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Over 250 members of the Carolina Community signed the pledge to support and promote diversity and inclusion with the workplaces and in their communities after participating in the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Unconscious Bias bus tour in February. Now, Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has officially signed the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s pledge to do the same – joining over 50 other academic institutions and associations as well as 500 CEOs and presidents in over 80 industries.

Guskiewicz said of the signing the pledge on behalf of the University, “[T]his pledge is a promise, to myself and the University community, to foster an atmosphere and environment where everyone feels included, represented and respected. It’s a commitment to lead by example. When our words and actions align, we are a community that is welcoming to all.”

Specifically, the pledge commits to the following three initial goals that aim to catalyze further conversation, collaboration and action around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. While the language of the pledge was written initially for those in the business world, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – along with over 50 other academic institutions and associations – share in our commitment to these goals, and will tackle them accordingly.

  1. We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex and sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion:We will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where our people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating any incongruence with these values of openness, we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
  2. We will implement and expand unconscious bias education:Experts tell us that we all have unconscious biases — that is human nature. Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing any potential blind spots they might have, but weren’t aware of previously. We will commit to rolling out and/or expanding unconscious bias education within our companies in the form that best fits our specific culture and business. By helping our employees recognize and minimize their blind spots, we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations. Additionally, we will make non-proprietary unconscious bias education modules available to others free of charge.
  3. We will share best—and unsuccessful—practices:Each of our companies has established programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion. Yet, we know that many companies are still developing their strategies. We will commit to helping other companies evolve and enhance their current diversity strategies and encourage them, in turn, to share their successes and challenges with others.

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 Written by Adrianne Gibilisco

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