Almost 500 faculty and staff attend the InclusiveVT Summit
The InclusiveVT Summit, formerly called Diversity Summit, held Aug. 10 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center explored the past, present, and future of the work of diversity, inclusion, and equity at Virginia Tech and throughout higher education.
The keynote speaker, Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, led a conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.
“As we talk about the state of race in higher education, I approach it with guarded optimism" Russell said. "Individuals and institutions over time have leaned into their values, and I believe that is true for Virginia Tech. But I’m also guarded because the more difficult work of addressing the pervasiveness of institutionalized racism is yet to be done.”
Following the keynote, Erica Cooper, assistant provost for faculty diversity, moderated a panel with Ronald Fricker, vice provost for faculty affairs; Ellington Graves, associate vice provost for inclusion and diversity; and Kristin Gehsmann, professor and director of the School of Education.
The panelists, with the audience, reflected on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Virginia Tech. They addressed a variety of perspectives such as importance of context, admissions, research methodologies, student success, data informed decision making, and resource allocation.
For the final morning session, Menah Pratt, vice president for strategic affairs and diversity, presented the 2022-23 strategic priorities for the Office for Inclusion and Diversity that focus on impact and sustainability. “Ut Prosim [That I May Serve] is an unconditional responsibility to be of service to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. And we need a certain level of competence, courage, and experience to do this well. This is the goal of our [Office for Inclusion and Diversity] work at Virginia Tech.”
The afternoon sessions included tours of the Solitude-Fraction site and cooking demonstration at the Indigenous Friendship Garden, as well as a variety of in-person, virtual, and asynchronous sessions about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives .
If you missed any of the morning sessions, you can view them in their entirety on the InclusiveVT YouTube channel. To access the asynchronous after sessions, contact Michelle Carter at email@example.com.