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Department of Mathematics Diversity Statement

Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that originate from differences of culture and circumstance. These differences include, but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, gender identity, gender expression, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic region or national origin.

Equity refers to the fair and respectful treatment of all people. Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities and recognizes that advantages and barriers exist. Equity is a process that begins by acknowledging unequal starting places and makes a commitment to correct and address the imbalance.

Inclusion is about people with different identities feeling and/or being valued, leveraged, and welcomed within our department.

Justice means that we dismantle barriers to resources and opportunities in society so that all individuals can be their fullest selves and productive mathematics citizens.

The core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are inseparable from the mission of the institution, which states we prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen leaders of a global society. The WKU Creed calls us all to share in the responsibility to participate actively in university life by seeking inclusion and respecting the rights of all people, celebrating and embracing diversity and encouraging freedom of expression. We also have an obligation to appreciate cultural differences, resolve conflicts fairly and promote truths and values essential to our communities. These responsibilities and obligations align with a social justice perspective in mathematics. As the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and TODOS: Mathematics for ALL state,

A social justice stance requires a systemic approach that includes fair and equitable teaching practices, high expectations for all students, access to rich, rigorous, and relevant mathematics, and strong family/community relationships to promote positive mathematics learning and achievement [1].

In the Department of Mathematics, we commit to celebrate a culture of inclusion where all faculty, staff, and students feel welcomed, included, respected, and have a safe space for expression. We commit to identify and implement processes that actively address racism, discrimination, and exclusion and agree to hold our faculty, staff, and students accountable for their actions.

We are committed to recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds who represent the communities served by the Western Kentucky University region, the nation, and the world. We are not only committed to recruiting and retaining students with personal experiences and worldviews from a variety of cultures and life circumstances, but we are also committed to graduating them. In particular students from groups that are underrepresented in mathematics [2]. We are committed to fostering a culture of respect that appreciates and celebrates the unique perspectives, contributions, and expertise that each individual brings to our department.

We are committed to serve as role models, to mentor, and to conduct research with students from underrepresented groups and at-risk students (who may not realize their potential). This commitment aims to create an inclusive, welcoming, and dynamic academic experience for every student who occupies a seat in any of our classes.

Through a process of continual reevaluation, reflection, and feedback, we are unwavering in our dedication to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion. We understand that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing and increasingly diverse world.

  1. https://www.todos-math.org/socialjustice
  2. https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/introduction/

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 Last Modified 7/4/21