Dr. Dedriell Taylor, Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at WVWC, was invited to participate in the 2021 summit. / Submitted photo

Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion represents WVWC at statewide DEI Summit

BUCKHANNON — On Thursday, Oct. 7, West Virginia Wesleyan College was the only institution of higher education represented at the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s (GKVF) second summit on issues of race and racism in West Virginia. According to the GKVF website, the primary goal of the summit was to “discuss race in a comprehensive, collaborative and compassionate manner.”

The first summit hosted by the foundation in 2020 featured internationally recognized scholars on race and racism in U.S. history. After the first summit’s diagnosis of the issues created by racism in the United States and in West Virginia, the second summit was designed to focus on the DEI efforts of businesses and organizations across the state. The Summit was subtitled “Awareness to Action: Focusing on Solutions” and invited speakers were asked to discuss the efforts their organizations are making to remedy racial disparities in their professional environments. Questions for the summit were solicited from registered audience members before the Summit began, and speakers were asked to respond to a selection of those questions throughout the event.

Dr. Dedriell Taylor, Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at WVWC, was invited to participate in the 2021 summit. On a panel with the mayor of Charleston and a representative from the West Virginia Department of Education, Dr. Taylor spoke to the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion on Wesleyan’s campus with her appointment as the first person to hold the title Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

As the only representative of an institution of higher education on either of the evening’s panels, Taylor discussed her vision for DEI at the college. She also catalogued the work that the Office of DEI has accomplished since she arrived in February 2021. Her vision of DEI work at Wesleyan is one that is student-driven. She described many demands and desires that students have to see themselves represented better in curriculum, in the classroom and across campus. Several of the efforts to work toward those goals have begun in conversations between student groups like the Black Student Union and PRISM (WVWC’s Queer-Straight Alliance) with Wesleyan’s staff and faculty.

Taylor stressed her commitment to supporting marginalized student populations on campus with resources, programming, and leadership from her office. Partnering with organizations focused on justice, such as the Center for Restorative Justice gives her hope that DEI priorities can be shared across campus and not be limited to the sole purview of the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The GKVF explained that “while all West Virginians are integral to moving the state forward, Black West Virginians face systemic barriers.” The goal of the summits is to contribute to addressing the barriers faced by Black West Virginians in “meaningful, sustainable and transformational” ways.

Taylor made it clear that the students are capable of identifying their own needs and driving the conversation in the direction they need it to go in order for them to have their best experiences on campus and make campus better for students who follow in their footsteps. Responding to the final question of the evening, Taylor ended the panel on an aspirational note, by expressing her hopefulness that partnering with organizations and departments across campus would ensure that racially diverse students, queer students and international students would all feel equally comfortable and supported in their academic and professional pursuits.

SHOPS & SERVICES

Featured

Fish Hawk Acres invites the community to events this August

BUCKHANNON – Mark your calendar: Fish Hawk Acres will offer several exciting events throughout the summer months. Experience the fun and fine dining of Fish Hawk Acres through their Wine Clubs and Farm Dinner Series.

All eyes on the checkered flag at Elkins Raceway

KERENS – With three weeks remaining of the regular racing season at Elkins Raceway, drivers are not slowing down. The 2022 Season Championship is just around the corner. The August 6 feature race winners are

Upshur school board honors teachers, makes it easier for public to comment at meetings

TENNERTON – During Tuesday’s Upshur County Board of Education meeting, several teachers were honored for helping make Upshur County Schools a great place for learning, and the board also made it easier for the public to comment at meetings. The […]

Support the awesome local author of this story and unlock unlimited access to exclusive articles posted every single day. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Police arrest employee for allegedly stealing catalytic converter from tow company lot

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested Thursday for allegedly attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a vehicle on his employer’s tow lot. Justin Knicely, 25, of Buckhannon was arrested for grand larceny. According to the criminal complaint in […]

Support the awesome local author of this story and unlock unlimited access to exclusive articles posted every single day. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

SHOPS & SERVICES

All eyes on the checkered flag at Elkins Raceway

KERENS – With three weeks remaining of the regular racing season at Elkins Raceway, drivers are not slowing down. The 2022 Season Championship is just around the corner. The August 6 feature race winners are

BUHS Golf Feature Image

Golf Bucs place fourth at six-team Stonewall event

WESTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur golf team placed fourth out of six teams Wednesday evening at the Stonewall Resort in their second outing of the year. The Bucs carded a 391 over the 18 holes. Bridgeport, which had the top four […]

Support the awesome local author of this story and unlock unlimited access to exclusive articles posted every single day. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

SHOPS & SERVICES

On the City Calendar: Week of Aug. 8

All meetings will be held in Council Chambers, Buckhannon City Hall, 70 E Main St, Buckhannon, WV 26201, unless otherwise noted. Monday, August 8, 2022 Water Department Service Interruption Alert ⋅ 5:00amThe Buckhannon Water Department

Thank you for reading this story. Our sponsors make My Buckhannon possible. Show 'em some love!
First Community Bank - Community Xpress