Diversity & Inclusion | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dean's Commitment

The LBJ School's commitment to diversity of
Composition, Culture and Curriculum

We are in the midst of extraordinary circumstances in this country that challenge every notion of what it should be: How we expect to live together, how we expect to be governed, and how we expect to be protected from harm, whether that harm is man-made or born of nature. We also must reconcile the sadness, anger and sick feeling over what we see happening to our fellow citizens — on our streets and in our hospitals — with the frustration and helplessness that comes with inaction.

We must step up. Righteous indignation is not enough. We must get into the arena. We must commit to working on tangible policy solutions. Only with open minds and hearts can things get better.

We must end the insidiousness and danger of inequity, racial disparities and the scourge of poverty. To achieve this, we have to first recognize our current moment and how it has been shaped by institutional racism. Only through clear-eyed introspection can we move forward to effectively dismantle the systemic inequality that plagues our society and prevents us from becoming a just and equal nation.

We have to use our knowledge and expertise to create pathways to address these challenges. And we have to work together and deliberately to make the changes we need here at the LBJ School. We will continue to build and fortify an inclusive, diverse and equitable environment for students, faculty and staff.

And we will. It is in our DNA. This work will take time. We will fail; we will learn from these failures; and we will endure. We at the LBJ School will do everything within our power to see that this institution supports a cohesive and constructive environment.

Composition

The LBJ School is committed to cultivating a diverse student body, faculty and staff. To ensure greater diversity, the LBJ School has institutionalized mechanisms by which DEI can continue to grow by creating an assistant dean of civic engagement, who also serves as chief diversity officer (CDO), establishing an associate dean for students with a targeted DEI portfolio, and expanding the school's DEI committee. The LBJ School recognizes that its composition is not representative of the nation or state's demographic context. To address this gap, it is closely tracking its composition, expanding its current diversity recruitment efforts and engaging with student, alumni and administrative stakeholders to chart the most effective course forward.

Learn more: details about the LBJ School's efforts to create a more diverse student, faculty and staff

 

Culture

A culture of inclusivity — both within the classroom and the larger school — is integral to a robust educational experience. In the last five years the LBJ School has made cultivating an inclusive culture a priority for student-to-student interactions as well as student-to-faculty/staff interactions. LBJ has worked to build a general community culture of inclusivity through schoolwide programming that has set the backdrop for more formal training experiences to be launched.

Learn more: steps taken and those charted out for the immediate future

 

Curriculum

A world-class public affairs education must help students contemplate and navigate the heterogeneity of communities and countries. To do so, curricula must reflect and address how diversity affects domestic and global policy. The LBJ School, together with peer institutions, is pursuing a course of mainstreaming attention to DEI issues across the curriculum with the following goals: every student engaging with DEI-related content; coursework recognizing and factoring in the heterogeneity of organizations and societies; and courses including syllabi that have woven in a diverse array of perspectives.

Learn more: how the LBJ School is working to prioritize DEI issues in its curriculum

 

 

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Media Mention August 7, 2020
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Media Mention August 3, 2020
What Bill Clinton got 'exactly wrong' about Stokely Carmichael's role in the Black freedom struggle

"Former president Bill Clinton's disparaging remarks about Black Power icon Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), made while eulogizing civil rights hero John Lewis last week, exhibited not only poor taste but a tragic misunderstanding of Black history," writes LBJ's Peniel Joseph.

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Media Mention August 1, 2020
Book review: 'Sword and the Shield' explores 2 civil rights icons

In his review of The Sword and the Shield, the latest book by LBJ's Peniel Joseph, Michael L. Ramsey writes: "There is a lesson for us all in the writing of Peniel Joseph's The Sword and the Shield. Half a century after the untimely deaths of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph has provided an in-depth look at two dynamic leaders who challenged Americans to live up to our professed belief in equality for all."

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