Equity, Diversity and Inclusion /diversity Tue, 20 Apr 2021 22:06:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3.4 103763904 Critical Incident Message – Offensive Symbol /diversity/2021/04/20/offensive-symbol/ Tue, 20 Apr 2021 22:05:02 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=5798 ѿý Public Safety is investigating an incident overnight in which a large letter that was part of the Kappa Kappa Gamma front lawn display was replaced to reflect a racist acronym.

At this point, it is believed the perpetrators are not affiliated with the Vanderbilt community. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, perpetrators will be subject to disciplinary action by the university and/or criminal prosecution.

Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community, and we understand the pain caused by this symbol of hatred and violence.

We do not tolerate racism, racist symbolism, discrimination, vandalism, trespassing, retaliation, and/or harassment of registered student organizations and individuals.  We condemn expressions of hate, bias and discrimination in all forms.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Message regarding Derek Chauvin verdict https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2021/04/20/chauvin-verdict/ Tue, 20 Apr 2021 22:02:50 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=5790 5790 Critical Incident Message – Offensive Language /diversity/2020/07/03/critical-incident-message-offensive-language/ Sat, 04 Jul 2020 02:16:31 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=5281 The university has received multiple reports regarding an incident in which a student and member of a Greek organization was recorded using a racist slur derogatory to African Americans.

Vanderbilt is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community for all, and the matter has been referred to our Title IX and Student Discrimination office. We are actively investigating this incident.

We do not tolerate racism nor racist language and behavior in our community, and we recognize the pain and anguish this word causes for African American members of our community.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Statement on the death of George Floyd /diversity/2020/05/29/george-floyd/ Sat, 30 May 2020 03:14:58 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=5121 The recent events in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd have once again cast a spotlight on the challenges that African Americans and people of color face in this country. Mr. Floyd’s terrible, unnecessary and untimely death, as well as his treatment during his last seven minutes of life, again raises the existential question of whether some lives are more valued than others.

Life is to be cherished and its protection falls on the shoulders of all of us, but even more importantly, on those given the authority to protect and defend our lives and laws.

In all our roles as educators, scholars and stewards of the best ideas and values of a civil society, we must be part of the national chorus that cries out that all lives are valuable. Furthermore, as a community we should question why incidents such as these continue to occur, and what role we can play in creating a fairer and just world.

At Vanderbilt, equity, diversity and inclusion are a major and treasured part of our ethos, and we do not tolerate racism, prejudice, hatred or violence in any form.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Offensive Graffiti /diversity/2019/12/17/offensive-graffiti/ Tue, 17 Dec 2019 17:00:56 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=5012 ѿý Police are investigating the discovery near Vanderbilt’s campus of offensive graffiti intended to spread hate. The graffiti, discovered Dec. 16, was drawn in black marker on a flyer posted near the entrance of a Vanderbilt-affiliated building. The perpetrator is unknown.

ѿý is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and we will not tolerate words, actions or symbols that are bigoted or intended to intimidate anyone in our community. We remain deeply committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Vanderbilt Police have notified Metro Police, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Tennessee Fusion Center. The investigation is ongoing. Specific details about the incident are being withheld at the request of those who reported it.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Owen Graduate School of Management Statement on Offensive Blog Post /diversity/2019/10/23/owen-offensive-blog-post/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 23:10:57 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=4987 Yesterday, we posted a blog about student experiences at the National Black MBA Association Conference that compared the highly attended conference to the annual retail event Black Friday. Regardless of the intention, this was an offensive comparison and totally inappropriate.

At Vanderbilt, our goal is to foster a safe, diverse and inclusive community that is welcoming to everyone. Yesterday’s blog post runs absolutely counter to that goal and we offer our sincerest apologies to everyone affected, especially the Black community.

Effective immediately, we are overhauling our editorial processes to ensure a more appropriate evaluation of all content on multiple levels before anything is published on our website, social media, or any other Owen Graduate School of Management channel.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Vanderbilt Political Review [Updated] /diversity/2019/09/12/vanderbilt-political-review/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 23:20:28 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=4935 Updated 09/24/2019

As part of our commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, ѿý is actively engaging with students who have expressed concerns about an opinion article published in the Vanderbilt Political Review. The opinion article focused on Chinese students who are attending U.S. colleges and universities. We understand that many in our community take issue with the article’s portrayals of Chinese students.

