A Message From the Dean - May 2021
New website and committee support diversity, equity and inclusion
Last year, the horrible death of George Floyd prompted a national discussion about race in a way that has been eye-opening, soul-searching and incredibly important. While we’ve seen an increase in violence toward people of color, we also acknowledge that more and more people are recognizing a deep need for change in how we engage with, support and lift each other. This change is happening at the very core of how we teach, in the spaces we create and share, and the measures we take to provide a true representation of our community. Here at UC Davis and within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, we are guided by the Chancellor’s overarching goals for diversity, equity and inclusion as outlined in the campus strategic plan, “To Boldly Go,” and by the UC Davis Principles of Community.
UC Davis' Year of Action in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
After George Floyd’s tragic murder a year ago in police custody, campus departments and units put diversity, equity and inclusion top of mind in mission planning and training.
Strategic Plan Goal 3 within the campus’ strategic plan specifically states, “Embrace diversity, practice inclusive excellence and strive for equity. Make UC Davis a place of excellence for learning and working by supporting a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of all our students, staff and faculty; promotes wellness and a culture of sustainability; and cultivates the open interchange of ideas.” In the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, we are taking that charge to heart.
Our college is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive and equitable educational space for students, staff, faculty and the broader community. Our work is dynamic, continuous and responsive to change and the experiences of the people in our college, our community, the nation and the world. In the spirit of this work, we have developed a new website to provide resources for those seeking guidance and best practices to further develop diversity, equity, inclusion and justice on campus, in classrooms, laboratories, work and social spaces. We see this website as a dynamic space, home to resources and content that will expand and grow and reflect change as we learn and grow and change.
In addition to the website, I have created a college Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee to help facilitate our efforts and expand the voices in the college and help us better implement Goal 3. Our DEI committee is made up of members from each of our departments with representation from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. The DEI committee helps inform our work and keeps us connected to the distinct needs of our diverse community. There are also several departmental DEI and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) committees working to support the efforts of this work at various levels of the college.
As dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, I encourage you to share your ideas with us, engage your communities, join me and others in this space, and explore what is within your control and what opportunities you can take to be part of the greater change to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable space for everyone.