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2/27/17 - President’s Message on Upcoming Diversity and Inclusion Conference

Posted: 2/21/2017 9:30:00 AM


At this year’s spring convocation, I urged us as members of the Webster University community to embrace our roles as learners. The opportunities for learning are abundant, and I want to extend my personal invitation to join us March 1-2 for Webster University's second annual forum, Critical Conversations: Embracing Diversity and Inclusion. This two-day event provides an opportunity to extend our learning about the next steps needed to build an inclusive community.

From Webster's inception, we have been an institution that opened worlds that were previously closed. Our student body has become increasingly diverse in every way. We are a microcosm of the world across the Webster campus network and within each campus.

Yet, as Deborah Gillis, CEO of Catalyst declares: "Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a choice." Inclusion is everyone's work. It will only be possible to build a truly inclusive community in which each of us feels valued, safe, and successful -- a community that thrives, rather than struggles with the ever-evolving face of Webster -- if each one of us embraces not only the value of diversity and inclusion but also values learning, students, global citizenship.

This work will take all of us. Feedback from last year's two-day event guided us in planning this forum, as participants valued the chance to engage with colleagues and encouraged us to continue having these hard conversations. Next month's forum is the perfect opportunity to bring us together as we build on the knowledge we already hold, while seeking to learn from and with each other.

So I encourage you to visit the conference site, review the schedule of speakers and panels, and RSVP for the sessions you plan to attend.

Thank you for your part in building a stronger, more inclusive community. Thank you for making a difference at Webster University.


Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Ph.D.