We thank you for your open letter published in The Beacon on January 14 regarding the recent departure of three women of color from leadership positions at University of Portland. While we are pleased that they are taking on exciting opportunities within new organizations, we agree with you that losing talented leaders with diverse perspectives is unfortunate for our institution. We assure you that even prior to receiving your letter, we were already engaged in discussions on the critical importance of equity and diversity in the searches we undertake, as well as our faculty/staff retention efforts.
This inaugural event was a testament to the power of individual voices coming together as a collective to reject the pernicious legacy of systemic racism and white supremacy. As important and impactful as MLK Day was, it is important to understand that working for equity is not merely a day’s work.
Dear UP Campus Community, Whether it’s these crisp days filled with sunlight, or the promise of a new academic semester, this January has been enriching. Diversity Dialogues has been especially powerful. From the opening “Remembering MLK” session, to the many events led by students, staff and faculty, these sessions have demonstrated the diverse array of people that make our campus the vital place that it is.