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Dr. Elizabeth A. Moore appointed Interim Chief Diversity Officer

August 10, 2020

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Dear campus community:

This morning, after much reflection and thought, Dr. Elavie Ndura informed me that she is resigning as Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. I am very appreciative of her service to Gallaudet University. She was instrumental in establishing the infrastructure of our Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and in her efforts for our anti-racism work.

Dr. Ndura wishes to share a message with the community.

—–

Dear Campus Community:

It is with mixed emotions that I address you today to let you know I am resigning from Gallaudet University. While I have taken so much from my time in this community, I think it is the right time for me to focus on other goals and next steps.

A little over three years ago, my professional path led me to Gallaudet University as I accepted the responsibility of leading Gallaudet University’s quest for inclusive excellence as Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. In this capacity, I had countless opportunities to learn about the Deaf community and cultures. I worked with executive colleagues, faculty, staff, and students who inspired me. I developed an inclusive excellence framework that became a roadmap towards inclusive excellence, and bolstered Gallaudet community’s commitments to creating a learning and working environment that supports the belonging, well-being and success of everyone. I engaged hundreds of community members in cross-cultural conversations and implicit bias training. Most importantly, I led the development of the University’s Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan. In light of the elevated Black Lives Matter movement, I led the Gallaudet’s Stand Against Systemic Racism and Violence initiative, thus paving the way for the important work of advancing racial justice.

There is much more work to be done, and I trust that the community will come together to make that progress under the leadership of Dr. Moore.

I am deeply grateful to my EDI colleagues for journeying with me on the Gallaudet path. I am grateful to all the interpreters who supported my work and learning. I am grateful to my Executive Team colleagues for the opportunity to share a seat at the table.

I trust that our paths will cross again.

Peace,

Dr. Elavie Ndura
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer (2017-2020)

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Again, we thank Dr. Ndura and wish her well in her future endeavors.

We know how important the success of this role is to the success of our community. We know that the time is now to ensure the success of our EDI work. As a result, we elected to select an Interim Chief Diversity Officer to ensure that we accelerate our progress rather than conduct a national search immediately that could take months to conclude and leave the role vacant. As a result, I have appointed Dr. Elizabeth A. Moore, ’81, G-’94, & PhD ’11, as Interim Chief Diversity Officer.

Given Dr. Moore’s career-long commitment to ensuring community access and equity as a social worker and as a faculty member, and her undying commitment to the university, she is an ideal fit. Dr. Moore’s recent involvement in the University Anti-racism journey, including her leading an in-depth assessment of the Department of Public Safety, will complement her work as our Interim Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Moore has graciously accepted this new challenge, and I thank her for answering the call.

We will conduct a national search for a permanent Chief Diversity Office. Please rest assured that we will involve all stakeholders.

Interim Chief Diversity Officer Moore also wishes to share a message with the community.

—–

Dr. Elizabeth A. Moore, ’81, G-’94, & PhD ’11
Interim Chief Diversity Officer

Thank you, President Cordano. I am humbled and honored to accept the position of Interim Chief Diversity Officer. I do not take lightly the responsibility that comes with this role. Our road to making Gallaudet a place free from racism, audism, and other -isms will be one that will require every single one of us – the Executive Team, the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, managers, administrators, alumni, and other community stakeholders – to engage and collaborate. It will require each of us to do what the recently deceased Congressman John R. Lewis advised: “Get yourself in good trouble, necessary trouble.” What does it mean?

  • Together, we need to do the hard work to:
  • admit how we have gotten to where we are,
  • investigate our own privileges and make individual changes in behavior,
  • have difficult, uncomfortable conversations,
  • look at how our systems and policies contribute to Black Deaf, Black hearing, and other diverse people have not been set up for success, and
  • act, act, and act to remediate.

You must get yourself involved in the Gallaudet community to combat injustices. There is a way for everyone to contribute. We must roll up our sleeves and collaborate to promote equality and inclusiveness in the Gallaudet system.

Many of us go through stages of transition: anger, confusion, depression, acceptance, soul searching, and the birth of a new person. Some examples of this are when some of us:

  • participated in the Black Lives Matter movement,
  • sent letters to Gallaudet expressing our feelings and thoughts,
  • made vlogs or had online meetings to have discussions, and
  • sat down and conversed with each other.

When you are ready, please join President Cordano and me in this transformative journey and move onward and upward. Again, I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with the Gallaudet community soon.

—–

Sincerely,

Roberta J. Cordano
President

10 August 2020

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