Month: September 2018

My Commitments

Thoughts on my diversity statement…


How does it feel to be a problem? This is a 120-year old question that has new meaning in this century. In four generations since it was first posed by W.E.B. DuBois, the tension between the double consciousness of non-White folks (sic) and the souls of Black folks has been negotiated like a tight rope, debated and extended to numerous others based on political climate, economic vitality, and social status in the United States: the common denominator often being the context of the United States of America. My identity has shaped my life and beliefs: I navigate life as a Black, cis-gender female science student and teacher, practicing Christocentric thinker, a sister, a twin, a daughter, a friend and a mother, raised, living and working in an urban community.

Borrowing from ‘diversity in the workplace’ models and health/education industry standards for diversity statements, I commit to:

  • Inclusion in the classroom at every level
      • Humanity will be positioned as the primary authority of experiences that are held in common, shared or unknown to members of our learning community
      • Ability, perceived or enacted, will not exclude or exempt anyone from being invited to be a part of our learning community
  • Acceptance of human diversity as a basis for celebration
      • Cultural appropriation is a violation of human trusts but an inevitable outcome of limited exposure to others, I will commit to thoughtful use of others’ micro- and macro- cultural artifacts
      • Tolerance is the lower limit of social calculus. I will commit to accepting others’ ways of being and make decisions about how I govern myself in consideration of others
  • Respectful communication that is honest and contemplative
      • As a human enterprise reflective of our needs to be connected, I will seek to be clear in my communication with others and clarify my thoughts by asking questions or challenging misconceptions
      • Being honest in communication requires questions to be used as tools recognizing that for the questioned, the risk is often greater. I will be conscious of others’ responses to questions
  • Humility in practice
      • I will commit to saying please and thank you, sorry or nothing, giving others a chance to process just as I will.
      • I will commit to my right to say ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘not at this time’
      • Humility places us in a teachable posture at a teachable moment…that doesn’t make you weak or docile.
  • A life of heutagogical intent to understand human systems and structures
    • I will seek understanding of problems in a variety of ways using a variety of resources
    • I will hold myself accountable to my own quests for understanding

Kujichagalia means self-determination. It is the second principle of Kwanzaa, second to umoja (unity). I commit to living a principle-filled life based on mind-full, spiritual and physical discipline. This is who I am.

In response to the request to share a statement on my ‘contribution to diversity’ this is what and how I present…