Diversity Driving Excellence: Our strength is in all people
At the VCU School of Dentistry, we value a professional, ethical, inviting and supportive atmosphere for all. As the only dental school in the state of Virginia, VCU School of Dentistry is committed to valuing all people and experiences. A clearly communicated inclusive excellence statement should demonstrate an organization's commitment to the value of people from all backgrounds. It should include language that emphasizes the value of diverse cultures, experiences, thoughts, and contributions.
Your voice as a School of Dentistry stakeholder is significant and we value your perspective. In August 2020 we undertook the process of publishing a school inclusive excellence statement. Our statement was drafted by our director of DEI and our School of Dentistry diversity, equity and inclusion committee. Following administrative leadership input, the statement went through a public comment period where our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners were able to share their voices. We recognize that it is not always easy to listen to voices that might differ from your beliefs, ideas and perspectives. But, as an institution of higher learning and provider of essential oral health care, we believed it was important to provide our community with the context and opportunity to do so.
While public comment is not required by School of Dentistry policy, we believe that it is an important mechanism for our community to be informed about actions intended to critically engage the cultural, historical, physical and social landscapes of our institution. This level of accountability, openness and transparency is an essential step toward reconciling our collective past, present and future. Following the public comment period, the statement was additionally vetted by university counsel and senior leadership.
To that end, the voices of our community were made known as we renew, enhance and invigorate our commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion as core values through our new inclusive excellence statement.