“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” bell hooks
As the year winds down, I want to share with all of you my deep and profound gratitude for all that you do to make higher education and beyond more just and inclusive.
Continued legislative attacks against diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are troubling for us personally and professionally. Our lifetime of work is being challenged and our friends and colleagues are impacted in ways none of us could have anticipated, and too often, institutional leadership is unable to do anything to protect our work. It can feel as though we are, once again, being rendered invisible. I have heard from many of you that you are losing hope and heart.
While 2023 was difficult, and 2024 likely will be too, know that NADOHE is choosing to resist and persist. We will continue to combat misinformation about our profession, to develop resources and advocate for our members, and to enlist partners in this work. As examples, we recently issued a statement regarding Oklahoma Governor Stitt’s efforts to silence our work. I continue to travel the country advocating for our work, most recently in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. We are carefully monitoring developments in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states; I have been in contact with some diversity officers in these states regarding possible legislative impacts on their work, and I welcome additional conversations with those who have concerns.
Even in a year in which our profession came under extraordinary attacks, our association celebrated some remarkable achievements. A record-setting number of attendees convened at our Annual Conference in April. Our membership continued to grow, as did our public profile, with dozens of mentions and interviews in local, national, and higher education publications. We worked to develop partnerships with other organizations with aligned missions and values. All of these wins are thanks to you and all you do each day to advance student success. This work has never mattered more, and we know it is not easy, particularly in these times. We are immensely grateful.
Please take time over these coming weeks to rest and rejuvenate your spirits. Spend time with those you love, and recharge for the year ahead. We will keep moving forward, guided by our values and our humanity.
Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President & CEO, NADOHE