Some diversity trivia: The city of Orlando, Florida ranks as the ninth largest LGBTQ population in the country. The University of Central Florida is the second largest school in the country. Roughly 40% of the university's students are considered racial minorities. Roughly 5%* of the students in the school know what the Office of Diversity Initiatives (ODI) does, and an only slightly bigger number know that it exists.
Welcome to Diversity Initiated, ODI's new blog to educate and connect the masses to the functions and delights of the Office. To begin with, a basic primer so the uninitiated students (and faculty, staff, and community members) may understand what the ODI is:
“The mission of the Office of Diversity Initiatives is to assist the University of Central Florida in reaching its strategic goal to "Become More Inclusive and Diverse" by facilitating diversity processes, programs, and policies that promote social justice, enhance cultural competencies, and develop capacious leaders. Our students, colleagues, and constituents represent diverse peoples and perspectives across multiple generations.” - From diversity.ucf.edu
The ODI is committed to inclusion and community-building; education and training surrounding social justice, the understanding of systems of oppression; and addressing problems that arise in regards to cultural sensitivity (or lack thereof), exclusion, and the like. This blog will help connect you to goings-on in the office, interesting diversity events on campus and in the community, and news from around the community and world in the realms of social justice, diversity, and inclusion. You can expect weekly postings of calendar events, opinion pieces, and Digest versions of reading material to keep you up to date on your diversity news.
Thank you for stopping by and please stay tuned for education, communication, and hydration for your thirsty, inclusion-enthused spirits. Please feel free to leave comments with suggestions with anything in particular you'd like to see, or events/classes/discussions you'd like to promote. We'd also like to leave an open invitation for anyone interested in participating with opinion pieces or anything else you'd like to see posted - the contact info is detailed below.
DISCLAIMER: In the name of transparency and full disclosure, this blog will be primarily authored by Mary Morley, Intern for the Assistant Director, Diversity Education and Student Engagement. She is in her final semester as a Women's Studies student at UCF. Opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily shared by the University of Central Florida, the Office of Diversity Initiatives, or Assistant Director Michael Freeman. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
*- This figure is an educated estimation by the author not backed by any research further than the blank stares she gets when she says where she works. The word “diversity” is a good one, though, so sometimes she gets confused smiles.