Biola launches Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion shared their current plans containing 16 initiatives and four goals.

Amber Chen, Freelancer

On March 26, Biola officially launched its Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan inside of Biola’s very own Calvary Chapel. This historic event was welcomed by President Barry Corey and Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Malone who introduced the theme “Unity Amidst Diversity.”

“We must take intentional steps to implement this vital work within our community, as we seek to reflect the breadth and the depth of the diversity, yet unified body of Christ,” Malone said. “Let us commit ourselves to striving together toward maturity, growing together in the fullness of Christ, and remaining anchored in our unchanging Lord.” 

Members of the President’s Cabinet, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion and Talbot School of Theology described the 16 initiatives and the importance of what it means for Biola to live out unity amidst diversity. 

THE FOUR E’S 

After a semester-long vetting process, the plan was approved by Biola’s advisory board members.

The current strategic plan consists of 16 initiatives under four goals: embrace, equip, engage and expand. The goal of embrace seeks for all members of the Biola community to accept and understand biblical diversity on campus. The goal of equip is to provide faculty and staff with tools to better support diversity education. The goal of engage is to focus on students’ diversity education to prepare them for an increasingly diverse world. Lastly, the goal of expand seeks to increase and broaden the accessibility in all levels of the community from diverse backgrounds. 

“Our Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan is a comprehensive plan which involves departments throughout the university. It’s also imperative that each individual in our community commits to playing their part in creating God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.” Malone said. “Lastly, I wanna encourage all of us to pray that God would give us the courage we need to live our unity amidst diversity.”  

BIOLA’S PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 

“The idea of a reconciling community started when Biola started, founded to be a welcoming Christain institution,” Corey said. 

Corey explained that the importance of the new plan is grounded in Scripture. In the past few years, the Board of Trustees called into question how Biola could act biblically on diversity and inclusion to one another with different backgrounds. 

“As a Christian institution within higher education, we recognize that diversity is key to living out who we are and who we are striving to be,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Deborah Taylor. “When we talk about diversity, it reaches beyond race and ethnicity to cultural values, socioeconomics status, sex, visible and invisible disabilities, age, native language, church denomination and so much more.” 

The university serves students, faculty and staff in multiple ways through the Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development, Intercultural Education, Research and Assessment, Diversity Education and Training, and faculty diversity initiatives and well-being to ensure all of the members of the community are flourishing.  

“I believe we have a strong diversity team at Biola and we are building upon our solid, biblically centered approach as we head into the future,” Corey said. “We are not going to talk about it[reconciliation and diversity] less, [and] we are going to talk about it more centered on Scripture and not less. ” 

Corey explained the community’s faith is strengthened when they live and learn alongside students from various communities, families and churches. Each person feels their contribution is valued when there is intentional listening happening.

 “Together, let’s build a faculty and a staff community that supports the university mission by engaging students in hard conversations and relevant topics that prepare them to impact the diverse world for Christ,” Corey said. “We must move forward and we must move forward together.”

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