Issues pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion permeate all facets of life. Only by bringing people together to have uncomfortable yet important discussions on race, access, policing and social, physical and mental well-being can we begin to chart a better course for society. This series was a brave attempt at fostering those conversations.
University of Phoenix, in conjunction with the National Diversity Council (NDC), recently held a four-day online series on diversity, equity and inclusion. Inequities exist at every level and in virtually every sphere of life in America. From business and politics to healthcare, education, technology and transportation, marginalized communities that overwhelmingly belong to African American, female and ethnic demographics do not enjoy the same levels of access and opportunity as many other populations.
University of Phoenix was proud to co-host the series with the NDC, a nonprofit whose mission is to advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion and to support statewide and regional affiliates that work toward building business success and community well-being via various diversity and inclusion initiatives.
From the widening skills gap, a growing digital divide and significantly lower health outcomes to serious deficiencies when it comes to access to financial resources, learning networks and opportunities to grow, the lack of equity and inclusion that marginalized communities face has serious, long-term impacts. These effects have only been exacerbated by the global pandemic with the brunt of the fallout, in terms of the loss of life or lost jobs in addition to diminished mental health and its concomitant impacts on family structures and community resilience, putting too many communities on the brink of collapse.
These are all complex issues that do not have simple solutions. They require coordinated efforts from academics, thought leaders, business people, healthcare service providers, doctors, educators and community leaders such as the police, faith groups and more.
Diversity and inclusion have always been central to University of Phoenix. One of the University’s three research centers specifically focuses on these key issues, and the College of Doctoral Studies actively researches these topics as well. Furthermore, the University is composed of a highly diverse student and faculty body, and educational attainment and access to opportunity are two key pillars of the University’s mandate.
Toward the collective goals of bringing people together and better understanding the challenges we face, University of Phoenix’s webinar series brought together many local and national luminaries to share their thoughts on how to address issues pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion. All participants were provided with actionable steps that they could take in their communities and spheres of influence toward driving change and building a better future. This blueprint can be used by anyone, from teachers and students to business leaders and parents, to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in whatever form they may manifest.
Participants in the series included Kate Gallego, the mayor of Phoenix; Peter Cohen, president of University of Phoenix; Dennis Kennedy, founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council; Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., founder and program director of The White Privilege Foundation; Kelly Price Noble, department of health administration and chairperson of the College of Health Professions at University of Phoenix; Thedrick Andres, chief of police, Henderson Police Department; Capt. Hector Cintron, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; Debra A. Freed, government relations director, New England Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America; Sanghoon Yoo, founder of the Arizona Trauma Informed Faith Community Network; Saray Lopez, director of student diversity, equity and inclusion at University of Phoenix; and Monica Villalobos, president and CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Topics discussed included cultural competence and stereotypes within our society and police reform via an understanding of the organizational cultures, political realities, programs and leadership challenges faced by the police. The role of public health services institutions and higher education institutions in dispelling negative notions surrounding race and ethnicity and building more inclusive, understanding and open communities were also discussed at length by the various session panel members and moderators.
You can learn more about the series and can watch each session here, and we invite you to learn more about University of Phoenix, our many program offerings, and all of the latest research. You can explore recent publications on diversity and inclusion from Phoenix Scholar™ and findings of the first-ever University of Phoenix Career Optimism Index™ by visiting us at https://www.phoenix.edu/.
About University of Phoenix University of Phoenix helps today’s students and busy professionals achieve their academic and professional dreams by offering flexible, selective and self-paced courses designed for today’s rapidly changing workplace. The University’s unrelenting focus on professional excellence, context-driven education and access to the tools and resources needed to thrive in professional settings help redefine what it means to obtain a certificate or higher education degree. Learn more about how University of Phoenix can help you further your education by visiting https://www.phoenix.edu