Volunteer State Community College is committed to respecting the rights and understanding the points of view of all members of the community, and considers diversity an integral part of both the social and intellectual climate, on and off campus. The College values inclusion across a range of measures, including dimensions of race, ethnicity, and country of origin; gender identity/expression and sexual orientation; socio-economic status; age; physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities; religious or ethical value system; political beliefs; and familial status, among others.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides cultural awareness through programming and activities for the entire Vol State Community. The office also provides a variety of training to address diversity and inclusion. Collaborating with faculty, staff, students and student organizations, this unit of student services offers co-curricular programming to support understanding bout diversity and inclusion within the College’s Mission and strategic priorities. Working with the Diversity and Cultural Awareness committee, the office will support and execute initiatives for the continued education surrounding diversity and inclusion.
Why Diversity Matters
Imagine a world where everything was the same and there were no options or differences. You ate the same meal every day, you wore the same type of clothes, watched the same shows on the television and everyone thought the exact same way. What if you didn't think the same way, act the same way, dress the same way and you were shunned, isolated and not considered during decision making processes? Wouldn't that be a tragic and horrific existence?
Thankfully, we live in a society that is vastly different. Diversity and Inclusion denotes that yes, we are all different. We don't have the same mindset, we don't share that same background, and we don't share the same values. But the beautiful part in that difference is there are similarities. Once we learn to capitalize on the similarities, then the differences will melt away.
But not only do we need to understand and celebrate our differences, we also need to know that every person deserves their individual voices heard. The ability to celebrate differences and having different perspectives can blend into a wonderful conglomerate.
What would a dinner be like if you have a savory meal in front of you, but it was bland without taste? You reach for salt, but realize because it's different, it's not on the table. Or you reach for a utensil to eat with and discover it's different so it wasn't permitted at the table. That's how Diversity and Inclusion works; you can't have one without the other. So when we view people who aren't like us, let's remind ourselves, "Do I want to merely exist? Or do I want to enjoy my life through the beauty of differences?"
~ Dr. Kenny E. Yarbrough