The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Universities has kicked off the Year of Reflection, a collaborative initiative that encourages dialogue and meaningful action around social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Made up of the University of South Florida, University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida International University (FIU), the partnership works to develop and strengthen Florida’s talent pipeline by sharing ideas and scaling solutions that accelerate student achievement and expand access to economic opportunity.
Throughout the Year of Reflection, the Florida Consortium will host virtual townhalls, small group discussions and other special events aimed at influencing student and employee engagement, diversity equity and inclusion practices, as well as institutional change and transformation.
The program’s kick-off event brought together USF President Steve Currall, UCF President Alexander Cartwright, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation Paul Luna and the Florida Consortium Executive Director Michael Preston to discuss how global, national and local experiences have impacted campus communities and how these impacts will foster tangible change.
“I look forward to the very positive outcomes from the Year of Reflection – not only honest dialogue and conversation but also concrete actions that may include policy reviews that support improved business practices and a reinforced commitment to change,” said USF President Steve Currall. “Strong partners are critical to this work, and the we are grateful to be a part of the consortium and to have the support of Helios Education Foundation to provide expertise, resources, and accountability.”
Guided by its Principles of Community, the USF community has been working together to take action by developing anti-racist practices, resources and initiatives. Just last year, the university established a $500,000 fund through the Office of the Provost and USF Research & Innovation to embark on a year-long series of projects exploring the perpetuation of systemic racism in society that has resulted in economic inequities, social injustices, police violence and other issues.
Through the Office of Supplier Diversity, USF is also committed to utilizing small, minority, service-disabled veteran and women-owned businesses in the procurement of goods, services, supplies and construction, as the university actively pursues diverse businesses for contracting opportunities.
To learn more about USF’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please visit the university’s anti-racism website here.