President's Speeches & Writings

Denison's action plan for inclusion, diversity, equity & antiracism

President's Office
January 21, 2022

Dear Denison Community,

As the nation underwent a painful reckoning over racial injustice in 2020, I called on our community to listen with openness, vulnerability, empathy, and understanding. This was a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and it demanded that we look inward to see how we, individually and as a community, could work harder to dismantle the structural racism that has held too many back for far too long.

In the time since, we’ve undertaken a careful and methodical examination of our own practices at Denison to see where we are succeeding and where we’ve fallen short.

Our action plan to advance our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism (IDEA) is called Denison Forward. That name reflects the movement and direction of our efforts toward shaping a world that is just and based on human dignity and respect.

I encourage you to read our inaugural Denison Forward plan to learn more about the steps we’re taking to invest in our people, improve our practices, and explore our wide array of possibilities. Among other recommendations, our action plan calls for increasing our recruitment and retention of a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff; for doing more and deeper ongoing professional development; and for making sure our students, particularly those who may face obstacles due to structural racism, have the resources and opportunities they need to launch into their chosen career paths.

And finally, I continue to urge that you listen to one another with open minds. Inspiring real and lasting change will take time, persistence, and patience. We must remain committed to this process and to the values of fairness and equality that are the bedrock of our institution. Our opportunity here is immense, as is our responsibility.

Adam Weinberg