BYU President Kevin J Worthen announced Monday, Aug. 23, the formation of a new Office of Belonging at Brigham Young University led by a vice-president level official who will be a member of the president’s council.
The new office will focus on helping campus members achieve the community of belonging outlined in a newly created statement on belonging while coordinating and enhancing belonging services and efforts on campus, according to a BYU press release.
The announcement of the new Office of Belonging follows an in-depth report from BYU’s Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging completed in February.
Expressing appreciation to the members of this committee for responding to the call “to review processes, laws and organizational attitudes regarding racism and root them out once and for all,” President Worthen said the president’s council determined from the report that a necessary first step was to establish a framework for evaluating the various recommendations.
“The framework would not only provide guiding principles for evaluating the recommendations and measuring our progress, but also set forth a vision of our end goal — what we hoped our campus community would become,” he said.
The resulting statement on belonging will provide “the constitution, if you will, for our efforts” and also be “the guide for addressing the needs of all marginalized individuals on campus.”
Statement on belonging:
“We are united by our common primary identity as children of God (Acts 17:29; Psalm 82:6) and our commitment to the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (BYU Mission Statement). We strive to create a community of belonging composed of students, faculty, and staff whose hearts are knit together in love (Mosiah 18:21) where:
- “All relationships reflect devout love of God and a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor (BYU Mission Statement);
- “We value and embrace the variety of individual characteristics, life experiences and circumstances, perspectives, talents, and gifts of each member of the community and the richness and strength they bring to our community (1 Corinthians 12:12–27);
- “Our interactions create and support an environment of belonging (Ephesians 2:19); and
- “The full realization of each student’s divine potential is our central focus (BYU Mission Statement).”
Additional details about the Office of Belonging and the appointment of a new vice president are forthcoming. Read more at news.byu.edu.