I have often pondered whether UCLA's True Bruin Values are in harmony with equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts, and I would like to share my reflections with you.
UCLA's True Bruin Values encompass respect, accountability, integrity, service and excellence, and they hold significant importance within the university's culture, guiding the conduct of students, faculty and staff. But how do these values align with EDI efforts?
When considering the significance of our True Bruin values and EDI endeavors, I firmly believe that inclusion and a sense of belonging are key elements in building a community. It involves helping individuals envision themselves as an integral part of UCLA whenever they look at the institution. Exceptional institutions leverage the full spectrum of ideas, experiences, backgrounds and personalities to create a vibrant and inclusive community. Ultimately, diversity not only enriches UCLA as a fascinating place but also enhances the learning environment for everyone.
In regard to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), UCLA demonstrates a strong commitment to promoting these principles on campus. EDI has become an integral aspect of numerous educational institutions, including UCLA, and is a central focus in fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the campus community.
Let's explore how each True Bruin Value aligns with EDI:
- Respect: Valuing respect entails treating all individuals with dignity and acknowledging the significance of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. It fosters an inclusive environment where everyone's contributions are recognized and appreciated.
- Accountability: Holding oneself accountable is crucial in promoting EDI. This value encourages individuals to take responsibility for their actions and strive for fairness and equality in their decisions and interactions.
- Integrity: Upholding integrity means acting with honesty and ethics. Emphasizing integrity helps ensure that actions are in line with EDI principles, promoting a campus culture that values diversity and inclusion.
- Service: Service is about giving back to the community and supporting others. By embracing service, UCLA encourages initiatives that address the needs of diverse communities and advance equity and inclusion.
- Excellence: Striving for excellence can be connected to EDI by recognizing and celebrating the achievements and contributions of individuals from all backgrounds and identities.
In essence, while the True Bruin Values may not explicitly mention equity, diversity and inclusion, the core principles behind these values are aligned with creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community. By embracing these values, UCLA aims to foster an environment where all members of the university community feel welcomed, valued, and empowered to succeed. By respecting individuals from various backgrounds and promoting excellence in education, research and service, institutions like UCLA can better achieve their EDI goals.
Incorporating the True Bruin Values into EDI efforts reinforces the commitment to creating a campus culture that celebrates diversity, addresses systemic barriers and ensures that all members of the community have equitable access to opportunities and resources. By actively promoting these values, UCLA can continue to cultivate a supportive and inclusive environment that empowers individuals from diverse backgrounds to thrive and succeed.
Associate Director, Housing-Dining