As a university, we value the diverse perspectives our international students bring to our campus. We have and will continue to support the inclusion of students and scholars from around the world in our community. Their contribution is integral to the university’s mission of teaching, research, and discovery.

The Vanderbilt Political Review is not a publication of ѿý, but is an independent student publication and part of a separate nonprofit entity. To be clear, the opinions expressed in the piece do not represent those of ѿý.

Vanderbilt supports a free and independent press and values the thoughtful and respectful exchange of ideas.

In the interest of fostering dialogue and a campus environment in which all feel valued and respected, the university is providing support to those affected as well as providing feedback to the student staff of Vanderbilt Political Review who have offered a on the issue.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Offensive Slide /diversity/2019/09/10/offensive-slide/ Tue, 10 Sep 2019 19:49:06 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=4879 ѿý has worked, and continues to work, to foster an environment in which differences are respected and all members of our community feel equal, valued and included.

The university currently is investigating the planned use of offensive material in a slide from a presentation earlier this semester for an undergraduate course. When the university was made aware of the issue, university officials immediately contacted the faculty members and the slide was removed. The university also reached out to support affected students and meet with student groups to facilitate important dialogue on this incident and the related issues it surfaces. In addition, this incident is informing ongoing efforts to enhance education and training related to bias and discrimination.

While the faculty members removed the slide and did not present it in class, the university is carefully following its process for investigating matters regarding faculty conduct. The confidential process is designed to protect the privacy and rights of complainants and respondents, and preserve fairness. Vanderbilt is thoroughly investigating this situation and will take necessary steps aligned with our values and policies.

ѿý takes seriously any actions that are inconsistent with our commitment to a welcoming environment for all.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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Critical Incident Message – Offensive Email /diversity/2019/08/01/email20190801/ Thu, 01 Aug 2019 18:01:55 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=4816 Vanderbilt is committed to fostering diversity and a community in which all feel equal, valued and included. The university is investigating an email that was sent to approximately 50 students on July 31 that promotes racist stereotypes that mock or demean people of African descent.  The email and its intent to harm are antithetical to our values of equity, diversity and inclusion. We condemn and will not tolerate acts intended to promote division or fear.

We have determined and have blocked the sending address, which was not affiliated with the university and did not contain any personally identifying information about the perpetrator, from sending further emails to Vanderbilt email accounts. We are assessing other preventive measures, taking action to address the incident with the affected members of our community, and we have made the appropriate authorities aware of the incident. Any additional information about this incident will be shared on this website as it becomes available.

Resources for the Vanderbilt Community

ResourceWebsiteContactCampus Location
Black Cultural Center, Bishop Joseph JohnsonWebsite615-322-2524Vanderbilt Place, Map
Center for Student WellbeingWebsite615-322-04801211 Stevenson Center Lane
Dean of StudentsWebsite615-322-6400
Email
Sarratt Student Center, Suite 310
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)615-936-1327
Graduate Life Coach
International Student & Scholar ServicesWebsite615-322-2753Sarratt Student Center, Suite 100
2301 Vanderbilt Place
LGBTQI LifeWebsite615-322-3330
Provost’s Office for Inclusive ExcellenceWebsite615-343-7083
Email
Kirkland Hall, Suite 301
Office of Housing and Residential ExperienceWebsite615-322-2591
Email
4100 Branscomb Quadrangle
Office of Religious LifeWebsite615-322-2457
Grief Net: 615-322-6172
401 24th Avenue South
Project Safe CenterWebsite615-322-7233 (24-Hour Hotline)Cumberland (304) West Side Row
Rohr Chabad House at Vanderbilt615-686-3905113 23rd Avenue North
Student Accountability, Community Standards & Academic IntegrityWebsite615-322-7868Sarratt Student Center, Suite 301
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Student Care CoordinationWebsite615-343-9355Rand Hall, Suite 305
Student Center for Social Justice & IdentityWebsite615-322-5089Sarratt Student Center, Suite 335
Title IX and Student DiscriminationWebsite615-343-9004 (V/TDD)Baker Building, Suite 975
University Counseling CenterWebsite615-322-2571 (during and after business hours)2015 Terrace Place
Drop-In Consultations at Multiple Campus Locations
Vanderbilt Hillel615-322-8376Schulman Center for Jewish Life, 2421 Vanderbilt Place
Women’s Center, Margaret CuninggimWebsite615-322-4843Franklin (316) West Side Row
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An Evening with Margot Lee Shetterly https://s3.amazonaws.com/vuweb-s3-vuwebstaticassets-1i6c9zhn31ti6/vu-wp0/wp-content/uploads/sites/96/2018/02/09092217/Hidden-Figures_Final.pdf Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:10:54 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=2828 2828 Seed grants funding for equity, diversity and inclusion research/developmental projects available /diversity/2017/03/02/support-for-researchdevelopmental-projects/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 14:44:07 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=2082 The Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has funds available at this time to support pilot research or developmental projects on equity, diversity and inclusion. The cooperation of the Chancellor and Provost has been important in this effort. Small seed grants ($1000-$10,000) are available immediately for this purpose and the proposed research or development ideas will be peer-reviewed using some of the current review processes. The deadline for receiving 1-2 page proposals or descriptions of ideas is 5pm on Friday, March 17, 2017 with decisions made no later than by Monday, March 27, 2017.  We want to have a prompt turnaround so that initiatives can be supported ASAP by the end of March. Funds must be expended by June 30, 2017.

