We are committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse culture where every
individual may flourish uniquely and collaborate equally with mutual respect,
partnership, and appreciation of all perspectives and approaches.
iDAB Hosts Panel to Discuss Racial Injustice
On Wednesday, September 9, iDAB hosted an open dialogue with VUIT staff members about topics of racial injustice and VUIT's plan to increase diversity in the workplace. Watch the recording of the session above.
iDAB Addresses Racial Injustice
VUIT Team Members:
We want to take some time to speak openly about the heartbreak that is enveloping our country. To our Black team mates, we recognize your pain and feelings of fatigue over the injustices you face every day. The color of your skin should not impact how you are treated.
Acts of prejudice against Black Americans — including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, and countless others — are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. In this department, equity is championed. Should any member of VUIT feel as though they have been treated unfairly, please know that issues can be reported to a supervisor, our HR team, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. The same holds true for anyone who has witnessed acts of discrimination in our workplace.
We, as a team, will stand together to fight against acts of injustice. We will work to advance a culture of inclusion and diversity, and we welcome ideas from team members on practical ways that we can enact effective change.
We wanted to share with all of you some resources which we believe will help educate us all and influence our discussions and interactions moving forward.
iDAB partners with the VUIT Institute Program on Module 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
iDAB board members Amanda Jacob, Fran Spurrier, and Ed Wisdom are partnering with VUIT Institute, an IT professional development program, to bring awareness around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to all VUIT staff. VUIT Institute leaders, John Lutz, Masood Sidiqyar, Kathleen Armour-Spitzer, and Kelsey Anito, felt it was important for iDAB members to not only have a seat at the table, but also to be guest lecturers throughout Module 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. "What a huge win to partner with VUIT Institute," said Fran Spurrier. "We have an opportunity to interact more closely with everyone in VUIT and to provide an accountable, long-term resource for thoughts, ideas, and conversations around difficult topics. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are not only important values to the university, but they are also important to Vice Chancellor for Information Technology John Lutz, who is presenting at each session."
André Churchwell, interim Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for Vanderbilt University, attended a recent session of VUIT Institute and noted, "I was supper impressed with the D&I activity of the IT team - it reflects leadership's understanding of the central importance of a sense of belonging that a workplace community needs to feel to perform at their best and to support each other."
Module 2 kicked off on August 13, 2019, and will run through the end of September, finishing up after 16 sessions. The training explains the impact of stories, marginality in the workplace, and the value of mattering, "This module is critically important to the development of VUIT staff as it focuses on topics often ignored in the workplace, but that are deeply important to the well-being of all employees," said Amanda Jacob.
As overall demographics continue to change at Vanderbilt, meaningful conversations around EDI topics are becoming more necessary. This partnership with VUIT Institute is just the beginning and the iDAB team is commited to continuing the conversation.
Watch the "Where We're From" video below from VUIT Insitute Module 2: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:
"The challenge of building a team with deep and broad skill and experience is of keen importance to VUIT. It is crucial that we develop thoughtful strategies for attracting and retaining talented teammates from a wide variety of backgrounds. Advice and counsel from the Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Board will be fundamental to shaping our leadership program in this key area. Diversity and inclusion are important values for VUIT because they better us as a whole and assure we are most effective in supporting Vanderbilt's institutional priorities."
- John Lutz, Vice Chancellor, VUIT