JHU leaders announce effort to create overarching university statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion
Effort led by JHU's chief diversity officer will seek feedback from the university community, including students, faculty, and staff
Johns Hopkins University is opening a universitywide discussion this fall about how the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion should guide the institution.
The conversation—which will be led by Fenimore Fisher, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer—will culminate with approval of a new Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as well as an update to the university's Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion. The process is expected to conclude in March.
"The process for creating the new statement will subsequently reach all corners of the university," Fisher says. "We plan to hold stakeholder meetings with student, faculty, and staff organizations, and there will be opportunities for individuals to submit feedback, including a comment period on the final draft. The deans and the university leadership will review the final statement before it is presented to the Board of Trustees in the spring."
The university's Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, released in 2016, noted that there are several key statements of principle that address issues of equity and inclusion, such as the Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity and Inclusion Statement, the Principles for Ensuring Equity, Civility, and Respect for All, and the University Statement on Equal Opportunity. In the Roadmap, the university committed to review those statements and engage the community in creating a simple, clear, and compelling universitywide statement that will "help articulate these core values, why they matter, and how they are woven inextricably into our mission and other principles that animate our university, such as individual excellence and academic freedom."
Already, members of the Office of Diversity's Knowledge Share Group—which consists of diversity and inclusion practitioners, human resources leaders, and the co-chairs of the divisional councils—have begun an initial review of examples of diversity messages at other institutions and existing Johns Hopkins statements. The community discussion will kick off at the 15th annual Diversity and Inclusion Conference hosted by the Diversity Leadership Council on Oct. 19.
The conference will include a roundtable discussion led by deans and moderated by JHU President Ronald J. Daniels to outline priorities, accomplishments, and gaps specific to the Roadmap, Fisher says. Participants at the conference will also be asked, through evaluations, to indicate their views on the most relevant messaging concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The existing statements and a form for providing comments is on the university's policy and document library website.
Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar invited the Johns Hopkins community to join the conversation in a message that highlighted two other current efforts to support the values of inclusion and equity at JHU: the release of the first annual report for the Office of Institutional Equity and the revision of the university's Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures.
"Our university truly thrives only when all members of our community are respected, supported, and fully able to pursue their aspirations in classrooms, laboratories, offices, and clinics across our campuses," they wrote. "We look forward to hearing from you on these important initiatives."