Diversity & inclusion vice-chancellor encourages community inclusivity

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COLUMBIA - MU's vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity, Thursday presented steps businesses and organizations can take to create a more inclusive environment. 

Kevin McDonald said the goal is to measure the success of various inclusion efforts. He pointed to MU's own framework which includes increasing the diversity of faculty and staff, creating an environment that celebrates diversity and allowing for various perspectives on issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice.
“This is an opportunity for us to just work together to achieve an end goal that I think we all share from a commonality standpoint," he said. "I hope the takeaway is that they don’t think, ‘This sounds great, but this is only something that MU can do, that I don’t have that capacity.'"
The Diversity Awareness Partnership, which planned the event, said a framework like this was important to utilize after numerous attempts that lacked guidance. 
A statement from the Partnership said, "We've independently held or attended events in an effort to learn how to celebrate diversity and create inclusive environments within our respective organizations. Oftentimes we have done this without guidance. Now is the time to change that.”
McDonald originally wrote the framework for the MU system, but he said he felt it could be implemented off campus as well. 
Many of the questions asked during the presentation centered around methods of measurement.
Deborah Howenstine, public health and MU family physician, said, "I was really excited to learn today about some of the ways the metrics are measured to help us capture some of things and work on some of things that we wouldn’t necessarily be aware of without having sort of a more comprehensive plan like this.”
The Diversity Awareness Partnership said it received around 80 reservations from representatives seeking to attend the presentation.