In a letter August 3, President Ralph W. Kuncl and Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones review where the University has been and where it is going, inviting the community to continue the path of progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dear friends and colleagues:
We are never perfect as individuals or as a collective. But, like you, we are constantly seeking to be ever better. We continue, especially in the current era marked by racial injustice, to communicate what proactive communities such as the University of Redlands do and value about inclusivity; we show you how we are making our values speak through authentic actions, not merely words, as most recently outlined in a letter on June 29 and on the Racial Equity Resources web page.
We, along with the Board of Trustees and Cabinet, have received some encouraging messages about our commitment to address racial inequities and foster greater inclusiveness for underserved groups. We also heard some courageous voices expressing authentic experiences that strengthen our resolve to ensure an environment welcoming for all, where no one feels isolated or insecure because of their background; we will pursue this goal through recently announced initiatives including University-wide training, new programs to foster inclusiveness, and changes to our structures and policies.
Messages of another kind, however, came from a pressure group claiming to speak for thousands of alumni and some student groups. The group, calling itself Redlands Alumni for Black Lives Matter, has posted on social media and is trying to dissuade prospective students, especially students of color, from attending the U of R. In their 17 “non-negotiable” demands, the group’s leaders make false claims including those that disparage the good work of many of you (and collectively all of us), as we have endeavored to recruit and support students inclusively, increase financial aid, diversify the Cabinet, and become a majority minority institution. You should know that the group ignores or misrepresents the progress that has taken place, including actions that in fact address several of their demands.
While we know there is still much work to do, the U of R community has accomplished real progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some relevant facts below (click to enlarge) and at redlands.edu/growingdiversity.
Together, we will continue to work to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Redlands. Toward that end, we invite anyone who is part of the University of Redlands family and who would like to engage in meaningful dialog to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; let us know the specific topic you would like to discuss and we will work to set up a time to meet with you.
Thank you for all you do to strengthen our vibrant and evolving community of Bulldogs.