Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at DU
Overcoming barriers in diversity, equity and inclusion is not easy work. It is also not quickly achieved. Our progress at DU has not been stymied by a lack of passion, interest or commitment. Individuals and groups across campus have made real change, but this change has occurred largely in pockets and has failed, in some cases, to reach the people who need it most. The reasons for this are complex, and we are now pivoting to better identify leadership, take action, and increase accountability and consistency.
Happy Latinx Heritage Month
Feliz mes nacional de herencia hispana
September 15, 2020
Dear DU Community,
The University of Denver is home to a diverse population of students, faculty and staff. Even as we continue to grow our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the contributions of our Latinx community as we commemorate Latinx heritage this month.
Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to the October 15 in the United States as a way of recognizing the contributions of those who have ancestral ties to South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. These days are significant to the Latinx community as they honor anniversaries of independence from European colonial rule for many of these nations.
Hispanic Heritage week, as it was previously known, was first celebrated in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was extended to a month-long event under President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The term Latino/a was adopted as a more inclusive term to represent the broader array of ancestral ties rather than the term “Hispanic,” which represented, for many, an undue emphasis on Spanish and other European ancestry and erased the importance of African and indigenous identities, cultures and traditions central to the majority of peoples in South and Central Americas, Mexico and the Caribbean. We at DU embrace the term Latinx to include all those who identify outside the gender binary denoted by the term Latino (male) or Latina (female).
Be it the invention of the early color television by Guillermo Camarena or the artistry of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tarsila do Amaral; the athleticism of Albert Pujols and Laurie Hernandez or the profound prose of Isabelle Allende; the legal mind of Sonia Sotomayor or the deep dedication to the United States of Maria Dolores Hernandez; the transformative activism of Sylvia Rivera and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez—the contributions of Latinx people to science, art, sports, politics and our collective American culture is vast. We have all been touched by this culture with a rich history, a substantial impact and an indomitable future.
Beginning today, September 15, we invite DU community to uplift our Latinx community by engaging in opportunities to celebrate, learn, honor and grow. Be on the lookout for more information about those Latinx scholars, thinkers and practitioners amongst us as we celebrate their work and their contributions to life at DU.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Latinx Center, Human Resources and Inclusive Community, and the Cultural Center encourage you to take advantage of this time to engage and learn more about Latinx history and revel in their present and future here at DU and beyond.
Jeremy Haefner, chancellor
Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor
Tom Romero, interim vice chancellor of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Jerron Lowe, interim vice chancellor of human resources
Chenthu Jayachandiran, director of the Cultural Center
Deb Ortega, director of the Latinx Center of the University of Denver
Chancellor’s Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The University of Denver is its people—all its people. We aim to attract bright and motivated students and give them every opportunity to thrive. We rely on engaged faculty who are passionate about their teaching and their scholarship. We depend on talented staff to support the operation and mission of the University.
In an organization so reliant on its people, creating a diverse and inclusive community isn’t only the right thing to do; it’s critical to the successful implementation of our mission. The greatest challenges facing us in the century ahead are incredibly complex and will require diverse teams who can work collaboratively and innovatively. Actively seeking a student body and a faculty and staff who represent the diversity of our region, nation and world is necessary to prepare our students for an increasingly globalized and connected world. That diversity extends to identities beyond just race and gender—including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, religion, political and ideological viewpoints, and more.
In 2006, the chancellor and provost asked the University’s senior leadership to embrace Inclusive Excellence and to begin working in conjunction with our Cultural Center, campus leaders, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and every member of the University community to realize this vision at DU. We have made significant progress in recent years, thanks to the critical efforts of faculty, staff, students and administrators. We have better integrated a culture of Inclusive Excellence in our processes, systems, mission statements and other structures. But we have more work to do—work that is the responsibility of everyone in our community and that the University’s leadership recognizes remains critically important to everything we do.
As the University of Denver prepares to meet the exciting challenges of the growing, thriving and remarkably diverse city in which we live as well as the needs of a changing nation, we will continue to be guided by the principles of Inclusive Excellence. We must continue to strive for an inclusive community that embraces all its members, provides equality of opportunity for all and actively encourages all voices to be heard. Everyone must be welcomed and treated with dignity and respect, and every person’s story must be honored. An inclusive community celebrates different cultures, engages in clamorous debates and cultivates the individual and collective flourishing of all of us.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Units
Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) is committed to providing leadership, guidance, and resources in support of the University of Denver’s commitment to building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution.
Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence
Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence (SAIE) is committed to providing students with the support and skills needed to become empowered citizens that positively impact the communities they are a part of, now, and in the future.
Human Resources and Inclusive Communities
Human Resources and Inclusive Communities (HRIC) is committed to upholding DU's reputation as a global leader in academics and research that serves the public good. As a strategic partner of the University community, we provide leading HR services and programs to attract, inspire and sustain excellence in our community.