Message from the Chief Diversity Officer
Dear App State Community,
App State defines diversity on our campus as diversity of thought, belief and community. This broad approach intentionally includes many identities, such as race, gender, first-generation status, low-income status, veteran status, religion, neurodiversity, disability and political affiliation.
In the spirit of mutual respect and with the goal of greater understanding, we work to foster an inclusive, welcoming environment, one in which everyone can voice their opinions, express their differences and find belonging. When we intentionally bring people with diverse identities together in such an environment, we strengthen our university community and better prepare our students for the future, demonstrating how the best ideas and solutions emerge from a wider universe of possibility.
App State’s Diversity Celebration programming, taking place this month, offers many opportunities to step out of our own experience and see our community through the lenses of other cultures, geographies and identities, and — in doing so — to better understand and appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around us.
Sourced from students, faculty and staff, the lineup of activities offers something for everyone — from cultural festivals, artistic workshops and scholarly talks, to film and book discussions. This monthlong celebration is a rich tapestry woven together from the passions and perspectives of people in our university community. Interactive workshops, lectures and events are dedicated to deconstructing stereotypes, standing together in solidarity against hateful acts and learning more about ourselves and others.
Nationally, April is also a month to raise awareness about other important issues that are germane to the mission of the Office of Diversity. As App State celebrates Earth Month, I encourage students, faculty and staff to engage with the many events planned during this special celebration.
April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This gives us an opportunity to lift up and support survivors of sexual assault, to thank service providers and advocates who take care of victims and to learn more about preventing sexual assault and ending sexual violence.
- Several offices across campus are hosting a wide variety of programs throughout the month, with the help of App State’s Wellness and Prevention Services.
- Appalachian Cares also provides students and employees with up-to-date information, resources and support regarding student health and safety, including sexual assault prevention.
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is another great resource to educate individuals and communities about the prevalence of sexual assault and how to prevent it.
We have many opportunities this month to learn more about our different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. This knowledge will allow us to build a stronger community in which we all feel a greater sense of belonging.
Jamie Parson, J.D.
Chief Diversity Officer