The swimming teacher was standing on the edge of the pool, teaching five- and six-year-olds. But, while the kids were in the water, the teacher wasn’t.

“Teaching swimming without getting in the environment seems counter-intuitive to me,” said Noma Anderson, special adviser to the system-wide UT president for diversity and inclusion.

Getting in the water is an apt metaphor for what UTC and other universities must do if they are going to have the “courageous conversations” needed to address diversity and inclusion issues on their campuses, Anderson said during her keynote speech at the second annual MOC (Moving Our Campus) Forward conference, which focused on diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education and at UTC.

The daylong conference, held Tuesday, Oct. 16, featured 24 presentations or panel discussions on the theme of “Communities and Conversations on the Path to Inclusive Excellence.”

During his remarks at the conference, UTC Chancellor Steve Angle noted that “diversity and inclusion are at the heart of who we are as an institution and at the heart of what we do.

“We still have work to do and efforts like this conference and your participation in it demonstrate our shared commitment that we are serious about diversity and inclusion. Together we will figure out what needs to be done,” he said.

Anderson—wearing a T-shirt that said “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”—said that diving into the sometimes-painful discussions of diversity and inclusion “is crucial to the success.”

“And when I say ‘wet,’ I mean fully immersed, not just feet-in-the-water wet,” she continued. “Anything less allows us to feel good and stay comfortable, but does little to produce desired outcomes.”



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2 Comments » for Second annual MOC Forward conference addresses diversity, inclusion
  1. Lisa Darger says:

    I learned much about our campus initiatives and commitment to diversity and inclusion – excellent conference! Well done!


    As a 1982 graduate of UTC I am familiar through personal experiences of injustices (racially motivated and blatant) and the past RACIAL divisive history of UTC and its history within Chattanooga Tennessee since I was a resident of Chattanooga I encountered everything on the Spectrum – before becoming a student (BLACKS AREN’T ALLOWED OR WANTED ON UC’s grounds, except to SHINE FLOORS and be maids) and after becoming a student and continued to getting reports of even new students coming in to UTC that had some really disappointing experiences similar to mine but I’m glad to see that UTC is moving forward AND there is a lot more to do- for example with the awards that are given to the various Departments it would seem as if they can seek from these contributors to at least give (allocate or designate) 1%- 2% of those funds OR how much ever they would like to the office that is attempting to help struggling students I think it’s over in the Student Affairs office (there was a recent Article in the news letter) UTC Should retain students instead of letting them just walk out the door with failing or struggling F’s, D’s or C’s but help them pull them alone find out underlying issues and try to help them. I was one of those students but there was several factors from Profs intentionally failing me to those who just didn’t care and let you know it! BUT THERE WAS PROF “ROCK” AND “LITTLETON MASON” standing on the side saying come on YOU CAN DO IT”. There was even my ROTC Sarge who came and CALLED And got me out of bed to prevent me missing a training excercise! And even if it happened to be a lack of studying on my part they still said “study more YOU CAN DO THIS!” You have to work on staff also in attempting to change their hearts.