Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
As we begin a new academic year together, I wanted to let you know how much I am looking forward to working with you in my role as acting chief equity and inclusion officer. Although I am new to serving in this position, while Dr. Cheryl Moore-Thomas is the acting provost and vice president for academic affairs, I am not new to Loyola. I’m a doctoral graduate of Loyola, and I have worked here for 19 years—first in the Center for Community, Service, and Justice, then ALANA Services, and most recently in the office of undergraduate studies.
Even before I was asked to take on this role for a period of time, I’ve been involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion work in several ways. I invite you to do the same. Whether you are a student, faculty member, staff member, or administrator, I hope you, too, can find ways to engage in the important diversity, equity, and inclusion work we are focused on here at Loyola. This work is not the work of one office. It’s the work of each individual community member.
This time of transitions and new beginnings offers a wonderful opportunity for us to re-envision how we can each help Loyola fulfill its mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university by committing—and recommitting—to the work of equity and inclusion. By finding ways to animate Loyola’s mission in your work, you can make a real difference in our community.
In the office of equity and inclusion, we are staying the course and building on the work that has already begun. We will be adding a diversity, equity, and inclusion specialist, who can help us advance our work. We will continue to implement the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan
. You can expect to hear more from the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice
, which will offer programming this year. And you will find ways to engage with equity and inclusion in and out of the classroom, through co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities, and through community events.
Let’s make this a wonderful semester, one where we truly build a more welcoming, inclusive community and where we try to become more open, understanding individuals.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love,” said Coretta Scott King.
So much is already underway in these areas for the Loyola community, and I look forward to seeing all we can accomplish this semester together.
Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D.
Acting Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer