Reimagining Inclusion

Dr. Tina DeNeen |
October 19, 2021
  • AACRAO Leadership and Governance
  • Press Snapshot
  • Strategic Planning

“Reimagine engagement and community, through both digital and in-person modalities, for the membership of diverse professionals who have a variety of roles and complex responsibilities.”

As we asked our members what the road ahead looks like for AACRAO, this was one of the responses. You -- our members -- are asking us to meet you where you are by providing the tools you need to help you 1) become better at your job and 2) better support your students. 

Why? Because you’re meeting your students where they are. You’re installing hot spots in parking lots so Native American and rural students can access their Zoom classes in their cars. With inadequate funding, you’re building culturally sustaining practices into your support services and classroom instruction.

As your association, we can do the same for you. We learned a lot hosting our first virtual Annual Meeting earlier this year. Most importantly, we learned that we can do this. We can change our way of working to create better processes for ourselves that better serve all of you, not just our members who have the financial support necessary to attend our in-person meetings but all of you.

AACRAO defines inclusion as a practice where all are valued and heard, and where respect is expected and achieved.

We realize this through creating and sustaining relationships based on equity, respect, collaboration, and community where all have the opportunity to thrive. So, we have to ask ourselves, how does each community define thriving and who, indeed, is? And, how do we leverage our partnerships with other associations, with our State and Regionals, and with our corporate partners to ensure we’re able to build our parking lot hot spot equivalent so all have access? 

As we work toward achieving this goal, I start by simply asking you to vote. AACRAO Elections are underway and end on November 19. Those selected for the Board lead us as we do the work of reimagining engagement and community. We have already seen that aligning our goals with a partner like CollegeSource can bring us member tools like the new Higher Ed Policy Central Database. Still, we have much more to do and look forward to reimagining inclusion.

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