The Union Recorder

September 18, 2013

GC public forum to discuss diversity

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The community is invited to participate in public forums hosted by the Diversity Action Planning Committee at Georgia College.

Slated at 2 p.m. today on the second floor of the Georgia College library, the first event will kick off the effort to have community partners collaborate in open dialogue to create ideas for developing opportunities for students in Milledgeville-Baldwin County and Georgia College so they are better prepared for the 21st century.

“We want people to engage in dialogue about the best approaches to getting the best and brightest students from the Milledgeville community and surrounding areas to come to Georgia College, and really diversifying our campus to achieve inclusive excellence, which is one of the important goals of the American Association of Colleges and Universities,” said Veronica Womack, director of Institution of Diversity and Equity at Georgia College, and chair of the Diversity Action Planning Committee. “We want to make sure input from the campus community and larger community is part of the conversation of how we achieve student access and success, high quality learning, and how to integrate diversity and equity at Georgia College. The forum [today] and next week is to see what direction the community would like us to go.”

The Diversity Action Planning Committee has been charged by Georgia College President Dr. Steve Dorman to develop a three- to five-year diversity plan that promotes recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff and students, and creates a welcoming environment. The plan focuses on four areas — student access and success, campus climate, curriculum and human resources.

“Dr. Dorman stated that diversity was an important piece of being a productive citizen in the 21st century, and as an institution we should embrace diversity,” Womack said. “The public deliberation will be an opportunity for the Milledgeville community to contribute to the development of the Diversity Action Plan.”

A second public forum is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at the Collins P. Lee Center in the Harrisburg neighborhood.

“I would really like to have community participation and input. I encourage anyone interested in higher education to come to the forum and voice their opinion,” Womack said. “People just need to show up and be prepared to have a conversation about how do we increase diversity at Georgia College and achieve inclusive excellence. We’re now in a time where demographics of society have changed, and they will continue to change, so the university will have to reflect our demographic.”

For more information about the public forum, contact Womack at 478-445-4233, email veronica.womack@gcsu.edu, or visit www.gcsu.edu/equity.

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