Message from the Chief Diversity Officer: forming a Diversity and Inclusion Accountability Team

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Earlier this week, following its response to the BlackAtAppstate petition and its commitment to the university community, the Chancellor’s Cabinet held a meeting to bring together a Diversity and Inclusion Accountability Team.

Though we have made many advancements in recent years, we recognize there is still much to be done to elevate the voices and representation of marginalized populations on our campus. We are committed to persevering in our work, and we look forward to seeing these cultural and systemic changes continue to take hold.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and members of the Board of Trustees reviewed action items identified by BlackAtAppState as well as corresponding and additional key university diversity and inclusion priorities. The meeting’s central purpose was to acknowledge each petition area, identify additional priorities and to present the action plan for addressing these priorities and their broader themes. View the priorities, action items and themes identified (PDF 200K)

Members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet will be responsible for addressing the themes and priorities that were collectively identified. Moving forward, accountability meetings will be held monthly, during which a cabinet member will report on progress and challenges related to the initiatives within their areas of responsibility so the Accountability Team can provide feedback, discuss challenges, and help celebrate successes.

I will share summary reports from these meetings in my regular updates to campus, which are also posted to Appalachian’s Diversity and Inclusion website.

This team will help our university remain focused and accountable. Our work builds upon the many good efforts that have been underway across our campus and will help shine a light on the initiatives and individuals pushing this work to the forefront.

Each change will help foster a more inclusively welcoming environment for underrepresented populations that ultimately benefits our entire campus community.

/s/ Willie C. Fleming

Willie Fleming
Chief Diversity Officer
Appalachian State University