Definition and Purpose:
The department embraces a broad definition of diversity as “ the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety . . . .” (Merriam-Webster.com, 2011) and values the perspectives of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, issues of ability, and other facets of the human condition. The department, in expanding this definition, points out that diversity is more than just those concepts noted above, but also should reflect other minorities like international students, our student veterans, Native, Latina and Mexican Americans, as well as our unique minority groups here in Southwest Louisiana which include Cajuns and Creoles in our definition of diverse groups. The purpose of the department’s diversity plan and initiatives is to foster understanding of and appreciation for these perspectives as an essential element in the success our key stakeholder groups (students, faculty, administration and community).
Our mission is to prepare tomorrow’s media professionals for success in a diverse global community, by maintaining a climate that is free of harassment and discrimination; that is supportive of diverse student and faculty needs; that values the contributions of all forms of diversity; and that promotes ever-greater exchange among differing cultures and perspectives.
Building on the experiences and resources outlined in the Department’s 2011 ACEJMC Self-Study report and departmental Diversity Library, a two-pronged strategy is employed. New and existing quantitative measures (enrollment, hiring, campus and regional demographics, etc.) will gauge success in maintaining a community that accurately reflects the larger world. Qualitative measures are employed in support of an environment in which all are welcomed, supported and encouraged to thrive. This approach relies on proactive outreach and creative exploration as well as diligence in refraining from activities not characteristic of diverse, equitable and inclusive communities.