To the George Washington University Community:
The George Washington University is home to a vibrant community of scholars and employees hailing from all around the world – we are a truly global university. In our classrooms, research spaces, and offices, we are challenged and strengthened by a diversity of thought, experience, and perspective, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of the world and our own community.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure that our university is nondiscriminatory and harassment-free, and that all members of our community feel welcome to learn, teach, and work to their fullest potential in an inclusive and equitable environment. GW has at times fallen short of this goal, and we have more work to do. As we witness continued bias, discrimination, racism, and other forms of oppression across the country and around the world, we must do everything we can to identify, acknowledge, and work to end, through informed action, any such inequities affecting members of our community. This work and our process require a commitment to anti-racism and the dismantling of inequitable structures more broadly.
We are now taking another significant step toward positive change and building a more inclusive environment. I am proud to announce the formation of the Diversity Program Review Team, comprising faculty, staff and students who will conduct a comprehensive review of the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to inform the development of a sustainable diversity action plan. The team was chosen in consultation with campus partners, who provided recommendations about community members who would be valuable leaders in this process. The review aims to amplify the voices and experiences of all members of our community. It will include an assessment of current policies and practices, focus groups and interviews, and an external review by a selected board of scholars leading this type of work nationally. The resulting diversity action plan will include goals, action items, and regular assessments to track our progress.
I recently charged the Diversity Program Review Team at its first meeting, tasking participants with conducting the review and then producing a final report rooted in research and scholarship. The Diversity Program Review Team is the main working group, comprising a central team and three sub-groups focused on faculty, students, and staff, and its work will be supported by a broader group of constituents serving on several advisory councils. Over the next year, the engagement of the entire community will be critical as we undertake this collaborative, university-wide, and transparent initiative.
The Diversity Program Review Team will meet over the coming months to determine its areas of focus and a plan to move forward, with the goal of submitting to leadership in Spring 2023 a recommended diversity action plan. We will keep the community informed of the team’s progress, and updates will be posted to the Provost’s Office website. An opportunity for the community to provide feedback throughout the process is forthcoming and will be available on the website in the coming weeks.
Please stay tuned for opportunities to be involved, and thank you for your support of this crucial process.
Christopher Alan Bracey
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law