Message From the Center

Welcome to the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence (CDEIE) at Azusa Pacific University!

Our center is dedicated to supporting staff, faculty, and administrators in the pursuit of inclusive excellence through diversity. Inspired by President Ferguson, our theme for the year is “Renewed Hope.” These words capture the essence of creating a Christ-centered environment for academic excellence. We look optimistically to a future of potential inspired by a university-wide strategic planning process. In order to nurture this culture at APU, our vice president/chief diversity officer, Keith Hall, EdD, stresses our divisional distinctives—Being, Becoming, and Belonging—which capture the vision for equity, inclusion, and diversity here at APU. Hall believes that we must reflect deeply on the Imago Dei within ourselves and others. There is a collective responsibility to elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion as Kingdom distinctives.

As part of modeling this commitment, the CDEIE offers varied professional development opportunities. One of our nationally recognized initiatives is the Diversity Ambassadors Program. Since 2014, more than 380 staff, faculty, and administrators have been trained as Diversity Ambassadors, who are influential in designing and facilitating professional development for schools and departments, and have developed a diversity curriculum and other resources for use by staff and faculty. Along with APU leadership, Diversity Ambassadors have been influential in the development and support of the university diversity strategic plans, and as a result all levels of the university are actively involved in significant conversations regarding diversity, including the president and cabinet members in their Diversity Ambassador training—the Executive Diversity Academy (EDA).

Diversity Ambassadors also initiate diversity-related projects. An example of an ambassador-led initiative is our Diversity Mosaic Experience (DME), coordinated by Scott Bledsoe, PsyD, who has developed a dynamic video library, paired with discussion resources that can be applied in and out of the classroom. Additionally, this year we will introduce online resources to supplement classroom sessions and university/department professional development activities.

The 2021-22 academic year is significant for the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, with a wide array of diversity events taking place. These offerings include a Diversity in the Classroom Series for faculty, virtual regional Diversity Ambassador outreach, Diversity Ambassador training, a special speaker series, and our role in the development and support of diversity initiatives at the school, college, and department levels.

The center plays an integral role in supporting the facilitation of a comprehensive diversity plan based on the findings of the 2016 UCLA Climate Study conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute and a 2019 Diversity Ambassador Research Study. Additionally, the center continues to collaborate with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities on national diversity-related projects.

We look forward to you participating in many of our programs and offerings throughout the year!

God bless,

Richard S. Martinez, EdD
Executive Director

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