Written by Ana Lu Fonseca, assistant director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Division of University Outreach and Engagement

 

Ana Lu Fonseca, assistant director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Division of University Outreach and Engagement, Oregon State University. Photo: Stephen Ward, Extension and Experiment Station Communications.

What is a Diversity Champion? The word “champions” comes from the Latin concept of “campionem” for “gladiator, fighter.” Raaawr! But there’s no need to grab your sword. A champion is also a person who fights for a cause or defends an ideal.

In our outreach and engagement work, Diversity Champions are people who use their superpowers in the name of a diversity value or ideal. That ideal could be a better world, a more inclusive or relevant program, or a greener and more loving future for generations to come. We recognize Champions who strive every day to learn, grow, and create a better future—not just those who have already succeeded at something or are an expert.

We are creating a team of Outreach and Engagement Diversity Champions!

Today’s world is a world of many ideas, thoughts, perspectives, backgrounds, experiences, philosophies, and beliefs. It is a world of individuals with multiple identities. Let’s embrace the opportunity to enrich our selves, our lives, and our work with this diversity.

As Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for University Outreach and Engagement, my vision is to create a loving, united, authentic, inclusive and powerful team with a common vision and commitment to a sustainable transformation.

To realize this vision, we must gather and invest resources to ensure we are thinking intentionally about inclusion at all levels and that people from all walks of life—who have the potential and ability to transform the world through their talents, ideas, and voices—are not just heard but embraced. As a land grant institution, we have the power to impact and learn from every person who we come in contact with.

The Outreach and Engagement Diversity Champions team will be pioneers in this transformation. They will work with me to support our Division to enhance the tools and strategies we will need to work and learn in a diverse and complex world. Our Champions will also be involved in the communities they serve and be part of a larger transformation toward a more understanding, compassionate, and open society. This will be accomplished through planning, developing, coordinating, supporting, and participating.

We will create the work together!

If you want to “strive” and be a pioneer for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Division of University Outreach and Engagement, please join our Diversity Champions team. Follow this link to a brief survey and let me know more about yourself. All are welcome. This team is not a “committee” with a limit to how many people can participate.

Contact me if you have questions, and stay tuned for more!

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