Please submit applications to:
George C. Hill, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
ѿý
Room 401
Kirkland Hall
615-343-2644

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iNCLUSIVE Nov. 1 https://t.e2ma.net/webview/zkr7sb/ad10d3d29e9bca7160fc8be1c9f24f36 Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:55:16 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1420 1420 Q & A: Vice Chancellor David Williams /diversity/2016/10/12/q-a-vice-chancellor-david-williams/ Wed, 12 Oct 2016 18:13:49 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1323 david-williams-1

Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletics Director David Williams II is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion as well as integrating Commodore athletics into the Vanderbilt student life experience. Williams, an innovative leader, came to Vanderbilt in 2000 as vice chancellor, general counsel and secretary as well as a professor of law. He added athletics to his portfolio in 2003 and was named to his current position in 2012. Williams shared some insights in a Q&A session with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Under your leadership, athletics has worked to integrate Vanderbilt student-athletes into the student life experience. How is greater integration and inclusion beneficial to athletes and to the greater Vanderbilt community?

I was listening to an interview by former Vanderbilt basketball player Wade Baldwin, who is now with the Memphis Grizzlies. He left Vanderbilt after his sophomore year – one of the earliest kids to leave. He talked about one of his teammates on the Grizzlies and for him, that the athletes just hung with the athletes. He talked about how happy he was that he had gone to Vanderbilt where he was seen as a person, a student who happened to play a sport. I think that student-athletes appreciate the fact that we are working as hard as we can to make them well-rounded in all aspects. To make sure they are doing study abroad, getting an internship and earning a degree. That means something.

Your commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is clear in the work you’ve done at Vanderbilt and in the larger community. How do you see Vanderbilt athletics and the institution overall changing in the years to come?

I think our profession has not been as open as it should be. I never thought that I would see the return of the 1960s. I went to college in the 60’s and thought that those days were over. I am seeing those days back. I went through a period of time where women’s rights, black power rights, get out of Vietnam rights and more started on college campuses. It takes a very special attitude to understand this too is part of education. I’m hoping that Vanderbilt will be a place that understands and from my vantage point, I see it coming.

You have created programs for athletes to travel more overseas and to study internationally. Tell us more about those programs.

When I was at Ohio State, I had the good fortune of getting to teach overseas. You learn a lot about yourself and other people. In 2003, we looked at our student-athletes and realized they don’t get to study abroad like other students. It is a great opportunity for growth and we wanted our student-athletes to experience that. As a result, we’ve organized an international service trips to Tanzania and Costa Rica as well as to Cuba. These have been eye-opening experiences for everybody.

In 2002, you were the vice chancellor of general counsel and secretary of Vanderbilt under then-Chancellor Gordon Gee, when Gee tried to rename Confederate Memorial Hall. Can you share some of your reflections on your experience with that case?

That was a very, very tough time as we were sued by the Daughters of the Confederacy. It challenges you to go back and think about the things that you’ve learned and what you believe and what other people do. Coming out of Detroit, my education on the Civil War was the North had won and the South had lost. That war was about slavery and I had a lot of people, including some Daughters of the Confederacy, who explained to me that it wasn’t about slavery, it was about states’ rights. The thing that was most interesting to me was, though we had a totally different view in most cases, we were able to remain friends. I had a better understanding of where they were coming from and they had a better understanding of where I was coming from.

What would you want Vanderbilt students, staff and faculty to know about athletics?

