Defining Our Commitment

Painted walkway in pride colors on UB's North Campus.

As educators, scholars and advocates, we view education as essential to improving and transforming social and economic opportunities for individuals and communities. This view influences our actions: how we teach our students, conduct our research, serve our communities, and work toward a global future that is more equitable and more just.

Our Goal: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Justice

We are committed to creating an equitable, diverse, inclusive and just community of faculty, students, staff and administrators where all feel welcomed, included, supported, empowered and have equal access to supports, services and opportunities that ensure learning and success. Our commitment requires that we turn our attention to both internal and external aspects of ourselves and the work we do.

Internally, we are dedicated to critically examining the interactions, processes and systems that characterize our research, teaching/pedagogy, service, advising/mentoring, and community outreach and engagement to create a GSE that is inclusive and equity-oriented. We are also committed to fostering and ensuring student voice and agency throughout GSE.

Externally, we are driven to engage with local, national and global communities to contribute to the development of self-aware, inclusive and culturally competent students and alumni; inclusive teaching and information service practices and professional development; and research that collaborates with and strengthens communities. We strive to contribute to communities (locally, nationally and internationally) and build effective and meaningful partnerships in ways that remove institutional, informational and educational barriers to success.

As a graduate school of education, we embrace a broad, intersectional and inclusive understanding of diversity; including race, ethnicity and indigeneity, gender and gender expression, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, language, national origin, U.S. resident status, religious or spiritual beliefs, age, and parenting status. We recognize how United States history has contributed to an educational system wrought with racial, gender and socio-economic inequities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to dismantling all forms of systemic inequities and individually-perpetuated discrimination and bias, as we advocate for those who have been historically silenced and marginalized.

Fundamental to our mission as a graduate school of education is ensuring that our community represents all aspects of diversity and that we create systems and model practices that allow every member of our community to grow, succeed and thrive. We acknowledge that we are not yet the community that we hope to create. However, we also realize that change is both our individual and collective responsibility and we are committed to actively learning and engaging with others to create that community. To that end, we have developed Operationalizing Our Promise: A Comprehensive Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion Plan to focus our efforts and to help us reach our goals.