Assistant Director of College Counseling Curtis Johnson explained the goals of the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to students and faculty during X-Block today.
“I truly feel it may be the largest committee in the history of committees because we are all members,” he said. “My hope is for all to contribute in a meaningful way.” Launched this summer after a June 2 videoconference with about 45 black alumni and members of the faculty and administration, the DEI Committee meets biweekly to address the following goals relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion:
Identify current strengths and needs at MUS.
Seek input from the school community.
Seek advice from the greater Memphis community; establish relationships.
Develop units for faculty professional development.
Develop programming for students.
Identify curricular opportunities.
Make recommendations to the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.
Johnson also highlighted the Owls Read program as a curricular opportunity. The all-school read features two works by Dr. Martin Luther King: “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and the “I Have a Dream” speech. The school community will engage in a year-long consideration of the year 1963, when King wrote these works.
“The collective knowledge and interests of our faculty will provide both breadth and depth of thought about that moment in time,” he said.
Before joining the College Counseling Office in 2019, Johnson served as senior assistant director of admission at University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in art and had a distinguished gridiron career, serving as starting quarterback for three years. In addition, he was involved with the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion training and recruitment.