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Message to staff from the President and Provost about the IDEAL Learning Journey

Today, we launch The IDEAL Learning Journey for Stanford staff, one of several initiatives to move us toward fulfilling our goal of creating an inclusive culture with strong values for a respectful, fair and safe environment in which all members can thrive without fear of racism, bias, or discrimination. The IDEAL Learning Journey establishes a shared language and set of expectations, and working together, we believe strongly that we can build an inclusive community.

The learning journey is a critical element of the staff strategic DEI framework that is helping us reach our goal. The IDEAL Learning Journey focuses on the impact of biases in our interactions and decisions, and will increase our capabilities to have conversations about racism and discrimination, as well as strengthen skills to be an effective advocate. You will learn the skills needed to forge inclusive behaviors and habits through self-paced learning, virtual interactive workshops, and optional open discussion groups. 

While learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is a life-long journey, the journey includes a core curriculum focused primarily on race. Over time, additional diversity-related content will be added, as we recognize diversity includes many dimensions.

Our work does not conclude upon completion of these initial learning experiences—in fact, it is just beginning. It is incumbent on all of us to contemplate what we learn and apply new skills in our daily interactions with others and in all the decisions we make. There are opportunities for each of us, regardless of level or role in the university, to engage in race-based conversations to resolve issues, broaden our viewpoints when interacting with co-workers, invite unique perspectives, rethink the processes we follow, stand up for ourselves and each other, and disrupt negative behaviors if we observe them happening.

Over 15,000 of us will have the opportunity to engage in this shared learning journey, and we hope that all of you will join the two of us in this experience. We believe our collective awareness will foster vital conversations needed to build an inclusive culture, and help us strengthen skills to ensure every single one of us has a positive experience at work, feels a sense of belonging, is respected, and feels the Stanford community is a safe place. We are counting on you to collaborate in this important effort by joining in the experience. Regards,

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President
Persis Drell, Provost