Annual report highlights university’s actions around equity, diversity and inclusion 

Vanderbilt University has released its 2020–21 Report for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion highlighting the university’s commitment to several actionable objectives that were outlined in the July 2020 commitment to strengthening equity, diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt.  

“In July of 2020, Chancellor Diermeier, former Provost Wente and I reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening equity, diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt, pledging to deepen and broaden our work at every level of our university. We made this commitment because we as an institution have a responsibility, indeed, an obligation to continuously do the work to combat racism and racial injustice—both on our campus and throughout our Nashville community. We are also continually developing ways to leverage our position as a forum for research and civic discourse to understand the root causes and consequences of inequality and seek innovative paths forward,” said André L. Churchwell, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. 

In late June 2021, Diermeier and Churchwell reflected on the one-year anniversary of the university’s pledge to accelerate its work to make Vanderbilt a more diverse and inclusive community in which every member can thrive. 

This year’s report expands upon the July 2020 commitment, focusing on several pillars of actionable objectives:  

  • Expand and deepen dialogue with members of various Vanderbilt communities
  • Increase investment in programming and infrastructure supporting equity, diversity and inclusion 
  • Deepen our commitment to enhance diversity 
  • Enhance scholarship and education 
  • Confront racism in Vanderbilt’s own past 
  • Partner with the city of Nashville to address inequities  

“This report outlines the progress we have made toward each of these goals, recognizing that in the life of a university, progress is a continual process of improvement with no absolute end,” Churchwell said. “And while it contains many inspiring accomplishments in which we take great pride, it should not be viewed as a finite list of statistics and achievements. Rather, the contents of this report reflect broad foundations upon which we continue to build as we create genuine and lasting change.” 

An outline of goals for 2021–22 is included at the end of the report.