June 2, 2020

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Statement from Senior Diversity Officer/Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Kat Werchouski and Chancellor Renée Wachter

Recent events have affirmed the social obligation of institutions like ours to remain committed to furthering education, growth and initiatives in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. There is so much to unpack, and many of us are affected in varying ways.  

If anything, the events surrounding the death of George Floyd underscore just how tightly our lives are interwoven. Because we are connected in one way or another, we must not shy away from difficult moments and the discomfort surrounding them. Our connection also means that we must remain vigilant in our support to those most affected. It is part and parcel of the larger concept of the Culture of Care that we have been and are working so hard to develop here at UW-Superior.   

We value all our campus community members. It is times like these when our mission “to respect diverse cultures and multiple voices” makes a difference and becomes a marker of who we are. We continue in our work toward creating an inclusive place at UWS — one that attracts, retains, and supports diverse students, faculty and staff — and we keep striving even if we know there is always more work to be done. Now more than ever, we must lean in and commit to fostering inclusiveness both as individuals whose lives touch others beyond our walls, and as accountable members of a diverse and embracing community. Such commitments make us stronger not just as a university, but as human beings.   

One small example of commitment that occurred earlier this year is that the chancellor’s staff engaged in intensive EDI certificate training, which is available to all UW-Superior students, faculty and staff. This training was impactful, enlightening and now helps to inform the everyday work of those who participated. Other campus community members have completed or committed to also completing the EDI certificate. What better way to commit than to learn. We highly encourage all students, faculty and staff to take part in this training and model what you learn in the work you do and the interactions you have.   

We understand too the importance of dialogue. EDI and Student Health and Counseling are partnering to provide a virtual space for campus processing and support. These sessions are open for students, faculty and staff to participate (or just listen and be in community).  

Although most people are not physically on campus, please know that offices continue to be a resource for those seeking support, including the Department of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)Student Health and Counseling ServicesPruitt Center for Mindfulness and Well-BeingDivision of Student SuccessDivision of Student Affairs, and many others. Our employee assistance program is available for faculty and staff. In addition, the Mayor’s Commission on Communities of Color is holding a public meeting on Thursday, June 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The Duluth Chapter of the NAACP also has ongoing events you may want to attend. 

Finally, we encourage you to reach out to family and friends. Bear witness and listen with your heart where it is needed most. Stand together in community and please take care of yourselves the best you can.  

Kat Werchouski, Senior Diversity Officer/Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 

Renée Wachter, Chancellor 



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