Our Commitment to Diversity
At Adler University we stand for social justice. We will continue to examine what it means to be a social justice institution and hold ourselves accountable for living that mission. At Adler, that means a renewed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of our work.
During the summer of 2020, a spotlight was put on the conscious and unconscious ways that institutions both accept and advance an anti-Black culture. The nation borne witness to a seemingly unending rash of murders of Black men and women by authorities, and the COVID-19 pandemic put in focus how the failure to address health disparities in communities of color has led to disproportionately high numbers of severe illness and deaths in those communities. An awakening occurred and even the most progressive institutions began to see their own shortcomings.
At Adler, we listened, reflected and allowed ourselves to understand our own shortcomings, and we will continue to do so everyday going forward. But, listening, reflecting and understanding, while all important, are not nearly enough. Actions are demanded and required. Actions must become a vital part of our mission going forward.
As a higher education institution, we have a responsibility to address how the forces of systemic racism and colonialism in our country have shaped what students learn in the classroom. We must reexamine and then transform the classroom experience to more expansively and deeply include attention to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the curriculum. Tolerance must be replaced with an authentic appreciation and celebration of difference. For this reason, beginning in January 2021, Adler began a multi-year curriculum transformation plan that will revisit academic pedagogy to re-imagine how the BIPOC experience is interwoven through all the courses and programs we offer.
Additionally, Black students and faculty within Adler University issued a call for change, demanding that policy, practice and structural changes be made to address racism in all forms. The thoughtfulness and passion of those raising their voices is deeply appreciated. Adler is actively working to create change around the issues shared in their document. In constructively addressing these vitally important issues, our goal is to include the voices and vision of Adler’s BIPOC community, including students and faculty, but recognize, in the words of Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name, bell hooks, “what we do is more important than what we say or what we say we believe.”
In recent years, Adler has taken important steps to expand the diversity of its leadership team. Today, four out of nine of Adler’s institutional senior staff positions are led by BIPOC leaders. In 2019, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion was launched and expanded to include additional staff and resources. Learn more about the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.
While actions toward creating a more equitable and inclusive culture have been made, we heartily acknowledge that much more remains to be done. Adler is committed to working with students and faculty to create a learning environment truly reflective of our mission.