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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We are Emory! (and so are you)

In my last semester in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, I received numerous emails asking me to vote.

"Vote for what?" you might ask. Not a political candidate or a piece of legislation, but for the name of an initiative that would recognize the many community and diversity resources across campus and show that although each resource has its own goals, all of them are committed to improving Emory.

I supported the idea, and I voted. Little did I know that my vote would mean so much. Shortly before graduation, the Office of Community and Diversity offered me a job helping to coordinate a new initiative whose name had just been chosen: “We are Emory.”

I took the job, not really sure of what I would be doing, but had full faith in the people I would be working with. Since that initial survey and initial job offer, We are Emory has developed into a University-wide initiative that aims to recognize people, programs, offices, and institutions dedicated to access, equity, and inclusion. A key component of We are Emory is the identification and celebration of the 100 Community Builders.

The 100 Community Builders are those dedicated to making Emory a place where ideas and practice merge, where thinking and doing are synonymous. Among the Community Builders are students, faculty, staff, and alumni from every division and unit of the University. Many of the alumni featured work for the University as well.

As a new alumna, I join a community that is 108,000 strong, and as a new employee, I become a part of part of a community that comprises more than 23,000. These inspiring 100 Community Builders are just a small percentage of the many who enliven the Emory community, whether it is through their daily endeavors in their workplace or through less frequent activities like volunteering with Emory Cares.

No matter their relationship with Emory, in building that relationship, they become a part of something bigger than themselves. They are Emory. We are all Emory.

Learn more about We are Emory on our website and Facebook fan page.

-- Maria Town 09C, fellow, Office of Community and Diversity

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