Dear Howard University Community,
One of my favorite things about Alma Mater is the diversity of all kinds that you can readily find on our campus.
I often hear stories from students who were once dissuaded from attending Howard out of a fear of a lack of diversity, only to come to a truer understanding of the word once they, too, witnessed the breadth and depth of this University’s global network. My experience emigrating from Trinidad as a slight 16-year-old is but a sample of the types of origin stories embedded in each member of our community. Nearly every day, I meet someone new on our campus whose story feels uniquely Howard, a constant reminder for me that this place we call home will never lose its relevance.
America is widely regarded as a melting pot, and I firmly believe that no place in this country is as emblematic of that metaphor as Howard University. This academic year, 49 states and territories were represented on our campus, as well as 25 countries spanning from Nepal to Nigeria. Far too often, issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are reduced to racial background with minimal consideration of the countless intersections that make us all unique. From our perspective, the array of humanity remains vast on our campus frankly because we are disinterested in homogeneity or becoming monolithic. And for our efforts, I believe our University is primed to reach newfound heights, owing much of it to the inclusive spirit that undergirds our beloved institution.
America is widely regarded as a melting pot, and I firmly believe that no place in this country is as emblematic of that metaphor as Howard University.”
In this issue of Howard Magazine, you will read about identity and diversity across the University. I am simultaneously amazed and impressed at how far we have come societally since my undergraduate days at Howard, when certain communities could feel diminished, or even worse, disregarded for being their authentic selves. By no means have we achieved perfection as a University, but we have demonstrated an enduring capacity to understand and transform.
For instance, with the recent opening of the Intercultural Affairs and LGBTQ+ Resource Center, we hope to empower our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students, enabling them to meet their fullest potential and contribute to the overall growth of our shared home. The University’s Men of the Mecca Initiative (MMI) intends to address the systemic barriers to success for our male-identifying population. The HU Counseling Service is more robust than ever before in responding to the varied mental supports our students are seeking. The list keeps going, and we will remain vigilant in ensuring that every member of our Community – of our family – knows unquestionably that they belong.
I always say this generation is the most talented, intelligent, and compassionate I have witnessed, and I am grateful to follow their lead as we continue driving Howard forward.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery
Article ID: 1481