Why Diversity Matters At EMU

Diversity and inclusion matter at EMU because they reflect our core values. Our mission is to educate students to think, serve, and lead in a global context. If we are going to do this effectively, our educational context must better reflect the world where our students are going to live and serve. Students, staff, and faculty need skills in working with partners across cultures to bring about social change.

Diversity and inclusion matter at EMU because they align with the diversity in the kingdom of God. We believe that Christ is revealed in all cultures and for all cultures, so unless our institution represents the whole of human experience, we as an institution are not whole.

Diversity and inclusion matter at EMU because our perspectives are challenged and expanded by being in relationship with those who hold different perspectives. Creating spaces for multiple ideas, frameworks, and perspectives facilitates creative and innovative solutions to the challenges we face and sheds light on oppression, prejudices, and biases.

Diversity and inclusion matter at EMU because diversity and inclusion mattered to Jesus. In the gospels, we see that Jesus modeled an intention toward diversity in the disciples he selected, from tax collectors and fishermen to doubters and revolutionaries, from different regions, genders, and social classes.

Diversity and inclusion matter at EMU because of our commitment “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” We are responsible for critiquing dominant narratives and being willing to listen to and learn from counter narratives.  The students and faculty who represent marginalized and oppressed people bring to the university an understanding of oppression that builds empathy and strengthens our commitment to justice. We must strive for a welcoming community of hospitality that educates about diversity and inclusion and includes practices that foster respect, equity, restorative justice, and dignity for every person.

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Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Mission

The Committee on Diversity and Inclusion works to develop and sustain a diverse and welcoming community of learning. It provides education and training on diversity and inclusion; proposes policies and supports practices that foster respect, equity, restorative justice, and dignity for every person. The committee creates spaces for multiple ideas, frameworks, and perspectives to facilitate innovative solutions to oppression, prejudices, and biases. It encourages the critique of dominant narratives and works to develop a campus culture that listens to and learns from counter-narratives. The committee’s work supports pedagogy, policies and practices that build empathy, develop social justice change agents, and strengthen EMU’s commitment to prepare students, faculty and staff to think, serve, and lead in a global context.

Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Members

Melody Pannell, faculty- applied social science, chair
Tae Dews, student- black student union
Deanna Durham, faculty- applied social sciences
Kathy Evans, faculty- applied social science
Scott Eyre, staff- lead residence director, housing and res life
Steve Johnson, faculty- visual and communication arts
Oksana Kittrell, student- undergrad intern in Applied Social Science
Mia Kivlighan, staff- marketing and communications
Jim Smucker, staff- vice-president for enrollment and student life
Celeste Thomas, staff- co-director multicultural services
Ryan Yates, student – graduate student
Julie Hatfield, staff – admin assistant