Metropolis Corridor of the Tactical Plan for Justice, Variety and Inclusion outlines Pitt’s variety objectives and methods
Ron Idoko said that Justice, Diversity and Inclusion Office is working to create an official land recognition – a formal confirmation that Pitt currently inhabits land owned by indigenous communities – for all Pitt campuses as part of its Justice, Diversity and Inclusion tactical plan.
“We worked hard to try to create one. We try our best to build meaningful relationships with members of the indigenous community in our region so that we can ensure an authentic statement that makes their contribution, ”said Idoko, Diversity and Multicultural Program Manager at OEDI.
Idoko discussed land recognition on the Tactical Plan for Justice, Diversity and Inclusion in the virtual town hall last Wednesday. Pitt created the tactical plan to outline and meet diversity goals such as creating a just and inclusive campus environment, as in the Plan for pitt. Clyde Wilson Pickett, Vice Chancellor for Justice, Diversity and Inclusion, said Pitt would release the plan after the OEDI received feedback from various members of the office.
For land recognition, Pickett said the OEDI is working with the Heinz History Center to identify the indigenous nations that Pitt’s campus is based on to ensure that “we are giving appropriate recognition to different locations.”
Idoko added that the university was working on events for Native American Heritage Month, which will be held next month. He encouraged people to submit their ideas for programs to OEDI.
“November is the month of Native American Heritage and we definitely want to expand our awareness of the indigenous peoples who lived in our community and certainly learn more about indigenous culture during this time,” said Idoko.
At City Hall, Pickett also discussed various aspects of the tactical plan. He said it will focus on three pillars – creating an equitable campus climate, diverse community development, and equity-centered campus ethos – to promote and implement initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We have further strengthened how we lead and combat systemic inequality, how we become a more anti-racist institution, and how we prioritize social justice or multicultural social justice,” said Pickett.
Pickett said the three pillars of focus will enable the university to create an inclusive and diverse community, nurture critical thinking through a racial equality perspective, and support the further strategy and planning of DEI’s work in Pitt. He said the goal of the tactical plan is to first start a conversation about Pitt’s DEI goals and then develop strategies and guidelines that will enable those goals to be properly implemented.
“Our goal to be an inclusive community is to embrace these things. The priority in developing this academic, equity-centered ethos is part of the conversation and, more specifically, how we feel about all of these components being woven or connected together, ”Pickett said. “The fair campus climate, more precisely that focuses on the feeling of togetherness, and then the diverse community development piece, in other words, maintaining, developing and strengthening.”
He added that on diversity, the university hopes to create a space for individuals to share their experiences and improve engagement between different groups.
“Diversity is the common differences in personal groups and traits that people have and how they come together and how we prioritize understanding these individual and unique differences,” Pickett said. “We will continue to reinforce the importance of using intersectional identity as part of our assessment of what it means to be part of the diverse perspective.”
Pickett said the university plans to release an anti-racism pledge that all members of the Pitt community could keep. He said the commitment is currently in the works and OEDI will provide more information in the future.
Pickett said the establishment of a Land Recognition and Anti-Racism Pledge is in line with the university’s values, which are inclusion, community, academic excellence, collaboration, innovation and sustainability, as set out in the Plan for Pitt.
“The importance of an inclusive and equitable campus climate and culture, and in particular the ability to foster an environment that prioritizes this inclusive sense of belonging for everyone involved in the institution, is welcomed,” said Pickett. “This creates a culture that enables people to connect the purpose and all of these components of what we want to achieve.”
In addition to presenting the tactical plan, City Hall also focused on OEDI programming for various diversity initiatives, including events for Relationship Violence Awareness Month, National Disability Awareness Month and Native American Heritage Month.
Angie Bedford-Jack, Digital Accessibility Coordinator at OEDI, provided some updates on the month’s programming for Awareness-raising on Relationship Violence on behalf of Carrie Benson, OEDI’s Prevention and Awareness Coordinator.
Bedford-Jack said this Programs include the availability of walk-in hours at Pittsburgh Action Against Rapewho have favourited “My Voice Has Power: A Conversation with Viewers” virtual event on Tuesday, the healthy relationships fair and upcoming faculty and staff workshops to support sexual misconduct survivors and to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.
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