September 15, 2022
We have just wrapped up our first Joint International Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Conference, and I cannot emphasize enough how exhilarating, empowering, and grounding it was to gather with diversity professionals from various parts of the world who are all committed to upholding the values of excellence, diversity, equity, inclusion, and scholarship. Over the two-day conference we had 32 panel sessions and workshops, three keynote addresses, a stunning reception at the Coventry Cathedral, and had more than 12 countries represented.
I want to thank Coventry University for its steadfast leadership in pioneering this inaugural conference; we would not have been able to produce such a successful event had it not been for their efforts. I would also like to express thanks to Annette Hay, a fellow board member and head of our Global Engagement Committee. It is because of her commitment to racial equity and antiracism that we’re able to engage with professionals outside of North America on issues of equity and justice.
Our experience in Coventry underscored our desire to collaborate with our international partners to create a network of support for diversity professionals and practitioners in Europe and beyond. Consistent with our new 5-year strategic plan, it is our goal to expand the reach and resources provided through our Global Engagement Committee. Of course, there is much to discuss in the coming weeks about how we will accomplish this objective; however, we will be relying on all of you to support the Association in this worthwhile endeavor.
The conference also served as a reminder of why it is absolutely essential to continue to have gatherings with scholars and practitioners in North America, Europe, and elsewhere across the globe. While we are all committed to justice work, we all share the damaging political pressure we each face to limit the telling of more truthful stories about our past and present, creating spaces of inclusion, and offering resources equitably. Such resistance requires more resolve, and more commitment to the ideals we represent. It is clear that now, more than ever, is a time to advocate for what is right.
NADOHE has focused its efforts in advocating for policies that expand access, dismantle barriers to success, and strengthen structural equity throughout higher education. That’s the theme of our next large gathering, our Annual Conference, which will be held April 12-15 in Baltimore.
As we wrap up this first international conference and gear up for our next one, it is my hope that creating spaces for you to convene will not only inspire you, but also provide each of you with more resources to remain committed to this very important work.
Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.