Issues of diversity will be the focus of the “Call to Action” forum at noon today in the lobby of the Brown-Lupton Student Center, NAACP members said.Members of the TCU NAACP chapter say issues of diversity first addressed at a forum last semester still remain major issues at the university.
“We’re serious about this; it will not fade,” said NAACP chapter President Erica Parker.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is spearheading the forum today.
Parker, a senior secondary education major, said the forum will be hosted by a panel consisting of university faculty, two students and a Fort Worth City Council member.
Each member of the panel will bring a different perspective and has a different role in the discussion, Parker said.
Darron Turner, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said he will be on hand to discuss issues of diversity and inclusiveness.
Parker said the forum will also address issues extending beyond the TCU campus.
“My main role is to talk about how the Fort Worth community perceives TCU as a diverse community,” said Fernando Vasquez director of community outreach. “There is a lot we need to do to improve our image outside of TCU.”
According to the TCU NAACP Web site, the forum is “a push from apathetic minds to action-oriented minds for the sole purpose of increasing TCU’s strategies and programs for diversity and inclusiveness.”
Parker said she believes most of the student body has an apathetic mind-set toward issues of diversity on the TCU campus. She said the forum is intended to lead students to care about the issues and make a move toward acting on them. The issues the NAACP will present in the discussion are the result of an official list of grievances and a resolution written by the NAACP, with over 10 other student organizations, that carry over from last year, Parker said.
Parker said the NAACP will focus on three issues at the forum.
First, Parker said, the NAACP wants the university to have a socially conscious staff that is acquainted with diversity issues. Parker said the organization is strongly recommending a diversity workshop to create more well-rounded faculty members.
Parker said the organization spoke with Chancellor Victor Boschini over the summer on mandating a diversity workshop for faculty and staff. She said Boschini did not agree with their proposal, saying there would be no benefit should the training be mandatory.
Second, she said, the organization would like to see a more diverse faculty and staff. However, Parker said, the diversity of the staff is not about numbers. She said the NAACP is striving to ensure that faculty and staff are concerned with their students’ overall well-being so they benefit outside of their academics.
Parker said committee of diverse student leaders was formed over the summer to evaluate faculty and staff applicants as a result of actions taken by the TCU NAACP last semester.
The third objective, Parker said, is to address issues of student body and campus involvement in resolving important diversity issues. She said many students do not realize how diversity on campus affects them and students need to become more aware and take a stance on the issues.
Parker said the forum is not only aimed at minorities. She said the discussion applies to every student on campus and is hoping students of all ethnicities and religions will attend.