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ODI Advisory Board Issues Statement

**Memorandum**

Date: October 16, 2012
From: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, a diverse group of volunteers representing undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, administrators, community stakeholders, and diversity consultants. 

Gallaudet University is a diverse community committed to the pursuit of academic excellence. We continue to work towards the goal of all groups being treated with compassion and civility while promoting inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice. We further acknowledge that in order to achieve these goals in practice, we must simultaneously build an environment that embraces and promotes the diversity of people and ideas.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board is saddened that recent events have left many of us angry, confused, and saddened.  It is our opinion that now is an opportunity for a true “teachable moment” – a time for all of us, students, staff, faculty, administrators and supporters of Gallaudet University to come together in the spirit of cooperation and compassion in order to explore the differences that are seeking to divide us, and to find that which can heal the rifts and bring us closer together.

Accordingly, we are reaching out to Dr. McCaskill, a valued member of our Community, and to the Gallaudet community as a whole, to use these events as an opportunity to grow, to learn through discussion, and to acknowledge the biases, prejudices and the “isms” that are within each of us.

Rather than blaming or attacking one another, let us build a stronger commitment to our core values of compassion, civility, inclusion and social justice.  We see outreach and dialogue as essential next steps in the process of rebuilding and strengthening the bonds of trust in our Community.

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