Elmhurst Launches ‘Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ Challenge

September 10, 2020 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

The Elmhurst University Actions Speak Louder Than Words Challenge Logo is placed on a background photo that is an aerial photograph of the campus.

President Troy D. VanAken has called on all members of the campus community to join in this year’s campuswide challenge, Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

The goal of the challenge is to enable participants to play an active role in building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.

“Drawing on our core values of community and social responsibility, this initiative provides ways for us to come together, as individuals and as an institution, to act on our social responsibilities and empower others to do the same,” President VanAken said on Sept. 9 in an email announcing the challenge, which will extend through most of the Fall Term.

The challenge involves three steps:

1. Learn and Reflect

In the coming days and weeks, the University will offer a wide variety of thought-provoking events, activities and resources that explore today’s most urgent topics in greater depth. Some of these include:

  • The Fall 2020 Cultural Season: This year’s array of intercultural, religious and endowed lectures illuminate the theme “The Courage to Change: A Year for Reflection, Action and Resilience,” drawn from alumnus Reinhold Niebuhr’s revered Serenity Prayer.
  • #ElmhurstUVotes: Leading up to Election Day, this weekly speaker series highlights voter education and the importance of voting.
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI): The office is offering and co-sponsoring book groups, workshops, discussions and many other activities throughout the fall.
  • Books, movies, podcasts and more: The A.C. Buehler Library and the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACoDEI) have curated extensive resources for learning more about systemic racism and how to fight it.
2. Support the DEI Scholarship

Launched at the start of the academic year, the President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will support students from historically underrepresented groups. With a fundraising goal of $200,000, the initiative features a matching challenge of up to $100,000 that will double the impact of each gift. Contributions can be made at elmhurst.edu/give.

3. Make an Action Plan

Participants are asked to consider how they can use their platforms and spheres of influence to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their own lives and in the world beyond. They also are asked to reflect on what they want to learn and what they will stand for before developing an action plan.

In the coming days, more details will be shared about these activities and new ones, including a poster design contest and a platform for sharing videos. A webpage on the Actions Speak Louder Than Words Challenge also will be launching soon.

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