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CEIO makes statement on equity, inclusion, and social justice at Loyola

CEIO makes statement on equity, inclusion, and social justice at Loyola

On June 10, Loyola’s current and first chief equity and inclusion officer, Dr. Cheryl Moore-Thomas, sent an email to the Loyola community. The email addressed Loyola’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. It also introduced a strategic plan to support this commitment.

“In planning for concrete action steps, the office of equity and inclusion approaches these issues with an integrative model of leadership, which draws its strength from partnerships and collaborations extending to every division of our university,” Moore-Thomas said. 

Moore-Thomas explained that the President’s Council on Equity and Inclusion is creating a plan that will have measurable outcomes in the areas of education, assessment, inclusion, accessibility, and “defining what it means to be an Ignatian citizen in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” This model is currently being developed and will be introduced in the fall as a three-year mission.  

Equity audits, which will help move past the surface-level interventions to understanding and correcting the systemic issues, are said to be a key part of the plan. Equity audits are meant to, “uncover those policies and practices that have been hindering and preventing all of us—faculty, staff, administrators, and students—from succeeding on an equitable playing field,” Moore-Thomas said. 

Furthermore, the email emphasized the value of student voices and perspectives. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as organizations such as the Student Government Association (SGA) and African, Latinx, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Services were deemed essential to the integrated approach. Moore-Thomas invited students to be a part of the conversation and to reach out to her at [email protected]

It is explained that the mission and faith tradition of the institution demands that the voices of the underrepresented are heard. 

“The integrative model for our office of equity and inclusion provides an avenue for those voices, our relational approach to the work creates open doors for those voices, our student-centered high-touch approach to instruction and engagement allow for avenues for the articulation of those voices and for moving forward,” Moore-Thomas said. 

Moore-Thomas also shared immediate action steps for antiracism and allyship. 

“The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the many others of who have been victimized by racist acts call us to immediate action,” Moore-Thomas said. She shared resources for the community at this link

Moore-Thomas also referenced the Empower group for Students of Color, a “supportive space” intended to address the issues that are unique to a student of color’s college experience. She also shared restorative resources for Black and African American community members, people of color, and students looking to engage as allies. In addition, links were provided for additional workshops on self-care and wellness, as well as remote counseling services

“Additionally, many departments, programs, and offices throughout the institution are sharing discipline specific resources; providing opportunities for students to come together for town halls or community conversations; and continuing to review policies, procedures, and practices to ensure equity and inclusion,” Moore-Thomas said. 

The email concluded with a pledge for change. 

“We must lean into our mission while always aiming for greater levels of accountability, transparency, and communication,” Moore-Thomas said. 

More information about the Office of Equity and Inclusion can be found here. For additional reporting on responses to racism from students and the administration, visit this link.

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CEIO makes statement on equity, inclusion, and social justice at Loyola