January 21, 2021
rom my first day as chancellor of this great university, I’ve committed to building a community where every person feels safe, welcomed and valued.
Nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment is essential to becoming the leading global public research university. It’s essential to attracting the best students and to attracting the best faculty and staff. It’s essential to our mission as the nation’s first public university.
For Carolina to become the university that we strive to be, we must confront our past, examine our current practices and move forward with a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community. With significant input and guidance from our students, faculty and staff, we’ve begun this work, but there is still much to do.
As I talk to Tar Heels here in Chapel Hill and around the world, I’m energized by their passion and commitment to making Carolina a more diverse, equitable and inclusive university. I see this passion in programs such as exhibitions organized by the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History; and programs led by the American Indian Center and the Carolina Latinx Center; and in the recent launch of the Asian American Center, an effort driven by our Carolina students.
In our strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, we chose to make diversity, equity and inclusion the first initiative. The Build Our Community Together strategic initiative is critical to the success of our students, faculty and community.
We cannot be successful at any of our other initiatives if we don’t get this right. I’m committed to creating change, and I’m committed to doing the work to make Carolina a place where everyone knows they belong.
To support the important work of the Build Our Community Together initiative, we created a Build Our Community Together Fund. This unrestricted fund provides financial support to the people and programs on our campus that are dedicated to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Carolina.
Programs that have benefitted from this fund include Project Uplift; the College of Art & Sciences Southern Futures program; the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward; the Post-Doctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellows; and many more.
Join me in this critical work, as each of us has an important role to play. There is much to be done, and it involves us all. From health care to the humanities, there are opportunities to support your passion, inspire change and make a lasting difference.
The Build Our Community Together Fund and other diversity and inclusion funds across Carolina’s campus are critical to supporting the initiatives that further our understanding of our past, illuminate opportunities for change and pave the way for a better future.
Your investment in diversity and inclusion at Carolina benefits us all.
Thank you for your support.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz