Message from Chief Diversity Officer Ameerah McBride
February 22, 2019
The past nine months have been a whirlwind as I assumed the role of Chief Diversity Officer, Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and Title IX Coordinator. Prior to starting my role, there were several major events on campus in which students raised serious questions about Texas State’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. When I arrived on campus, I wanted to hear directly from students regarding their experiences, as well as the perspective of faculty, staff and administrators across the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses.
Through these conversations I heard several important themes. Texas State University has always been committed to addressing the critically important issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, however the efforts that multiple departments are taking to advance these efforts weren’t being shared broadly and there hasn’t been a consistent mechanism for communication, evaluation and assessment.
It is important for the Texas State University community to acknowledge and accept the fact that we occupy spaces on this campus where some members of our community feel unsafe and excluded. As the Chief Diversity Officer, I take these concerns to heart and commit to constantly review our policies, procedures, outcomes and accountability measures to help foster a transformative cultural change, including a more safe, supportive and inclusive campus community.
During a recent meeting with the President’s Cabinet, I presented a plan for capacity building that I would like to share with you:
Phase 1- Building Trust
- Creating lines of communication that are effective and consistent, including sustained dialogue with students, active listening, and responding to events in a timely manner
Phase 2- Investing in Continual Learning
- Promoting the participation of faculty and staff in professional development opportunities that increase cultural fluency, including an internal certificate program
Phase 3- Strategic Planning
- Reviewing the goals of the 2017-2023 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, including reorganizing the framework to clearly define institutional priorities
Since my arrival on campus, I have received words of support and encouragement from many of you, and I offer a sincere thank you for welcoming me with open arms and supporting the work of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. As a community of educators and student support professionals both inside and outside of the classroom, it is our responsibility to create learning experiences and educational opportunities that prepare all students to be successful in an increasingly diverse world.
I challenge all of us to utilize our privilege and influence to make Texas State feel safe and inclusive. If we continue to work in partnership with intentionality and urgency through sustained dialogue, active listening and continual learning we can achieve the transformative shift in our campus culture that will make Texas State University a model for higher education.
Chief Diversity Officer