Diversity & Inclusion Statement
The School of Information (iSchool) at Kent State University believes that being able to recognize and relate to qualities, conditions and group memberships that might be unlike our own contributes first to learning, and then to knowledge. Acceptance flows from a common ground, based on a belief in the acceptance of individuals as human beings. This includes the belief in people’s ability to determine who they shall become (self-determination), their protection from injury, affordance of their equality of opportunity (e.g., access to education, healthcare, food, housing and information about their basic rights), protection of their privacy and well-being, and acknowledgement for their work, through recognition or economic compensation. Acceptance of the person is different from acceptance of their viewpoint/agenda.
We recognize, understand and embrace the differences that define diversity, in whatever form or manner that such diversity presents itself. To us, “inclusion” encompasses acceptance of and respect for each person’s individuality, regardless of that person’s race, age, sexual orientation, gender, size, intellectual acuity, level of knowledge, technological ability, physical ability, ethnicity, country of origin, gender, socio-economic status, religious or political beliefs, or affiliations or other ideologies.
The iSchool, therefore, embraces inclusion and affirms it as a core value. Libraries and cultural heritage institutions span nations and cultures and serve populations with diverse backgrounds and needs. The faculty and staff of the iSchool strive to create an inclusive working and learning environment in which similarities and differences are valued and leveraged, diverse perspectives are sought and respected, and, ultimately, information needs of diverse populations are met. We believe and understand that diversity enriches the domain of information by creating opportunities to engage with others in this field that spans cultural and national borders.
We believe in building bridges across our differences in order to foster an inclusive environment of collaboration in which all may participate.