What we believe
When we consider the meaning of diversity, one of the first descriptors that comes to mind is “difference.” Diversity means difference. Each of us is unlike anyone else. Diversity is also multi-faceted. It requires us to see the world more broadly, not merely from our lens, not only in black and white. Diversity, however, also includes commonalities, something on which we rarely focus. The South Texas community is diverse in opinion, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, physical ability, income, political affiliation, and all other characteristics that make us who we are.
Beyond rejecting the idea that the differences in others are inconsequential, inherently wrong, or generally lesser, we should seek to appreciate and welcome the divergent characteristics we see in others. We also can connect with one another on our similarities, of which there there are likely many.
To succeed, and advance we must be a community that strives – every day and in every way – to respect the diversity in others and embrace our shared characteristics. Even in disagreement we must strive for understanding. This kind of community encourages the very best in its individual members and, consequently, elevates the community as a whole.
Michael F. Barry, President and Dean
Shelby A. Dickerson-Moore, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professor of Law