Message from Dean Larry Pulley
We are in a time that is challenging our very self-awareness. Some of us are realizing anew the limitations of our own personal experiences; others of us are living anew the pain of current and past discrimination. Some of us seem to be just learning what others of us have always known. We are all recoiling from horrific images. In the midst of a global pandemic, we are coming face-to-face with racism.
Progress comes from awareness, which itself requires the willingness to listen and the vulnerability to hear. Listening with compassion and open hearts to the stories, experiences, and opinions of others is a first step. Really listening—and hearing, especially from those whose voices often go unheard, will encourage us to ask different and sometimes difficult questions, consider different solutions, and work together to find new paths forward.
Our growing awareness in the Mason School is prompting us to take steps. We created the Mason Diversity & Inclusion Committee to help us move ahead thoughtfully; we are pursuing training sessions for our leadership team, faculty, staff, executive partners, and students; we are accelerating the efforts to hire a full-time Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the Mason School; and now, we have established the Mason Alumni of Color Network (AoCN).
We announced the creation of the AoCN on Juneteenth. I am grateful to the leaders of this initiative whose mission will be to generate, enhance, and maintain a vibrant network for students and alumni of color so that truly meaningful relationships can develop, leading to substantive opportunities for connection and professional development among network members.
The AoCN will provide an important voice for growing awareness—and progress—in the Mason School, and they are already at work. Please join us on July 16th at the Mason Alumni of Color Network’s first sponsored event, which will feature Ken Harvey, former NFL Pro-Bowl linebacker and author, speaking on persistence in the face of adversity. Ken’s topic is a very timely one and I know you join me in looking forward to learning from him.
I encourage you to listen, learn, hear, and thoughtfully engage both in and beyond your community
Please monitor this space on our website for at-least-monthly updates on our D&I activities and progress from me, members of our D&I Committee, and others.
Warm regards, and stay safe and well,
For more information on the Mason AoCN and how to be involved, visit https://mason.wm.edu/alumni/aocn/index.php.
To join the virtual event on July 16th, visit https://events.wm.edu/event/view/alumni/117958.