On behalf of the Diversity Center staff, student workers, partners, and supporters, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the newcomers to the Luther and Decorah community. For those who have been here before, welcome back. This is a momentous time in the history of the Diversity Center. Created in 2002, the Center is enjoying its 15th year of working to make Luther and Decorah a more welcoming and inclusive place.
Sara Taylor of deepSEE Consulting used the following classification schema to describe the stages involved in creating such a culture.
At stage 1, Diversity 101, the focus is on the numbers; making sure we recruit as many different groups of people as possible. Usually visible diversity is seen as of primary importance. Author Andrés Tapia refers to this as the mix in his book, The Inclusion Paradox, (2009).
At stage 2, Diversity 2.0, the emphasis is on making sure that the recruits feel valued, respected and are engaged at all levels of the organization. This is the inclusion stage which Tapia describes as making the mix work.
At stage 3, Diversity 3.0, the focus is on individual and organizational transformation to improve effectiveness through creativity and innovations. At this stage inclusion is normative. Although presented in a linear way, these stages in reality do overlap and operate concurrently and also in a continuous loop.
It should be obvious especially to those of us who have been here a while that we are still working on stages 1 and 2 with the goal of eventually getting to stage 3. I will say more about this in a future newsletter.
Getting back to the 15th anniversary, as part of the celebration, the Center with assistance from The Development Office has launched the 15 for 15 Book Fund Campaign. The goal is to raise $15,000 for the fund. We welcome your contribution to this effort. Secondly, there will be a special chapel on Friday, September 22 at 10:30 am in the CFL. We invite you to join us as we share our story. Stay with us as the celebration continues!
Have a great year!