Conversations of Understanding and upcoming diversity events

September 23, 2020

Members of the SIU Community,

On behalf of myself and the SIU System Diversity Advisory Council, I want to thank the previous participants in our Conversations of Understanding who have built the solid foundation that led us into this week’s event focusing on race-based trauma and mental health. I thought it was a powerful discussion. Thank you to our panelists and those who were able to participate.

For those of you who couldn’t join us, I encourage you to listen to the conversation, which is archived at the SIU System YouTube channel. As you watch, take a moment to walk in the shoes of members of our SIU System family and understand the profound experiences they shared.

But more importantly, be prepared to be challenged by the words and ideas of our panelists, because only by confronting the centuries of inequities and the impact they have had on people of color will we ever be able to make the future changes necessary.

Looking forward, I want to share some important upcoming events. The next Conversation of Understanding will be held on October 14 starting at 5 p.m. Our panel will discuss best practices for dealing with systemic racism as it is seen in U.S. systems and organizations, especially higher education institutions. Also, panelists will share thoughts on dismantling strategies currently in place at the SIU System, as well as those planned or needed. I hope you can join us.

The next day, October 15, will be Diversity Day at SIUE. This year’s theme is “The Fierce Urgency of Now: SIUE Shaping a Changing World.” It will be a virtual conference that includes discussions, speakers, presentations, and even cuisine representing the ethnic roots of our students. Access to all of the presentations will be available on all of our campuses, the SIU System and surrounding communities. You can learn more by visiting the SIUE Diversity Day link.

Thank you for being a part of our SIU System community and making the positive changes we are aspiring to – by seeing, by hearing and by bearing witness to the simple truth that change must come and it must start with each of us. 

Dan Mahony, President
SIU System