Newman earns diversity and inclusion award from WBJ

Sep 24, 2020
cultural extravaganza

Newman University has earned a diversity and inclusion award from the Wichita Business Journal (WBJ).

Director of Multicultural Engagement and Campus Life Joseph Shepard said, “This award underscores the important work the Division of Student Affairs has prioritized over the past two years. We understand that diversity, equity and inclusion is vital to the success of our entire campus community and the city of Wichita.”

Newman University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is built into the university code, which reads, “As a member of the Newman community, I pledge to live in the spirit of critical consciousness by respecting the dignity of every person, honoring both personal and institutional integrity, and striving to embrace all humanity.”

At the beginning of the 2019 academic year, a five-year strategic plan was announced with diversity and inclusion listed as the No. 1 priority. The plan states its intention “to create a culture of diversity and inclusion in which all feel welcomed and valued.”

Joseph Shepard
Joseph Shepard

Shepard said, “As we seek to carry out the mission of our institution and live out the values of our Newman University Code, we strive to see the face of God in every person.”

Newman University provides opportunities to promote inclusion and equity within its community through academics and various student life activities.

In the classroom, faculty members create diverse lesson plans, enhancing the culture of the Catholic faith — a culture of love and acceptance. Staff members offer support and guidance to all students, creating an inclusive and impartial environment.

The Student Life Department works diligently to enhance a diverse and inclusive environment through a multitude of events and activities.

Students take part in a Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Walk on MLK Day.

Students are invited to attend culturally centered events hosted by recognized cultural clubs and organizations.

Culturally centered student clubs and organizations include Multicultural Leadership Organization, Asian Student Association, Black Student Union, Kaleidoscope (LGBTQ+) Organization, College Republicans, Diversity Round Table Ambassadors, Campus Ministry, Hispanic American Leadership Organization and Health Equity Resources for Women.

MCLO hosts an annual Cultural Extravaganza that involves Wichita students and community members and celebrates all cultures.

Newman University partners with several local organizations as well such as ICT Black Men Conference, TEDx, Rise Up for Youth, the Kansas African American Museum, Urban Professionals of Wichita, Humankind Ministries, Army National Guard, USD 259 and Holy Savior Catholic Academy.

“This award highlights that while we still have more work to do, we’re committed to taking the necessary steps vital to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive atmosphere,” said Shepard.

He concluded, “Newman University is committed to continuing the work and identifying opportunities, through which we can engage, educate, inform and enlighten.”