Carnegie Mellon University
April 04, 2022

April is Celebrating Diversity Month

Dear Members of the College of Fine Arts,

This month, we recognize not only Diversity Month, but it also is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, National Alcohol Awareness Month, National Month of Hope and other important social issues and causes. When thinking about all this month holds, like religious and spiritual holidays, international days of symbolism, and the ending of another academic year, it is important to recognize all that has been accomplished to this point and all who are deserving of celebration.

April is a time to recognize and celebrate the beautiful tapestry of our unique cultures, backgrounds and rich traditions that comprise us all. It is more important than ever to celebrate diversity. In times of crisis and extreme uncertainty, sometimes our natural response is to lean into our unconscious bias and create more barriers between those we perceive as different. That is a reaction of fear. Instead of leaning into the fear, freeze and flight reactions, we should intentionally respond to these uncertain times and feelings by building community. As leaders, we must prioritize our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Creating meaningful interaction, opportunity and inclusion for all people, not just some. As a people, we are the intersectionality of race, ethnic origin and nationality, religion, spirituality and creed, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, ability, sizes, shapes, etc.

I invite you to take advantage of our College of Fine Arts programming this month as we highlight the diversity of our community, support the needs of those impacted by intimate partner violence, and center the responsibility to counter our biases.

Celebrating diversity not only boosts cultural awareness, but also – and most importantly – creates spaces of inclusion and belonging where people feel valued. My hope is to continue to eradicate the barriers that exist between us so that we may honor one another and foster an inclusive, healthy community. I hope you will join me in the celebration!

To those who celebrate: Ramadan Mubarak! Happy (early) Passover! Happy (early) Easter!

In community,

Valeria J. Martinez
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
College of Fine Arts