According to the institute’s website, it was founded to bring together people from and around OU to “share, learn, and rigorously explore salient issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Each year, the institute follows a particular theme throughout the program that allows participants to engage and reflect on making the community more inclusive and equitable.
Duane Bruce, executive director of Diversity and Inclusion at OU, said this year’s programming marks the institute’s fourth year.
“The Institute was launched under the direction of Dr. Gigi Secuban in the spring of 2019 when she assumed the inaugural role of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion,” Bruce said in an email. “More than 210 members of the University and local communities have registered for the DLI.”
The program began with a discussion led by guest speakers Lara Trubowitz and Tabari A. Coleman that took place from 9:30 am to 11:00 am via Microsoft Teams.
Bruce opened the event and OU President Hugh Sherman delivered opening remarks. Sherman spoke of the students who organized the town hall meeting in response to recent racial hate crimes on campus and praised the students for voicing their concerns.