Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture are committed to serving all of Louisiana’s diverse citizens and students. It is imperative that we meet the needs of everyone and that our programs and employment are diverse, equitable and inclusive.
Diversity and Inclusion Champions will serve as a point of contact for students and fellow faculty in the College of Agriculture. They will be mentors, confidants, and advocates for students in their respective departments. Each champion will serve as a liaison between the students and/or Dean’s Office to the Department Heads and Faculty advisors in cases where inequitable treatment may have occurred.
The joint council advises our organizations on policies, programs and actions that support and guide our students, faculty, staff, partners, and communities in working toward a more diverse, safe, positive, equitable, and inclusive environment for all citizens of Louisiana regardless of their race, color, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or disability.
Enhancing diversity at LSU is a core institutional value. The LSU Office of Diversity’s
2020-22 Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap is divided into four subcategories that were the results of four separate subcommittees:
campus climate, faculty, students, and staff. Each subcategory is comprised of a set
of general recommendations. Also, visit the LSU Together website.
Dear Students and Recent Graduates,
We have often referred to our college atmosphere as a family. A family comes together in times of challenge, holds each other accountable, builds each other up, and provides a safe home for its members. We want you to know your College of Agriculture family is here and listening. As we uphold LSU’s mission, we will continue to be “dedicated to creating an inclusive and respectful environment that embraces individual differences in race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, spirituality, socioeconomic status, disability, family status, experiences, opinions, and ideas.”
The recent murders and acts of violence against the Black community in our country is unacceptable. What has been brought to light in the recent events represents years of oppression of the Black community, and it is not enough to passively oppose racist acts of violence or speech. As we think about our role within the lives of our students, we want our College of Agriculture family to know, we stand with you as you struggle to cope personally and fight for equity within society.
The staff members in the College of Agriculture Dean’s Office are committed to addressing racism and advocating for the students we serve. We know we have much work to do, and there is much more to this work than issuing a statement. We must be proactive and challenge ourselves to think about the community we create.
As cultural inclusion is a priority in the mission of LSU, we want to share with you some action steps we are taking as a staff and resources to use. We invite you to offer feedback and suggestions of how we can do more.
- The College of Agriculture Dean’s Office staff is participating in a workshop with guest speakers to lead a discussion on allyship and how we can use our roles to create an inclusive community for our students. The office staff has also organized weekly meetings to engage in discussions and reflection to rethink how we frame programming and support for our students of color.
- The LSU Office of Diversity recently hosted a virtual town hall meeting to give insight to how we can continue to work towards creating change towards acts of racism. Along with the LSU administration, the college promoted and attended the event to listen, learn, and be active in the discussion. We look forward to attending and promoting continued open discussions for our students, faculty, and staff so we can develop a vision for change.
- We are proud of our growing Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) chapter and the opportunity to see its members be recognized as leaders across our college and the nation as they participate in regional and national conferences. Our leadership is working with the members of MANRRS to develop more meaningful ways to support this outstanding organization and expand their membership.
- The College of Agriculture Dean’s Office is working to implement additional training and discussion opportunities regarding race, inclusion, and equity for key student leadership groups within the college, including the Les Voyageurs, Peer Mentors, and the Agriculture Student Association. We hope that by engaging our student leaders in these conversations, they will carry the message into other organizations and share with their peers.
- To those of you who have not personally experienced racism, you are now afforded the opportunity for some reflection and growth, and we would like to share some anti-racism resources. It is critical that we promote change that allows the Black community to thrive and advocate for Black Students. This starts with educating ourselves and doing some internal reflection.
We want you as students to feel comfortable in sharing your thoughts and feedback with our staff. Our doors are always open, even if that is in a virtual capacity via our Zoom rooms. Please reach out and share your voice so we can advocate for you. While we serve in an academic capacity, we have the ability to connect you with a support system that can assist with mental health counseling, group therapy, and general student advocacy. The College of Agriculture Dean’s Office staff is here for you.
As we reflect, we need to continue to listen carefully. We know these small steps are just a start to where we need to make committed efforts for change. The meaning of family in the college becomes void if we are not listening to, learning from, and making our home a safe place for all. We must acknowledge racial injustice and advocate for our students of color. We are here. We are listening, and we plan to stay in the conservation with you as long as it takes to get this right.
William B. Richardson
Dean, LSU College of Agriculture
LSU Vice President for Agriculture
June 12, 2020
Dear LSU AgCenter and College of Agriculture faculty and staff,
I am not only saddened by the events of recent weeks, but also frustrated that so many Americans are still experiencing the pain of racial inequalities. It is tragic that it has taken loss of lives to force us reexamine our justice and civil rights systems.
We must acknowledge injustices exist and actively work to address them when we encounter them in all forms. We cannot ignore discrimination and must examine our own biases and actions that might propagate inequality.
