The UALR Diversity Council will hold the first in a series of luncheon forums aimed at engaging the campus community in discussions about diversity from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Donaghey Student Center Room G.
“Our purpose in hosting the events is to engage the campus community in discussions about diversity and to allow some time for faculty and staff to share any concerns they may have about diversity at the university,” said Dr. John Miller Jr., co-chair of the Diversity Council and assistant professor in the UALR School of Social Work.
In 2011, Chancellor Joel E. Anderson established the council to lead the campus in planning related to diversity and in launching strategic diversity initiatives.
“Goal four of our revised strategic plan charges us to be committed to diversity in all areas of the university. We have done well in our efforts to be an inclusive and welcoming community, but much more can be done. The Diversity Council will lead the campus in planning and launching initiatives to ensure UALR is a diverse community, characterized by an absence of institutional discrimination,” said Anderson.
Additional forums will be conducted by the council throughout the semester to promote ongoing dialogue, but their intention is to allow campus stakeholders the opportunity to facilitate the discussions.
“We feel that a strength of our metropolitan university is the rich and diverse knowledge and expertise of our faculty and staff. By sharing that knowledge we want our lunch and learn events to serve as an opportunity for our university to come together and discuss topics that will enlighten us and expand our perspective,” said Miller.
For future forum events, those interested in presenting their research are asked to submit proposals for presentations addressing diversity related issues including, but not limited to, disability, LGBT, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and the elderly.
The deadline to submit proposals for the February forum has passed; however, proposals for upcoming sessions can be emailed to Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d like to be known for championing diversity with our actions and the lunch and learn series is one small step in that direction,” said Miller.
The UALR Diversity Council’s mission is to help the university in its overall goals of promoting dialogue, enhancing understanding, and fostering respect for all students, faculty, and staff.