Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are important to FPU:
“Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” –1 John 3:18
The epistle of 1 John calls on followers of Christ to pursue truth-telling and to take action. In light of a 400-year history of white supremacist actions, policies, and systems that have disproportionately harmed black and brown bodies in the United States while perpetuating oppression against other minoritized populations on the basis of religion, national origin, ability, and other identities, the “love” for which 1 John calls can feel like a distant dream. The systemic racism and injustice that pervade cultures, societies, churches, and even higher education institutions like Fresno Pacific University have no place in the vision of God’s Reign that Jesus preached in his lifetime. As the Fresno Pacific University community, we emphatically condemn racism in all its forms, boldly engaging in the prophetic task of “engaging in…critique of contemporary culture and practice” (The FPU Idea).
Dismantling systemic racism and injustice will be a long and difficult journey. Nonetheless, the Fresno Pacific University community is committed to following the teachings of Christ and the Apostle Paul who urged believers to take up the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). For this reason, we are devoted to taking tangible steps to dismantling systemic injustice and oppression, beginning with our very own campuses. Every member of the Fresno Pacific University community deserves to be seen, heard, and respected.
Long-Term Diversity Goals:
- Environment: Cultivate an equitable Christian University environment that actively celebrates diversity and values differences.
- Infrastructure: Build and maintain an infrastructure and leadership structure that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion at individual and systemic levels while reflecting Christian values consistent with the FPU Idea.
- Integration: Enhance the cultural competence and humility of FPU’s Community of Learners through the integration of diversity, equity, and inclusive practices in all areas of teaching, learning, research, training, and leadership development.
- Employee Success: Prioritize and actively recruit, employ, and retain a diverse workforce.
- Partnerships: Embody FPU’s prophetic witness by cultivating internal and external partnerships that strengthen FPU’s commitment to serving and working with diverse populations.
“Diversity is core to Fresno Pacific’s Identity. As a Christian University, we’re driven by the gospel to become a community of learners where people of all backgrounds, types, and experiences are welcome."
President Joseph Jones, Ph.D.
"The theological idea of the 'imago dei' grounds our commitment to diversity. At FPU, we share the belief that each individual has value that is matched by the diversity that defines our shared humanity. Our commitment at FPU is to faithfully work towards creating a world that is equitable, inclusive, and honoring to our Creator. At FPU, we strive to model what Shirley Hoogstra defines as a 'unifying grace.'"
D. Gayle Copeland, Ph.D., Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs