Meshea Poore, vice president of WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, called all Mountaineers to move forward united this year and always.
“The true definition of a Mountaineer is someone who climbs,” Poore said. “We stand united as one West Virginia family climbing together. We must trust this climb.”
WVU’s annual Diversity Week kicked off with the first ever State of Diversity address, given by Poore on Monday, where she challenged every Mountaineer to move mountains together and to continue innovating in every area.
“We must continue to be innovative and committed to being global influencers,” Poore said. “We must be brave enough to not just think outside the box, but to remove the box completely.”
She said to move forward, Mountaineers cannot be afraid to be uncomfortable. Everyone must push themselves and deal with tough situations to truly experience progress.
The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is taking steps to provide a more diverse landscape. They will be updating their current website, diversity.wvu.edu, to include resources such as songs, podcasts, books, conversation starters, polls, profiles and more to educate and encourage diversity.
New positions and programs have also been created by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to help spread the division’s message of diversity, equity and inclusion going forward.
Poore said although there is still work to do, tremendous strides have been taken toward a more diverse and accepting institution.
The INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, award is given out to colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada that, according to the INSIGHT Into Diversity website, “demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Poore announced that, after a “rigorous application process,” WVU had the honor of receiving the HEED award for the 2018-19 school year. She said the University also submitted an application for the current school year, and they would find out if WVU will receive another HEED award in the next few days.
Poore said that the foundation for a more diverse and accepting institution is being laid, and as long as we work together, we will move forward.