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Dr. Lewis’s Message on Dr. Damon Williams’s presentations

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Thank you to everyone who attended Dr. Damon A. Williams’s recent presentations on the Statesboro Campus and the Armstrong Campus about diversity, innovation and inclusive excellence. Both events featured thoughtful, engaged questions from members of the Georgia Southern community that will help us chart a path toward creating an even more inclusive environment.

As Dr. Williams recently told the audience at his campus presentations: “Power dynamics change when there are no secrets.” Transparency is a critical part of this process as we move forward, which is why we’re committed to keeping you informed. We believe that communication is key to creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and where every voice matters.

We’re delighted that Dr. Williams will be returning to Georgia Southern in the spring, as he works with the University community to stimulate dialogue about important issues. In the meantime, we have a number of continuing activities underway at all three campuses, thanks to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the President’s Diversity Advisement Council (PDAC) and other organizations on campus.

Please visit the Diversity and Inclusion website for an evolving list of events designed to inspire, unite, engage and elevate the university community. Please also click here to read Matter of Excellence: A Guide to Strategic Diversity Leadership and Accountability in Higher Education, which has additional information to support the ongoing conversation on campus and beyond.

In the coming months, we’ll be announcing a series of listening sessions as well as a third-party survey, developed by Dr. Williams, that’s designed to gather data, feedback and observations regarding our campus climate. This survey will provide critical information that will help us develop a comprehensive plan to support and enhance diversity, equity and inclusion at Georgia Southern.

At Georgia Southern, we have a larger responsibility to enhancing diversity as we prepare students for success in a multicultural, global economy. That commitment connects back to our mission to create “vibrant learning environments that foster an inclusive, student-centered culture of engagement designed to prepare students for lifelong service as scholars, leaders and responsible stewards of their communities.” Our passion for that mission is stronger than ever.

Thank you for being part of the rich community of experiences, opinions and voices at Georgia Southern. We hope you’ll continue to be engaged with diversity-related initiatives on campus throughout the academic year and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Carl L. Reiber, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs

Georj L. Lewis, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs

 

Damon Williams Pre-Reading (pdf)