Cultivating Community and True Belonging
February 26, 2021
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Last week, the programming and activities surrounding educational access served as a reminder of the unique contributions and needs of first-generation, low-income, and other underserved student groups, and our essential role in removing barriers. As part of that programming, I asked that we highlight some members of our community who exemplify our shared values of inclusion and educational access. As both Chancellor and a graduate of this university, I am very proud of the dedication and commitment evident in the quotes shared. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and specifically thank Dr. Lisa Sanon-Jules, Dr. Michelle Shostack, Rebecca Reynolds, Kevin Ewell, Afsheen Shamsi, Michelle Smith, Susan Romano, Karima Woodyard, Barbara Blackwell, Dr. Geraldine Cochran, Justin Kelley, Stacey Blackwell, Lindsay Jeffers, and Priscilla Pineda for their work and commitment.
Earlier this week, I shared an email reiterating my full support of the university’s diversity strategic planning process. While there is much work ahead to ensure that our policies and practices support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the Access Week faculty and staff highlights serve as a reminder that there are individuals in our community who have already been productively engaged in this work.
Dr. King reminded us: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.” I would like to thank everyone who has supported DEI initiatives at Rutgers, even when it was not the popular thing to do. And as I further develop an understanding of DEI, I have a deeper appreciation for the invisible labor involved in cultivating community and true belonging. I remain committed to this essential work, and I will continue to highlight members of our community who uphold our shared Rutgers Knights Call values by exemplifying authenticity, inclusivity, responsibility, resiliency, and engagement. In the coming months, you can expect to see more initiatives designed to recognize such outstanding members of “R” community.
Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D. (PHARM '77, GSNB '87)
Chancellor, Rutgers–New Brunswick