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As an established leader in Christ-centered counseling and ministry education, and a university of first-choice for top talent, the Richmont Graduate University Diversity Statement reflects this continuing quest for excellence with these words:

Richmont is committed to the intentional creation of an environment of belonging that celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of our students, faculty, and staff, with the goal of advancing God’s healing, restoration, and transformation in the lives of individuals, families, churches, and communities.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director, Dr. Sonja Sutherland, and Richmont’s Dean of Assessment, Planning & Accreditation comments, “Our statement represents the university’s ongoing and intentional pursuit of excellence.  In our commitment to embracing diversity and cultivating an environment of safety and inclusion, we seek to create a sense of “home” for all our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.  I am confident and excited about the strides Richmont will continue to make in meeting the diversity and inclusion needs within the institution and the community at large.”

 

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Coordinating Leadership Team

Dr. Sutherland
Sonja Sutherland, Ph.D *

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director

Travis Young
Travis Young, M.A.

School of Ministry Liaison

Dan Sartor
Dan Sartor, PH.D. *

Faculty & Alumni Liaison (Atl-SOC)

Tyler Rogers
Tyler Rogers, Ph.D.

Faculty & Alumni Liaison (Chatt-SOC)

Tyson Fant
Tyson Fant, M.A.

Student & Staff Liaison (Atl-SOC)

Darwin Blandon
Darwin Blandon *

Staff Liaison (Chatt-SOC)

Cassie Martin
Cassie Martin

Student Liaison (Chatt-SOC)

Diversity Resources

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Events

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion invites you to our Fall 2020 Diversity Dialogues

What are Diversity Dialogues?

Diversity Dialogues are university-wide group opportunities for conversations around diversity sponsored by the office of diversity and inclusion. Diversity Dialogue groups seek to provide a space where staff, students, faculty, and alum can engage in meaningful discussions regarding racial injustice, social advocacy, and discrimination. These four-week groups will be facilitated by our very own Richmont alum and will begin the week of November 2nd.


Event One

“Be the Bridge” Book Discussion Group

Group Facilitators: Richmont alum Erin Blount & Ashley Johnson
Who Should Attend: All faculty, staff, students, and alum are invited to join this group

Cost of Group: $20

Lunch-time on Tuesdays: 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, and 12/1 from 12-1pm
Where: Via Zoom (Link will be sent with registration confirmation)

Topic: Change begins with an honest conversation among a group of Christians willing to give a voice to unspoken hurts, hidden fears, and mounting tensions. With conviction and grace, this perspective-shifting book will examine the historical complexities of racism. This group will offer prayers, discussion questions, and other resources to encourage and promote robust and thought-provoking conversations that will challenge your thoughts and emotions surrounding the harsh truths of race, privilege, and how they connect to the church. As you explore your own personal, spiritual, and moral perspectives, you too can become a bridge builder and hold space for more diversity dialogues in the future. Participants will be encouraged to read identified book segments in advance of the conversations.

“Be The Bridge” Amazon book

Cost of book: $18

Click Here to Register


EVENT TWO

“Embracing Ourselves While Understanding Others” Video Series Discussion Group

Group Facilitators: Richmont alum Charles Houston and Paulette Lawrence Who: All faculty, staff, students and alum are invited to join this group Cost of Group: $20 Lunch-time on Mondays: 11/2, 11/9, 11/16 and 12/1 from 12-1pm
Where: Via Zoom (Link will be sent with registration confirmation)
Topic: This series will utilize videos on race, diversity, and faith to facilitate conversations with mutual respect and humility that are authentic and insightful. Participants will reflect on different perspectives relative to privilege and marginalization. Consider the perspectives and struggles that church leaders face when addressing systemic racism develop a greater awareness of systemic racial trauma and microaggressions that people of color often face explore their thoughts on these difficult issues and consider the differing thoughts of others as well. Participants are encouraged to watch the videos in advance of the conversations.

Click Here to Register

On behalf of the leadership team of Richmont’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI), thank you for your presence and engagement in our initial  Virtual Town Hall: Facing Injustice with Social Advocacy on June 3, 2020. Close to 130 students, faculty, staff, and alumni attended. Amongst many other things, you shared your confusion, sadness, anxiety, frustration, anger, and uncertainty as our nation wrestles with new acknowledgment of institutional and pervasive racism. More than that, however, many of you listened so you could learn more, and expressed a desire to do more to find your unique paths for involvement in advocating for real change. Our goal in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is to assist you in any way we can.

In an ongoing effort to first recognize the issues and then make common cause to address them, Richmont’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion hosted Virtual Town Hall meetings on:

Throughout the remainder of the year and thereafter, we will host many more Virtual Town Hall meetings.

The purpose will be to provide a forum for students, faculty, and staff to process recent events. It will also promote dialogue on how we can partner with and advocate for the disadvantaged across the various spaces our lives inhabit.

We look forward to your participation.

This is just the beginning. For true change to occur in us, our Richmont community and our nation, each of us must be involved in:

  • Ongoing diversity education,
  • Cultural conversations,
  • Immersion with others who have different life experiences, and
  • Taking action.

Toward this end, beginning fall 2020, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) will provide ongoing opportunities for courageous conversations on topics such as (but not limited to) diversity, racial injustice, cultural humility, racism, and the church and its role in social change, and other related areas of focus through the hosting of

  • Courageous Conversation reading groups and “watch and discuss” events,
  • introductory and advanced cultural competency training workshops, and
  • Courageous Activation opportunities for social justice engagement.

These are just a few areas of activity that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will focus on. Much, much more is on the horizon.

Finally, thanks to a combined effort from members of our Richmont community, some beginning resources are available to help you in your cultural diversity education. You will find reading and video suggestions, podcasts, professional development resources, and links to a range of advocacy groups which may be helpful as you look for ways to become involved.

We are in the midst of a watershed moment in our nation’s history. Inherent is an opportunity for us to see, hear, and understand more clearly the realities and impact of institutional racism on the everyday lives of people of color. This is an opportunity for us to individually, and as a Richmont community, share in the responsibility of doing more…and of being more.

Please know that your Office of Diversity & Inclusion is here with resources to support you. Again, thank you, Blessings to you, and be safe.

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