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Focusing on Inclusivity

About the Cooper Center

The Weldon Cooper Center aims to help foster empowered and equitable communities; to pursue partnerships with individuals and organizations that share our values and commitment to inclusivity, tolerance, and respect; and to promote a climate of inclusivity and equitable collaboration within our Center. 

In early 2021, as part of a University of Virginia initiative, the Center completed an Inclusive Excellence Assessment and Plan. The first phase involved conducting a self-study to identify our strengths and opportunities for growth. Based on these findings, we crafted a list of eight preliminary goals for advancing our work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The goals ranged from improving representation of underrepresented groups in important aspects of our work, to conducting an internal survey to assess the climate of the Center, to formalizing our DEI practices and policies. 

A critical part of our vision for public service is examining our values and priorities through the lens of inclusivity. How can we, as a Center, be a model for inclusive excellence? How can we ensure that our work is guided by our commitment to hearing and respecting all voices? These are questions we will to continue to keep at the forefront of our efforts.