Inclusive Excellence Showcase 2020

Inclusive Excellence Showcase 2020
Welcome Remarks by President Denise Trauth
September 17, 2020

Welcome to Texas State University’s first Inclusive Excellence Showcase. I am both proud of -- and humbled by -- the work and commitment reflected in the more than thirty projects and initiatives featured in the showcase. I offer my gratitude not only for the caliber of work represented, but for the action and intention behind every submission. And, a special thanks to our new organizational unit, Institutional Inclusive Excellence, for organizing the showcase.

Achieving true inclusivity at Texas State is our collective responsibility -- it’s not the work of one team, or office, or division. These showcase projects reflect the breadth and depth of our university’s desire to co-create a community that is equitable and inclusive for all. They speak to our values, our creativity, and our commitment to honor our diverse community with acts of inclusion.

This year, our university is united by our Common Experience theme of “Dynamics.” As you peruse the projects, you’ll see bold, dynamic, forward motion that inspires change, serves our community, builds bridges, and makes us better.

I have said often that Texas State chooses action to address inequality, injustice, discrimination, racism, and bias. We have talented and passionate diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders across the university who have been instrumental in building a strong foundation of excellence at Texas State. With their guidance, we have taken a number of steps to support diversity and build inclusion throughout our university community. We’ve built plans to guide our efforts, such as:

  • Updating the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
  • Implementing the Capacity Building Action Plan outlining nearly 100 steps we’ve taken to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Creating a comprehensive plan to support the safety, equity and well-being of Black students at Texas State

We’ve organized and created groups and programs that support D-E-and-I like:

  • Making the Chief Diversity Officer a member of the President’s Cabinet
  • Establishing the Council for Inclusive Excellence
  • Creating an Elections Task Force to maximize opportunities for students to engage in the voting process
  • Commissioning a permanent LGBTQIA+ Advisory and Resource Network
  • Opening the Texas State Monarch Center for Immigrant Students, and
  • Developing programs that promote the recruitment and promotion of faculty and staff of color

We initiated a variety of resources and events for our community, such as:

  • Launching the Bias Response Protocol to give all Bobcats a voice in documenting incidents of discrimination, bias, and prejudice
  • Holding the first Day of Reflection and Solidarity on Juneteenth to share insights and experiences, and holding restorative Justice Forums to nurture learning and dialogue
  • Starting a new Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program for faculty and staff
  • Building a Free Speech website that clarifies what the First Amendment does and does not protect
  • Publishing the inclusion website to house resources surrounding diversity

I am proud of all that we have accomplished, but there is more to do.  And, in the spirit of collaboration reflected in this showcase, we will work together. Thank you again, to all who submitted projects for the showcase, and brought them to life for our Texas State community. 

The diversity and inclusion initiatives featured here and taking place across our campuses tell our Texas State story. They speak to who we are, shine a light on our path forward, and inspire future actions. For those who didn’t submit projects this time, I encourage you to present your work in next year’s showcase.

As an institution of higher learning we must provide an educational environment that recognizes and celebrates our common humanity, and prepares our students not only to lead in a global society, but also to be the change makers. Your projects are answering the call.

Enjoy the showcase!