating national conversations and showcasing models of disrupting complicit racism. Each session welcomes national thought leaders to lead discussions and provide opportunities for participants to share ideas on actionable items towards a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus.
Reframing the Conversation
We strive to contribute to an ecosystem of learning by hosting events aiming to educate all its participants on varying aspects of experience and identity. Reframing the Conversation brings together experts from across campus and the community to spark important conversations around racism, othering, and safety.
Leading from a Place of Discomfort
We recognize that conversations around equity, diversity, and inclusion can be uncomfortable for some. It takes significant courage to be willing to face these tense moments, listen to the people around them, and embrace their uneasiness. This is how we start to create a culture of resiliency and inclusion. We have to be honest about our capacity for change, and then look towards the future to develop the strategies that will take us to where we want to be.
The Office for Inclusive Excellence provides professional and organizational development for staff and faculty which builds competencies to achieve diversity and inclusion goals and outcomes that reinforce the university’s strategic plan.
Unearthing, Replanting, and Nurturing New Roots
We are aiming to create a new system that fully embraces the practices of equity, diversity, and inclusion by purposefully replacing those that have been exclusive. Our role is to find those spaces, interrogate them, and disrupt them so that we nurture new roots within the campus structure.
Center for Equity and Student Belonging
We are actively evolving the Center for Equity and Student Belonging into a hub of inclusion where underserved students can find a sense of belonging and have the full support of vital resources throughout the campus community from the start of their journey. The goal is to build a web of support around the student from the time they apply to the University to graduation, meeting them where they are.
EDI Strategy Council
The purpose of the EDI Strategy Council is to provide direction, support, and oversight for the work of the university to become more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist through its policies, practices, and programs. The EDI Strategy Council will center and implement equity processes, practices, and behaviors in its member leadership who will further engage and ignite participation in their units.
EDI Partners Quarterly Meeting
We host quarterly EDI meetings for everyone who engages in this work across the university to draw connections and provide support for our leaders. The objective is to create a space where teams can share successes and challenges and where people from across campus can have an open dialog and support one another’s efforts in the shared goals of becoming an anti-racist campus.
A Call to Action
Any system that has disparate outcomes on historically underrepresented communities must be critically examined, disrupted, and replaced by equitable systems that provide just outcomes. Sustained change requires that we acknowledge how we’ve been complicit and define how we will commit ourselves to building a different reality.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) serves across the entire university system and leads this work for the University. Our department includes resource centers, offices, and associated student, faculty and staff affinity groups. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for transformation towards diversity, equity and inclusion as an embodiment of the University’s core values with the ultimate vision of establishing a culture of belonging throughout the University and to become a model campus for equity, diversity, and inclusive excellence.