An essential aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion work is closing the gap between our ideals and our daily practices. It is common that our ideal self — who we think we are and who we will be in any given moment — is not consistent with what actually happens in real life. Engaging the here and now is a commitment to bridging that gap, both by attempting to rise to our highest expectations and also by being realistic about our capacity. If we wait for perfection to take our first steps, we can inadvertently stall important work. It is essential that we maintain motivation and move forward. This work often requires difficult mental and emotional struggle to convert complex and abstract ideas into concrete actions.
At Oregon State, engaging the here and now may look like a faculty member translating the insights of their scholarship into tangible policies and practices that benefit our community. It may also look like any member of our community being more honest with themselves and acknowledging incongruence in their values, attitudes and behaviors and acknowledging similar inconsistencies in others.
Individually, learning in this dimension may look like increasing our ethical self-awareness and expanding our knowledge of diverse worldviews. We may improve our ability to reason and reflect on the ethics of our policies and practices and in turn, collaboratively problem solve to resolve inequity. We may also feel greater responsibility to confront and reconcile inconsistency in ourselves and others. As a community, when we learn together, we take steps toward realizing our highest ideals.