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Facing discomfort

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EnlargeRose Moya
IMAGE:  Rose Moya

Author Rose Moya is project manager for CAEN and for Dean’s Initiatives at the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. This post is part of a series by the members of Michigan Engineering’s Staff Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Culture Committee.

When I was asked to write a blog for the University of Michigan College of Engineering, I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit intimidated. When they said it had to be related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), I became downright terrified! So I started asking myself a list of questions.

Why is it so uncomfortable? What am I scared about? What am I supposed to talk about? Why are they asking me to do this? Is this what I signed up for? How can I get over this fear?

Well, here I am, writing a blog post about DEI to answer all of those questions for myself and anyone else that is a little fearful to embrace discussions about DEI.

Why is this so uncomfortable? I am a project manager. I don’t feel that I am by any means qualified to talk about diversity, equity and inclusion.

What am I scared about? I am afraid people will laugh at what I write. Even more so, I am afraid I will say the wrong things and upset someone. And it will be unintentional because I feel like I am a kind person with a big heart. I don’t want to say something wrong.

What am I supposed to talk about? I cannot talk about a specific DEI topic because I am not qualified. I can talk about me, my lack of confidence in this area, my effort to get past it.

Why are they asking me to do this? Duh! Because I volunteered to be a part of the Staff Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Culture Committee.

And, oh yeah! I submitted this as my quote on the website: “It is a great honor to be a part of such a relevant team at the college. I am excited to be a voice and an ear for the staff so we can all learn to appreciate and leverage our differences to create an environment in which everyone feels valued and respected.” I said this. I need to live this.

Is this what I signed up for? YES!!!

How am I ever going to do this? The blog. It is almost done, so check.

The quote. I am going to continue to step outside of my comfort zone. I am going to keep challenging myself to answer the difficult questions. I am going to take advantage of the resources the college is providing to create awareness around the subjects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I encourage you to do the same because, together, we can make this environment the most inclusive and welcoming it can be.

Learn more about the College’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion initiatives.

DEI Strategic Plan
Post-it notes paper the windows of the inside of the Duderstadt connector

Encouraging leaders to understand and value the importance of DEI is one of the strategic goals of Michigan Engineering's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Learn more about the plan and how you can get involved.

Rose Moya
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    Sara Pozzi

    Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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