Inclusive Excellence

The Inclusive Excellence Team—"WE ALSO STAND-IN SOLIDARITY"

Dear ASU Community:

Our hearts are heavy with sadness and anger at the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the litany of names spoken and unspoken. And we are enraged by Amy Cooper’s intentional use of whiteness to deploy violence against a Black man birdwatching in Central Park. Because of the nature of our work as the Inclusive Excellence Team, listening closely to ASU students, staff, and faculty, we know that racism and racial violence takes many forms. Therefore, we offer the following in solidarity:

  1. We acknowledge the grief, the pain, the exhaustion, and the ongoing traumas of racial violence and oppression for our Black community members and community members of Color. We see you, we hear you, and we love you.
  2. We denounce the dehumanization of, and violence against, people of Color.
  3. We reprehend the denial of systemic racism.
  4. We support our fellow Black, White, and community members of Color who are protesting the conditions of racism and white supremacy. And we refuse to focus on the sensationalized numerical minority of those of all races looting and vandalizing.
  5. We honor the human lives lost by the violent responses to maintain order over justice.
  6. We, particularly the White faculty on the Inclusive Excellence Team, commit to dismantling our own racial biases (both conscious and unconscious) and elevate our responsibility and efforts to support our White colleagues and students in doing the same.
  7. We commit to continuing our efforts to dismantle everyday white supremacy on our campus, such as:
  • Expecting our Black and Brown colleagues and students to show up and perform as if systemic racism and racial trauma do not exist,

  • Asking our colleagues of Color to do the work of dismantling racism,

  • Assuming our students and colleagues of Color are affirmative action cases,

  • Calling campus police on students of Color, particularly our Black and Latinx male students as “suspicious characters loitering” outside their residence halls and academic buildings,

  • Asking our colleagues of Color to tirelessly serve students of Color and serve endlessly on committees without extra compensation,

  • Maintaining curricula where students of Color can’t see themselves represented in the content or in the application of the content,

  • Not addressing racial epithets and microaggressions in our classrooms and in our academic and social settings,

  • Not including our colleagues and students of Color in policy and practice decision-making,

  • Assuming that good-intentions are the same as anti-racism efforts, etc.

We call on our campus community and partners to help us in this work, aligning with the AAC&U Higher Education’s Role in Promoting Racial Healing and the Power of Wonder.

Forward Together,

CAE Inclusive Excellence Team

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Academic Affairs and the Center for Academic Excellence are committed to Inclusive Excellence and recognize that inclusion and excellence are one and the same. Inclusive Excellence is an academically rigorous process and outcome that promotes critical thinking about knowledge, seeks to understand and address historical and present-day inequities, and creates equitable classroom environments. Inclusive Excellence does not position diversity as simply the presence of difference but instead treats diversity as the intentional inclusion of the cultures, worldviews, gifts, talents, history, and traditions of all people and places.

Inclusion of diverse peoples and perspectives leads to academic excellence and innovation in preparing students to navigate and contribute to an exceedingly diverse and global world. Inclusive Excellence employs a broad definition of diversity that includes, but is not limited to:

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  • Age
  • (Dis)ability
  • Cultural Background
  • Educational Background
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Geographical Region
  • Nationality
  • Neurodiversity
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation/Sexuality
  • Socioeconomic Status/Social Class
  • Veteran Status

While diversity of thought is certainly a form of diversity that leads to innovation and excellence, the Inclusive Excellence Team (as well as the research in the field) emphasizes that diversity of thought results from the intentional inclusion of people with diverse social identities, and emphasizes the innovative outcomes of intentionally including those from historically underrepresented and minoritized groups. 

Please visit our Inclusive Excellence Impetus and Liaison Role document for more information.