Office of Inclusive Community
The University of Central Oklahoma recognizes the university's main campus is located on the traditional lands of the Caddo and Wichita people. Visit the UCO Land Acknowledgement website to learn more.
The Office of Inclusive Community’s mission is to plan, lead and implement, in collaboration with university partners, institutional change initiatives to advance equity for the purposes of cultivating and sustaining inclusive excellence at the University of Central Oklahoma. Our goals are to:
- Provide our university partners tools to identify and overcome barriers to equity; and
- Advance an inclusive community that recognizes human dignity and mutual respect.
The University of Central Oklahoma affirms and promotes diversity in areas including race, class, gender identity, ethnicity, culture, religion, ideology, (dis)ability, affectional orientation, gender expression, and other aspects of self-identification. Our appreciation of diversity includes an awareness of the historical heritage on which the university was founded and the many struggles and sacrifices, both historically and currently, that confront underrepresented communities. Given this awareness, we actively strive to enrich the experience of the entire community by implementing practices that remove barriers to those communities served least well by existing systems. We do this not only because it is right, but also because diversity enriches the experiences and expands the social and conceptual horizons of students, faculty and staff members, while enhancing the university’s ability to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social advancement of the communities and individuals it serves.
Diversity results from the intersectional engagement of values, perspectives, and world-view that emerge from different identities and lived experiences such as, but not limited to, race and/or ethnicity; gender, including gender identity and/or expression; sexual orientation; ability and/or disability; age; religion; socioeconomic and/or class status; language; national origin and/or immigration status; status as a veteran; learning style; and organizational role.
Equity encompasses a variety of practices that remove barriers and facilitate the inclusion and empowerment of members of communities that have experienced exclusion from or marginalization within an organization.
An Inclusive Community is one that intentionally and consistently fosters belonging, personal growth, and empowerment for all.
Belonging is the feeling of security and support, the experience of mattering or feeling cared about, accepted, respected, valued by, and important to the community.
Brené Brown defines connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” This connection among ourselves is an essential precursor to asking anyone else to Connect to Central. It is with this focus that we daily reaffirm our commitment to creating an inclusive campus environment.
Recognizing its value, Global and Cultural Competency has been a part of our Central Six Tenets of Transformative Learning since their inception 12 years ago. UCO has been a leader in infusing the principles of cultural diversity into our curriculum, student services and research opportunities. Here, you will find information on the many programs, trainings and activities that promote inclusiveness and diversity in every corner of campus
An inclusive community is essential to creating an environment where we all experience a sense of safety, opportunity and belonging. The responsibility to create this environment is incumbent upon every one of us. We should strive to expand our perspective of the world by embracing our differences and understanding the value that each person brings. It is through these efforts that we create a place where people want to Connect to Central.