Equality of opportunity is simply good business. Regarding it only as a legal requirement is limited and ignores several essential factors. A diverse community benefits faculty, staff and students, both majority and minority. Education that includes diversity in actual practice, not just in theory, makes the institution viable in a world where we must all be skilled at interacting with others from a wide variety of human differences that include cultures, races, religion, ages and other backgrounds.
Please consider how the concepts below relate to your daily life at work and the goals of your department or division. They are ordered in terms of increasing level of success in meeting our institutional goals.
Affirmative Action and Equity provides a foundation that protects us all and allows us to be successful collectively and individually. Affirmative action is a tool that the employer uses to identify under representation of protected categories in various occupations, and to develop goals and objectives to achieve parity in the workforce over time. These are baseline requirements for compliance with anti-discrimination law, policy and reporting. Ideally Affirmative Action and Equity are practiced as a matter of habit and integrated into system-wide policies and practices.
Cultural Sensitivity/Awareness means knowing that cultural differences as well as similarities exist, and developing understanding of other groups. This involves attitudes of openness and flexibility, supplemented with cultural knowledge (adapted from Bazron, Dennis & Isaacs, 1989, Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care, Volume I, Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center).
Cultural Competency is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable a system to work effectively in cross-cultural situations (adapted from Bazron, Dennis & Isaacs, 1989, Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care, Volume I, Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center).
Increasing our ability to attract diverse employees to our campus is essential for success in today’s marketplace. A diverse workforce, however, is only part of that success. Through continuing to develop our cultural sensitivity, awareness and competence, we will help to create a human relations climate which is welcoming, professional and which upholds individual dignity. This climate encourages those whom we attract to the institution to stay and to thrive.