The AgCenter and College of Ag need to explore actions and implement change that confront racism and promote diversity and inclusion more effectively within our organization. These actions will provide support for minority colleagues, students, and staff, as well as the communities and families we serve.
- Empower a joint AgCenter and College diversity council to help tackle issues related to race, gender, equal opportunity and disability.
- Conduct open workshops and training that foster diversity and inclusion.
- Develop an educational module on diversity, equity, and inclusion to be used in courses and new employee orientation.
- Include in strategic plans a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion creating a safe and welcoming environment for learning, research and outreach.
We have an opportunity to listen to each other and do a better job of realizing that our experiences are not necessarily the same as our coworkers, friends, neighbors, and others in our community. We must make sure that the learning and work environment is safe and inclusive.
The LSU AgCenter has long been committed to serving all of Louisiana’s diverse citizens. Now, it is more imperative than ever that we meet the needs of everyone and that our programs and employment are diverse, equitable and inclusive.
2020 has tested us physically and emotionally — from COVID-19, social distancing and virtual work, classes and programs to social unrest and racial tensions across the nation. The AgCenter and College of Ag will become stronger as we work through these challenges, foster change, be held accountable and create a welcoming environment for everyone.
Be safe and keep up the great work of educating students and providing information to the citizens of Louisiana.
William B. Richardson
LSU Vice President for Agriculture
June 11, 2020
We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion enrich the educational experience of our students, faculty, and staff, and are necessary to prepare all people to thrive personally and professionally in a global society. Therefore, LSU is firmly committed to an environment that affords respect to all members of our community. We will work to eliminate barriers that any members of our community experience.
To make LSU a place where that can happen, we must recognize and reflect on the inglorious aspects of our history. We now acknowledge the need to confront the ways racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, classism, LGBTQ+ phobia, intolerance based on religion or on national origin, and all forms of bias and exploitation have shaped our everyday lives.
We accept personal and professional responsibility to eliminate bias and oppression wherever they are found. We understand our obligation to speak up when we see bias whether it be in our teaching, study, or daily work. Our community will educate themselves proactively and continuously about how to intervene and bring bias to the attention of others with commitment and compassion.
We will hold ourselves accountable for our actions and inactions, and for maintaining intentional, measurable, and meaningful efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, including through ongoing evaluation of our policies, practices, and procedures.
MANRRS, (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences)
MANRRS at LSU members promote the advancement of members of ethnic and cultural groups
that are underrepresented in agricultural and related sciences. MANRRS is a national
society that welcomes members from all racial and ethnic groups interested in careers
in agricultural and related sciences. MANRRS supports professional development of
minorities through its network, acting as a springboard for entry into and advancement
of careers. The organization helps establish partnerships among its student and professional
members while promoting scholarly achievement in a nurturing environment.
Find MANRRS on TigerLink
Tigers for Cultivating Change
Tigers for Cultivating Change is established for the expressed purpose of providing a safe, inclusive network for students interested in agricultural sciences who are a part of or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Focusing efforts on advocacy, education, and community, this organization will strive to promote inclusion and visibility for LGBTQ+ individuals within the College of Agriculture and larger Louisiana State University community.
Vice President's Diversity Graduate Assistantship
The LSU College of Agriculture has established The Vice President’s Diversity Graduate
Assistantship for African-American students. This program’s goal is to increase and
enhance diversity, equity and inclusivity into the graduate programs of the College
of Agriculture and will include four $25,000 assistantships to support funding for
Ph.D. graduate students.
Learn more about the assistantship
The Ag Fellows program is one of our premier initiatives to recognize and recruit the top underserved scholars in this country. It is our goal as a land-grant university to educate the most diverse student body to address the complex global challenges we face today.
Learn about the 2020 Ag Fellows event here. Applications for 2021 Ag Fellows event will open in Fall 2021.
Questions about Ag Fellows? Contact Henry Hebert, Manager of Recruitment, firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional University Resources
For additional resources, please visit the LSU Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
LSU Inclusive Communications Toolkit
One key thing to know when creating messages about sensitive subject matter is that
it is important to be mindful of the language you’re using, but that no message can
ever be created so perfectly that no one is able to find some issue with it. If someone
does object to a well-intentioned post, always begin by listening carefully to the
issue raised as well as the worldview that it represents. The person speaking out
may have good insight or may be feeling pain from a personal experience and simply
needs the opportunity to be heard, but substantive and thoughtful revision may also
Download LSU Diversity Toolkit
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Modules
The LSU College of Agriculture has developed resource modules focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These modules serve as a tool that will continuously reviewed and expanded on to provide further educational opportunities for members of the CoA. The purpose of the resource modules is to help promote the principles of what it means to be inclusive to every member of our LSU family. By taking part in exploring these resources you are demonstrating your pride in LSU and upholding your commitment to the LSU community. If you are interested in enrolling in the modules or would like more information, please email Dr. Amanda Martin at email@example.com.