The thing I’m most proud of is that our student-athletes graduate at basically the same rate as the university. We make sure these students get an education in the broadest sense, including study abroad and internships. More than 47 percent of our student-athletes who graduated last May were accepted into graduate or professional school. Two years ago we had four student-athletes who were accepted into the ѿý School of Medicine.

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A conversation with Godfrey Dillard /diversity/2016/10/10/a-conversation-with-godfrey-dillard/ Mon, 10 Oct 2016 16:00:50 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1307 G DILLARD

Godfrey Dillard and Perry Wallace, the first two African American basketball players at ѿý, endured harsh discrimination on campus as they campaigned for equal rights and diversity. Trailblazers during the 1960s, the duo today continues to champion these values, contributing to the advancement of inclusion and equity in higher education and athletics.

Dillard chose Vanderbilt because he saw the opportunity to integrate the Southeastern Conference but racism and discrimination in the South were fiercer than the young visionary imagined. The athlete became an advocate for all ethnicities who were marginalized.. “They wanted to get rid of me because I represented what the future looked like,” Dillard said in a recent interview. “In a lot of ways that was true. I was very progressive, political and color-blind. I wasn’t hung up on ways. I was there trying to make it better for everybody. So, unfortunately I paid the heavy price for that.”

During his year at Vanderbilt, Dillard felt traumatized in the classroom and on the basketball court. White students didn’t speak to him. Dillard’s grades suffered as a result of the discrimination permeating so much of the institution at that time.

Dillard suffered a knee injury his sophomore year, and decided to leave Vanderbilt after he recovered. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University, a law degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s in international affairs at George Washington University.

Dillard is now an attorney in private practice in both Atlanta and Detroit. He was part of the group that challenged the University of Michigan’s race-based admissions policies.

“Leaving Vanderbilt was the best decision I ever made because it changed me as a person to provide the motivation and the trajectory for my life,” Dillard said. “It gave my life purpose, and a road map to excellence, success, service and the wonderful and exciting life that I live. Out of the anxiety, out of the destruction on me as a person and an athlete, I was able to rebuild myself.”

In 2004, nearly four decades after leaving Vanderbilt, Dillard returned to campus for the ceremony retiring Perry Wallace’s number. Dillard was encouraged to see the increased minority and international student population at Vanderbilt as well as minorities in leadership roles within the university.

However, Dillard sees it as a “very bad sign” that Vanderbilt sororities and fraternities are still basically white despite the greater presence of Asians, African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups in the community. Dillard suggests that white fraternities and sororities should go into the Hispanic, African American and Asian areas of Nashville to do community service and shake their image of being leisure-focused. He feels that one-on-one interaction is vital.

He hopes Vanderbilt will stop viewing itself as a predominantly Southern institution, referring to itself as “the Harvard of the South,” adding “I would like to see more diversity at the top, at the chancellor level.”

Learn more at the ѿý Fine Arts Gallery exhibit; , running now through Dec. 8, 2016.

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Two working groups appointed to analyze new faculty survey data https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/10/06/two-working-groups-appointed-to-analyze-new-faculty-survey-data/?utm_source=myvupreview&utm_medium=myvu_email&utm_campaign=myvupreview-2016-10-06#new_tab Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:07:35 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1301 1301 Commodore Insider Podcast: Perry Wallace, Godfrey Dillard http://%20Commodore%20Insider%20Podcast:%20Perry%20Wallace,%20Godfrey%20Dillard#new_tab Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:09:04 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1292 1292 Save the date: 2016 Levi Watkins Jr., M.D. Lecture set for Oct. 11 https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/08/05/save-the-date-2016-levi-watkins-jr-md-lecture-set-for-oct-11/#new_tab Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:53:42 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1283 1283 First-year students learn lessons on race and inclusion at 10th annual Lawson Lecture https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/09/29/first-year-students-learn-lessons-on-race-and-inclusion-at-10th-annual-lawson-lecture/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+vanderbilt-news+%28Vanderbilt+News%29#new_tab Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:48:13 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1277 1277 Activist, singer Monica Raye Simpson to lead Vanderbilt Divinity workshop https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/09/27/activist-singer-monica-raye-simpson-to-lead-vanderbilt-divinity-workshop/#new_tab Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:32:04 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1269 1269 Chancellor commends ROTC cadets for focus on ‘something bigger’ at Leadership Symposium https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/09/28/chancellor-commends-rotc-cadets-for-focus-on-something-bigger-at-leadership-symposium/#new_tab Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:29:15 +0000 https://wpfsx.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/?p=1266 1266