The Department of Psychology believes in racial equality and supports efforts to achieve justice and equal treatment for Black people.
Many of us have been struggling with the immense anger and grief that we feel as we listen to the seemingly countless reports of the murders of Black people like Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Alexia Christian, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. We recognize that horrendous acts of violence against Black people must end and that it is vital that we stand for justice. It is heartbreaking and unacceptable that Black people continue to feel unsafe and that society treats them as though their lives matter less. We believe it is necessary to show with words and actions that Black lives matter.
Structural racism in this society must be acknowledged and dismantled, and higher education has a moral obligation to address social justice concerns. In addition to incidents of police brutality and violence against Black people, there are numerous reports about COVID-19 disproportionately impacting the health and financial stability of people of color, generally. Unfortunately, many of us are not surprised to learn about the racial disparities of COVID-19. Racial inequality is a continuing crisis in this country. Racial inequality is present in healthcare, housing, the criminal justice system, education, the workforce and in many other areas of our lives. What motivates us as educators in academia is that we have an opportunity to create real change, especially within the education system, our fields of study, and the community.
The Department of Psychology is committed to creating a more just, safer, and more inclusive environment for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. Diversity in all its forms, culture, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, religion, family structure or relationships, and economic status, strengthens and enriches the educational program and everyday life at Ohio Wesleyan University. It is essential that we cultivate an environment where everyone has equal opportunities to learn and grow and to share their knowledge and experiences. To that end, we must develop departmental initiatives and a list of concrete actions to combat racial injustice and to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in our university community.
- We will commit to infusing our courses with issues related to race and racial equity as they pertain to the course material. We will also participate in continued education on pedagogical practices for combating racism in the classroom.
- We will continue inviting speakers from diverse backgrounds to present at the annual Psi Chi induction ceremony and participate in a career panel. The panel will provide students with information about different career paths in psychology and connect students with individuals who have pursued those paths.
- We will collaborate with the Career Catalysts in the Career Connection to identify and distribute career resources and opportunities available to students from diverse backgrounds. We will engage alumni via the Career Connection to help support this effort. Faculty may invite guest speakers from the Career Connection to give presentations and workshops on course topics relevant to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- We will continue inviting students from diverse backgrounds to serve on job search committees and to provide input on other departmental decisions in order to maintain diversity of representation in department decision-making bodies.
- We will work to amplify diverse student voices and to provide opportunities for students to give input on departmental policies. Students will be able to submit anonymous comments to the department via a Google Form. Submit comments here
- We will encourage and support faculty and students seeking university funding to research and amplify issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus and more broadly.
- We will highlight diverse student achievements and events on our Department webpage or social media page.