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Diversity & Inclusion Statement


June 5, 2020

Memorandum to Our Community:

At McLennan Community College, we stand firm in our historic commitment to provide an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone is treated with respect on our campus. We do not assume that we have achieved that goal. Our efforts will be focused on setting the example as leaders in assuring an environment of inclusion.

The grievous events in recent weeks of racism, hate, violence, and injustice have reminded us that we as a people do not always live up to the ideals that we strive to achieve—especially that there is a history of racism and violence toward our Black citizens. We must be better. Racism and violence toward any person based on skin color must stop. We must affirm that Black lives do matter. We also know that our College is a door to opportunity and that we can be agents of change for Black students, employees, and community members. I particularly want our students, employees, and community members of color to know we are attentive in listening to their needs. During these days and for every day after, to our students, employees, and community members of color, I say unequivocally: we at McLennan Community College care about you, we will continue listening to you, and we will work to include you more completely in our academic community as we commit to the eradication of systemic racism.

As President, I am personally committed to the hard work of change, courageous conversations, and active listening. Earlier in the Spring 2020 semester, the College Success Team initiated an Inclusiveness Working Group whose goal is to go beyond mere words to ensure that we are living out our McLennan Community College core values of Inclusiveness that states: We will seek to appreciate and understand our students and each other, actively seeking different viewpoints. We will work to create a civil, welcoming environment where our diverse community of students and employees learn, teach, and work together.

While we have made some positive steps in living out this value, there is so much more to
accomplish as we ensure we are actively involved in real societal change. Toward that end, I have charged the McLennan Community College Inclusiveness Working Group of the College Success team to:

  • Convene summer/fall listening sessions for students, employees, and community members to determine what else we can do to live up to the value of inclusiveness.
  • Establish a sub-group to address recruiting for inclusiveness.
  • Work closely with the Office of Professional Development to train all employees about unconscious bias.
  • Implement new initiatives identified through our listening and learning that reflect that everyone is welcome.
In the course of accomplishing their charge, the Inclusiveness Working Group will report on a monthly basis to me and to the Leadership Team. This charge is meant as a reaffirmation of this intentional work and not an end, and everyone who wishes to be included will be welcome. We at McLennan Community College are ready to listen, to change, and to be the best institution we can be in promoting an inclusive society.

Johnette McKown signature
Johnette McKown
President
McLennan Community College