Baylor takes first step in diversity education

Malcolm Foley, one of the speakers featured in the training video, engaged in a conversation with President Livingstone about how Baylor is addressing issues related to diversity. Matthew Muir | Copy Desk Chief

By Mallory Harris | Reporter

In response to the deep racial divisions rising throughout the nation this past summer, Baylor has developed a Resolution on Racial Healing and Justice, the President’s Diversity Council and required diversity education for current students, faculty and staff. The diversity education component debuted Wednesday in the form of a training video.

Entitled “Loving Our Neighbors,” the diversity education video goes in-depth about experiences from the Baylor community, a Christian perspective on diversity and a conversation about how Baylor is moving forward.

With appearances from Malcolm Foley, special adviser to the president for equity and engagement, and Dr. Michael Evans, Sr., who stands on the Board of Regents, the video shows multiple perspectives to help students understand the importance of diversity. Lori Baker, vice provost for faculty development and diversity, shared how the training is uniquely tailored to the Baylor community.

“I think what’s going to be interesting about [the training] is how Baylor-specific in that the experiences people had are speaking directly into this training to explain these are things that people had gone through at Baylor; so, it’s not just generic,” Baker said.

Waxahachie junior Milly Ramirez is glad Baylor is requiring this video.

“I definitely believe it’s okay for Baylor to be doing this. If they weren’t requiring for us to watch this video, how are supposed to know something is happening on our campus,” Ramirez said. “This video should show students that not everybody is feeling included and you can do something about it to change that.”

In focusing on the work still to be done, President Linda Livingstone highlights that this video is the first step of many.

Over the summer, Livingstone committed to hearing the minority community on campus.

“It’s time to both step back in humility to listen and learn, but also speak up about how we treat people of color in our community and our country,” Livingstone said. “Not only will we broaden the conversations at Baylor, but we will look to the wisdom of our racialized minority brothers and sisters who have more experience than us.”

The President’s Diversity Council’s main focus is on promoting diversity as a foundation of Baylor’s Christian community, and it does so by looking at key objectives such as, hiring, support, campus climate and mentoring. The group’s overall goal is to represent the perspective of Baylor’s diverse faculty, advise administration and advocate for equal policies around campus.

While Baylor continues to work to ensure all students, faculty and staff feel valued and welcomed, Livingstone explains that empathy and humility are strong attributes to uphold during this time. At the end of the video there is a list of resources that can help in reporting, counseling and supporting anyone in situations of discrimination.

“We are a university with diversity,” the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion said. “The Baylor community is fully committed to nurturing an environment for knowing, being, and doing across the campus where people of all backgrounds can come together and reason together, live together, believe together, create together, learn together, work together, and grow together. We know that we are stronger together.”