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Thursday, December 9, 2021
Viewing change on campus, through a justice lens


On Friday, October 16, 2020, the La Salle University Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion met to continue on its charge by defining and populating its work streams including: La Salle Campus Community Education on DEI; Curriculum/Academic; Co-Curricular Activities; Recruitment, Hiring & Retention; Community Engagement; Administration, Policy & Practice. In addition, we have three smaller working groups they will attend to organizing listening sessions, facilitating a climate survey, and exploring philanthropic resources for implementing the Commission’s recommendations. As part of the Commission’s own continuing education on issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, Commission members Drs. Luisa Ossa and Trent McLaurin presented on ableism and Dr. Jason Diaz on LGBTQ+ Community. Finally, the Commission has completed a working draft of its Community Agreement document with the guidance of Dr. Laura Roy, associate professor and chair of La Salle’s Education Department.


On Friday, October 9, 2020, the Joint Commission met to continue work on its charge by identifying work streams around which it will focus activity. Those identified include truth and transformation experience collection, student and professional enrichment, curricula, resource development, hiring and procurement, communication and accountability as illustrations. As part of the Commission’s own continuing education on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, Commission members Tara Carr-Lemke and Austin Angiolillo shared information on the population of and issues impacting transgendered persons, and Laura Cilia presented on sexism.


Commission Organizes Its Work: On Friday, September 25, 2020, the La Salle University Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion began to organize its work through consideration of a community agreement to guide and direct its work. Facilitated by Dr. Laura Roy, Associate Professor and Chair of La Salle’s Department of Education, Commission members discussed the parameters of the Commission’s work, it goals and foundational beliefs: respect and dignity of each person, all persons rights to equal opportunity, and an institution which acknowledges and works to ameliorate historical and cultural biases that stand in the way of achieving such opportunity. The Commission is intent on drawing upon Lasallian insights and practice to inform its work. Ms. Shea Wright, Digital Content Specialist in University Marketing and Communication Department, and a member of the Commission, began to educate Commission members about use and impact of social media communications relevant to the Commission’s work.  Coordinated by co-chair Shakeya Currie Foreman, the work of developing a process to collect stories and data about the experiences of students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae and neighbors relevant to the Commission’s charge is actively underway.


Commission Convenes: On Friday September 12, University President Dr. Colleen Hanycz and Faculty Senate President Dr. Swee-Lim Chia convened the La Salle University Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (the “Commission”). The Commission is co-chaired by Dr. Luisa Ossa, Associate Professor of Global Languages, Literatures and Perspectives; Shakeya Currie Foreman, Esq. Employee and Labor Specialist, Office of Human Resources; and Brother Ernest Miller, FSC, D. Min, Vice President of Mission, Diversity and Inclusion. See all Commission members here.


This Commission is charged with critically examining La Salle’s culture and institutional infrastructure to make recommendations on how it might foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment reflective of our distinctive Lasallian Catholic heritage, values, and commitment. Today’s turbulent times requires us all to work toward recommitting ourselves to sustaining a culture at La Salle in which every person who lives, educates, studies, and works on our campus is embraced by mutual respect, hospitality and fraternity in which none are “strangers and sojourners no longer…” (Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, 2:19). The Commission represents La Salle’s institutional commitment to do just that. Questions about the Commission’s work may be directed to the co-chairs: foreman@lasalle.edu, ossa@lasalle.edu, miller95@lasalle.edu.