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Illustration by Hannah Lazarte
Pragmatic case for greater inclusivity
Inclusive environments make us all smarter, better, and more productive.

USA Today published an op-ed by Ronald A. Crutcher, president, about how colleges can explain the benefits of inclusivity better. An excerpt:

The facts are that racial, economic, and gender diversity and commitment to valuing all voices have proven to be essential in making organizations from Wall Street to Main Street more profitable, productive, financially sound, and responsive to customers. This approach has been shown conclusively to produce the kinds of people our nation needs to compete globally, and we need to be more assertive in trumpeting this truth. …

As attorney, author and entrepreneur Verna Myers says, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” …

Like many institutions, the University of Richmond seeks economic diversity and enriches the perspective of its campus community by actively recruiting low- and moderate-income students. ... With respect to racial, ethnic, and global diversity, 38 percent of our incoming class are students of color and 10 percent are international students.

But we have to be more clear about all the reasons we are making such efforts. Colleges and universities should tout diversity as a driver of the bottom line more frequently and fervently. We need to brag more about how our graduates go into the workplace and make it more productive and profitable, even as we continue to champion diversity because it is ethical and just.

We know we may get a little bruised along the way as we tackle difficult issues, but our graduates will be more attractive job candidates and stronger employees and leaders because they are practiced at being open to and interacting with a variety of opinions, experiences, and perspectives.

Read the entire op-ed in USA Today here.