GGC has launched a DEI initiative called OneGGC to encourage a sense of unity and inclusivity amongst students and faculty.
Jarmon DeSadier, Executive Director in the Office of Diversity and Equity Compliance, knew something had to be done in support of inclusion in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the victim of a police brutality incident in Minnesota.
“He wanted the campus community to know that ‘difference’ doesn’t equal ‘division,’” Jacqueline Todd, Director of Public Relations, said in a public statement.
In the midst of a divided world, The Globe sat down with DeSadier to talk about how the OneGGC initiative may benefit GGC.
“The overarching goal is to support the basic tenant or idea,” DeSadier said, “that the achievement of diversity, equity, and inclusion are guiding principles in every aspect of Georgia Gwinnett College.”
A video released earlier this year showcases an array of students and faculty, all discussing their different attributes, but ultimately ending with the phrase, “I am GGC.”
“It’s larger than race. It’s larger than gender. It’s larger than socioeconomic class,” DeSadier said. “No matter what our differences are, as a collective, we are still one GGC.”
DeSadier also wanted to use this initiative to continue the preservation and support of GGC’s diverse campus population.
“It’s great that we have a diverse campus, but we need to focus on what we’re doing to support our diverse students and diverse faculty and staff on our campus,” DeSadier said. “We need to continue to do things to show we have an institution of commitment to inclusion.”
Dr. Jan Joseph, President of GGC, echoed the same sentiment in the promotional video of OneGGC.
“We consider this distinction an honor,” she said about the campus’ diverse population. “As it challenges us to embrace the greatness that makes us all unique individuals.”
To DeSadier, the entirety of the initiative is to help students feel a sense of belonging while they are on campus.
“My goal, bigger than anything else, is to make sure that every student that comes onto this campus does feel welcomed and does feel supported,” he said. “And knows when they don’t feel welcomed, we are here to ensure they do.”
The initiative itself will be broken into phases. The first phase was specific to faculty that was completed earlier this semester. The second phase, which is beginning now, includes a DEI training session that has been made available to students.