Listen to the People who Know What Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Really Mean
The following remarks were offered by LFA President Tobin F. Terry at the February 2, 2023 meeting of the Lakeland Community College Board of Trustees.
Dr. Beverage, Chairperson Rispoli, and Lakeland Board of Trustees, thank you for the opportunity to speak. I am Tobin Terry, Professor of English and President of the Lakeland Faculty Association.
I’ll start by welcoming Mr. Cornachio and Mr. Rupert to the board and welcome back Ms. Vitaz and Dr. Beverage. I look forward to working with you all.
I also acknowledge the basketball teams, and personally thank them for embodying Lakeland’s winning spirit. Watching them with my children has been meaningful and inspiring.
I’ve addressed the board many times over the last several months regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity and the meaning of those words and their impact on our students.
Mr. Hebebrand visited our classes last semester and testified to the level of true education that is provided here at Lakeland. With help from the President’s office, you have now been provided a list of classes from all over the college that faculty are formally and personally inviting you, our trustees, to attend.
Please come see for yourself the true education that has been made possible for our students in an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment.
Finally, I continue to urge the board, as Trustee Frager did before his departure, to change the structure of the special committee to allow for representatives from Lakeland’s students, staff, and faculty.
Individual trustees, in board meetings and in the press, have stated that the special committee was formed because the board wants to understand what inclusion, equity, and diversity mean at Lakeland. This is an admirable goal, and it is one that cannot be accomplished unless the people who have that information and who are most affected by the board’s decisions are part of the conversation.
Thank you for your time, attention, and leadership.