New Year Reflections

By: Dr. Susan B. Wilson, Vice Chancellor of UMKC’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone in the UMKC community who has been a part of our efforts to have a diverse and inclusive campus. Whether you attended an event, made a contribution, led a diversity initiative for faculty, or participated in diversity action planning—you are appreciated. Our goals in diversity and inclusion (D&I) could not have been accomplished without you.
We are fast approaching the New Year. For many, a new year often means reflecting on the past year. We often are thinking of new goals, new behaviors and changes we must make. A new year can mean a fresh start and new resolutions, and a time to celebrate our past successes.
Our UMKC community is something to be proud of in the care and concern we show. Yet from a D & I perspective, I hope that you consider how you can take one more step toward making our campus a place where everyone can thrive and succeed. It is important to reflect upon how a simple behavior–like smiling and saying hello—makes UMKC a better place. It’s helpful to think about how valuable it is to get to know a colleague who is different than you. What about a newcomer to UMKC? Do we invite them to lunch with the group, and otherwise make them feel welcome? Or do we allow them to fend for themselves? Can we make time to attend a D & I program, even if we think we are too busy? As hiring managers, do we hire faculty and staff who are just like us, or do we see value in a diversity of perspectives, skills and research?
These are just a few questions to ponder as the New Year comes. In the meantime, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion wishes you a holiday season that is fulfilling and joyful.