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All In: Spartan Stories of Belonging

Jabbar Bennett paint splatter effect

All In: Spartan Stories of Belonging

We invited Spartans from across the globe to share their personal perspectives on acceptance, authenticity and inviting others in. This is what they had to say.

Introduction by Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D.

There is no one archetype of a Spartan. Each member of our community is multidimensional— possessing a complex intersectional identity of qualities and beliefs. But this is also a community that observes the world from all sides and values the multitude of diverse voices and viewpoints. A community that’s strong enough to be different together.

In East Lansing, I am constantly inspired by each stride we make in promoting inclusion across all groups—students and employees alike. As a campus community, I think about inclusion in the classroom and residence halls, as well as our co-curricular spaces. This, after all, is where fellowship is created. We look forward to the promise of the campus multicultural center, which will provide a place for students to socialize and realize that fellowship, uncover new ideas and engage in community and cultural celebrations.

Beyond campus, I draw inspiration from the abundance of alums who advocate for individuals, communities and issues that demonstrate a commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. And those mentoring students or providing professional development opportunities to underrepresented groups. The Spartan leaders who invite discussion about differences and amplify the experiences of folks who are perceived to be different. Personally, I am inspired by my own experiences as an underrepresented individual growing up in the South. And the lived experiences of my parents and many others, who endured segregation and did not have access to the places and spaces where I find myself today.  

The Spartans who have contributed their voices to the pages ahead are outstanding examples of our commitment to belonging. Their endeavors are helping to build a world where our identities seamlessly intersect, and we can all be different together.

Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D. Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Professor of Medicine, College of Human Medicine.

Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D.
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
Professor of Medicine, College of Human Medicine.

 


Contributing Writer(s): Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D. Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer

All In: Spartan Stories of Belonging


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