UMC Wesleyan College Week: DEI Is a Ministry


The work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is my ministry on campus, and for me there is no separation. Inclusivity, equity, justice, and faith are interconnected. People do what they believe—their actions and behavior are directly connected to the content of their hearts and minds, and when it comes to faith, I am drawn to the Book of 1 John 4:20 (NIV) which states, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”


When we look around our campus, we see a reflection of the beautiful diversity present in our nation and world and in our faculty, staff, and students who work together to create and sustain an inclusive community in which we all are accepted and belong. It is my passion to work with community members to promote diversity, practice inclusion, and administer compliance as essential elements of Wesleyan’s mission, values, and strategic plan. The Office of Equity and Inclusion provides DEI guidance, trainings, and workshops for all campus community members, supports diverse programs and initiatives, and offers opportunities for campus members to learn and work together as we embrace and celebrate our individuality as One Wesleyan.


Our collective work on campus has expanded into the community in a very meaningful and engaging way with the founding of our Lane Center for Social and Racial Equity which furthers Wesleyan’s initiatives to live out our commitment to social justice and equity. We are thankful and grateful for all that has been and will be done as we expand our DEI efforts and do more on campus and within the community with your support. We thank you and we appreciate you.


Blessings and Love,

Rev. Tonya Parker

Chief Diversity Officer