A Commitment to Support

Posted in: Admin Notes | Notices

In our college, we are proud to have students, faculty, and staff who represent a broad range of diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. As a community, we are committed to a culture of care, and we denounce acts of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination in general, within the College, at Mizzou, and in our communities. We are committed to addressing and preventing these acts through education and professional development. To that end, we have several ongoing initiatives that include, but are not limited to: 

  • programming provided through the Bridge;  
  • meeting with faculty of color to develop action items;
  • working on a concern report system that will provide a resource for reporting, discussion and future education;
  • a statement of commitment to Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity (IDE) and goals in the College’s strategic plan;  
  • IDE committee work; 
  • coursework focused on IDE within departments; 
  • monthly reports provided to the provost’s office on IDE activities by each department chair; 
  • recruitment and retention activities; and 
  • international and global engagement activities.

As just one example of how we need to continue to advocate for our peers, the 1619 Project and the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has recently been under attack. Those who are already marginalized continue to be marginalized and made to feel unwelcome. Their research and their very existence as scholars in the academy is questioned. I hope that all of us understand the continued burden that this places on our Black colleagues and work to break down the systems that exist that limit their scholarship.

We should use this as an opportunity to further understand Critical Race Theory (see below) and the 1619 ProjectHere is a link to upcoming activities in The Bridge that might help with knowledge-building, such as the movie “13th” discussion on September 18th, and the book discussion, We Want to do More Than Survive, on September 25th.

In addition, here are some links to important work in Critical Race Theory that Dr. LaGarrett King shared with me. I’d encourage you to check these out to learn more!

I look forward to learning and working together as a community to be better. Please send me your feedback, suggestions, and questions! 


Erica Lembke

Department Chair - Special EducationProfessor lembkee@missouri.edu