A straight-forward set of activities and metrics will guide Recruitment and Retention to achieve the goal of increasing the number of African-American, Latinx, Indigenous, and other underrepresented minoritized persons employed at the IUSSW, as well as the promotion of the same to positions of leadership. The Curriculum area focuses on activities and metrics to achieve the goal of a non-oppressive multi-cultural set of education practices while actively dismantling the legacies of coloniality and racism that persist in our implicit and explicit daily practices. The term “activating our voices” includes the full participation of all stakeholders in the daily operation of the school. We will strive to eliminate, through training and exercises, patterns of implicit and explicit bias, and to promote team-building, respect, and humility. Activating Our Voices through concrete actions will change the culture of the school from the inside out.
It is not only important that we activate our voices, but also our thoughts and actions as we create safe milieus for discussion. Through dialogue we will give space for students, faculty, and staff to share their experience in the School, elevate individual self-awareness, and challenge ourselves toward growth as individuals and as a community, to be a place where every voice is welcomed and valued. Activating our actions to promote changes within the School means connecting, establishing allies, and committing to making changes that leave positive impressions on our students and faculty when they enter the program until they leave, and beyond.
It is imperative to not only implement plans to strengthen our solidarity and build the school we want to be but to also ensure in and through our daily actions that we do more than “welcome” diverse voices, or “tolerate” difference. We must take the next steps beyond the catch-phrase diversity that permeates so many well-meaning institutional manifestos. Instead, we will move toward an environment where activating and honoring all voices means unity and strength will come through radical solidarity, mutual respect, and attentive leadership. Work in this focal area invites our faculty, staff, and students to do the uncomfortable, rather than the routine, to take the path less traveled, and be fearless in the implementation plans that serve to change the culture of our school, and, indeed, ourselves.