When it comes to fostering inclusion, diversity, and understanding, UMPI Owls are taking a stand. More than 400 individuals from across campus took part in the University’s first-ever Stand Together Week, held on March 21-23 on the main campus, and in early April at the Houlton Higher Education Center.
During Stand Together Week, individuals were invited to sign a six-foot-high version of the newly created UMPI Inclusion and Diversity Pledge and ask questions about the group behind the effort, the recently-established UMPI Inclusion and Civility Task Force.
UMPI President Ray Rice established the task force in late 2016, in large part to address student concerns about safe spaces, civil discourse and ensuring all voices are heard. The group has since established its purpose, mission, and charge.
“We’ve been working hard to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, inclusion and civility because it is incredibly important for UMPI to be a place that is welcoming to all members of its campus community, a place where we all feel we have a voice that can be heard,” President Rice said.
Stand Together Week introduced the campus community to the work the task force is doing and helped to make a statement about UMPI Owls’ commitment to each other. Pledge signatories received pocket pledges and silicone bracelets with the task force’s tagline “Owl Stand By You” imprinted on them.
More efforts from the task force are forthcoming, including a student-produced video featuring people from across campus reciting the pledge line by line that will soon be made available on social media.
For more information about the Inclusion and Civility Task Force or Stand Together Week, visit www.umpi.edu/owlstandbyyou.