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Power of Inclusion

Dr. Joseph Savoie -- Wed, 03/28/2018 - 7:06am

I’ve been reflecting on UL Lafayette’s Women’s Leadership Conference, which I attended a couple of weeks ago. It was one of several events held during Women’s History Month.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Katrice Albert, executive vice president for inclusion and human resources at the NCAA. She reminded audience members that they have the power, as individuals and a group, to challenge paradigms that have historically excluded women.

Although Dr. Albert’s talk was aimed at women, it was an important message for all of us because meaningful improvements are often made when everyone has a voice and when everyone is treated equitably.

Dr. Albert often quotes an African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

That succinctly conveys the power of inclusion.

When people come together, there is an opportunity to learn from each other and to gain new perspectives. There is a chance to forge new models that will allow everyone to flourish.

At UL Lafayette, we are committed to fostering and celebrating a culture of diversity and inclusion. To develop leaders and innovators, we strive to foster values such as equity, mutual respect and collaboration.

For example, the University’s Office for Campus Diversity has been shining light on unconscious biases. It also has been holding “Courageous Conversations” workshops on campus to provide a safe place for honest, enlightening discussions about sensitive topics.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a framework in place – through policies and procedures – to help protect individual rights. Concerns brought to the University about how faculty, students and staff are treated are taken seriously. Protocols are in place to investigate complaints. The first step is to talk with your supervisor, Student Affairs or Human Resources.

Any suspected unethical behavior can be reported – even anonymously if you prefer – at or by calling (855) 503-8074.

By treating each other fairly and equitably, we will continue to be a place that produces open-minded graduates and is a healthy place to work and learn.


Joseph Savoie