The Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education is a chapter of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and is aimed at leading higher education toward inclusive excellence through institutional change as well as supporting our membership of professionals through support and community.
TADOHE community members and friends,
I beg your pardon as a few days have now passed since the latest horrific events have transpired. Simply, my ability to attempt to translate my heartbreak into sentient words was understandably stalled. Sometimes, there’s no need to rush to say something simply because there is an expectation to offer a sound bite in haste. Oftentimes, the most human thing to do is PAUSE and allow ourselves to connect with feeling everything before attempting to articulate anything. Personally, like many of you, I needed those days to grieve, to sit with my anger, to wail out loud, and to accept that I cannot and would not attempt to intellectualize what has happened.
In 10 days, we have borne witness to three mass shootings in rapid succession. Gun violence snuffed out precious lives in a Black community grocery store in Buffalo, NY, in a church of Taiwanese congregants in Santa Ana, CA, and in an elementary school in Uvalde, TX. This doesn’t include the innocent lives of passengers also violently killed when simply riding the subway in NYC. These are places that should not even be moderately conceivable as dangerous. And yet, it is in the spaces that were once thought to be safe and part of our benign daily lives that will now provoke memories of fear and tragic, violent loss for years to come.
In short, we are weary. The weariness of this moment should not have to be countered by resilience. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. And though we will somehow keep forging ahead despite some of the greatest adversities we are confronting in this tumultuous moment, we won’t “recover quickly.” Perhaps, the insistence that we continue to recover quickly after routinely confronting gun violence that’s taken the lives of innocent children and targeted the lives of Black folks, People of Color, and Jewish community members, who have been experiencing marginality, oppression, or who have been scapegoated in irresponsible and dangerous political rhetoric, is the wrong response. Typically, when we “recover quickly,” we forget the pain associated with the injury. That forgetfulness and convenient distance from the source of this pain is what lulls us back into the busyness of our dailies without meaningful disruption. So, just like that, the watershed moments that could usher in fast and furious change through collective activation are eventually muted. Hash-tagged. One statement archived. Forgotten.
As President of the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, I implore you to activate while you seek to heal. Permit the empathy felt for those suffering to foster momentous change in this season of sorrow. We are our most resilient when we find strength in one another toward a purpose greater than simply surviving. We are destined to thrive, to see our children grow, to learn from the lived wisdom of our elders, to activate around injustice whether it directly visits our doorstep or not. We are the ambassadors of inclusion and that comes with a weighty responsibility that cannot support passive quiet. Please do your due diligence to support your communities and their healing, through their pain, and in the forging ahead of their activation around change that reminds us that feeling safe should be a basic right afforded to all of us.
In love and solidarity,
Dr. Skyller Walkes
TADOHE President's Letter on Gun Violence
ADVANCING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Together, we can make a difference! Your support is important to our work and our work is important to your campus community. Here's how you can get involved with advancing diversity and inclusion in higher education:
BECOME A TADOHE INDIVIDUAL MEMBER
TADOHE's most valuable resource is our membership. Individual membership has its benefits and is just $75, with a 50% discount for NADOHE members. Your individual membership gives you access to our TADOHE Connections network of contact information for diversity professionals throughout the State of Texas, our Members-only Portal of diversity-related job opportunities in addition to all of TADOHE's professional development opportunities. Your individual membership goes with you wherever you go. So if you move to a new city or are in pursuit of new professional opportunities, your membership goes with you. Click here for more information about membership types and prices.
BECOME A TADOHE INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
We believe the best way for our initiatives to be successful is for all members of the Higher Education Community to actively get involved. Institutional Membership is an easy and efficient way of contributing to the great work of the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. When your campus becomes a member of TADOHE, we support your institution with a number of outstanding benefits such as free registration for all state meetings, organization training, workshops, and professional development (i.e. Title IX, legal & legislative updates, best practices for diversity and inclusive excellence, crisis management, etc.). In addition, your campus members are given a discounted rate for our summer conference. As an added benefit, your campus can request our on-site diversity and inclusion training & development workshop for upper-level administrators at no cost.
JOIN A COMMITTEE
Want to join our efforts but not sure where to start? Volunteer your time and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to contribute while enhancing your professional skills and portfolio. It’s a great way to contribute to our cause of diversity and inclusive excellence, and every little bit counts towards paving the path for a better tomorrow. Click here for more information TADOHE's sub-committees .
MAKE A DONATION
Our organization always appreciates the generosity and involvement of people like you. Every contribution will go towards making Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education an even better Professional Organization than it already is. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.