June 19, 2020
Dear Moore School Community,
Today, on Juneteenth – the day that our nation commemorates the historic emancipation of slaves in the U.S. – we stand in solidarity with the African American community. Along with President Caslen, we join countless others across our country and around the world in condemning the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other African Americans. We firmly believe that it is our responsibility to challenge systemic racism and institutional inequities, demanding better of ourselves and of future generations.
At the Darla Moore School of Business, we change lives through education, and being able to work in diverse and inclusive communities is an essential part of this transformation. The second of our four core values is integrity, and included in integrity is personal and organizational respect for and inclusion of all in everything we do. Our students will not achieve the excellence, team work and resilience our other three core values demand without treating all around them as they would like to be treated themselves. Moreover, the diversity of perspectives and experiences of our students, faculty and staff ‒ supported by our four values ‒ create an environment where all are visible, valued and respected and have the opportunity to succeed in a place where difference is deeply cherished.
Given the Moore School’s firm commitment to creating and fostering an inclusive culture, the school offers a wide range of diversity and inclusion (D&I) programming including workshops and activities for administrators, faculty, staff, students and prospective students across dimensions of difference. Examples include inclusion and diversity training for faculty mentors, networking sessions for underrepresented students, panels for first-generation college students and the annual African American Leadership Conference, which saw registrations reach nearly 300 students in February 2020.
In his message to the UofSC community, President Caslen discussed steps the university is taking to better educate students, faculty and staff on issues of discrimination, harassment and other biases. Beyond this required university training, the Moore School will implement several new initiatives to strengthen student, faculty and staff awareness regarding the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Starting in fall 2020, the Moore School will require all student organization executive board members to participate in the Inclusive Excellence training offered by the Moore School Office of Diversity and Inclusion in order to enhance their knowledge of D&I matters and deepen their understanding of the value of inclusion. In order to obtain the Inclusive Excellence certificate, executive board members must complete each of the five modules and ensure participation of their membership in the sessions on the basics of D&I and understanding implicit biases.
In addition, we are piloting an intercultural development assessment and training in fall 2020 to a select group of students, which is intended to provide a personalized intercultural development plan as well as deep knowledge of monocultural and multicultural mindsets and behaviors. Students will be given aspirational goals they should strive to achieve in order to become more culturally competent, and each will be reassessed at the end of the program to gauge the extent of their intercultural development during their studies. If successful, the training will be made available to as many students as possible.
Beginning this fall, the Moore School Office of Diversity and Inclusion will also host “Courageous Conversations,” a series aimed at enhancing engagement, knowledge and understanding across dimensions of difference while leading to meaningful experiences with people from various identities.
In 2018, we established the Student Council on Diversity and Inclusion, a heterogeneous group of undergraduate and graduate students committed to building a climate of inclusion and mutual support in our Moore School community. The Council’s main goals are to represent student voices and to engage our school in constructive discussions about D&I while creating a support network for like-minded individuals and providing an opportunity for students from different backgrounds to develop and exercise leadership skills.
The Council provides valuable insights relative to how students experience our Moore School community, supporting and serving as ambassadors for the work that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion does to advance equity, inclusion and diversity. In an effort to create a more inclusive and diverse Council, a representative from the executive board of each of the Moore School student organizations will be invited to sit on the Student Council on Diversity and Inclusion. In the fall, they will work with existing members to advise Moore School leadership of steps the school might take in response to the tragic events that have transpired across our country.
If you would like to learn more about supporting D&I efforts, we encourage you to visit the following:
- Moore School Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- UofSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- The Anti-Oppression Network
- Anti-Racist Resources (Fortune)
- Anti-Racist Resources (Forbes)
In closing, St. Francis of Assisi said: “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle,” and all at the Moore School from now on are challenged to be that light that shows the way through the darkness. The elimination of racism in our country starts among us as individuals, and us holding ourselves accountable for behaviors that add to the darkness, just as it requires us to be those flickers of light showing others the way forward.
Change begins with each of us standing up for justice and against inequity, and we
together pledge to charge every member of our Moore School community with this urgent
and sacred responsibility. We hope all Gamecocks will join us in building a better,
more inclusive world.
Forever to Thee,
Dean, Darla Moore School of Business
Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion