ODI Updates

The Way Forward

Posted by Natasha Martin, JD, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion on Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:39 AM PST

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr, February 1968 

Dear Seattle University Community,

I write to express my deep gratitude for each of you. Thank you for your courage to stay the course during these uncommon times, and the care you have shown to our students and to one another. I acknowledge the hardships we are living under, and I believe that our hope lies in our interdependence. 

ODI Annual Report 2020: The Way Forward

In this second annual report, we continue to tell the story of inclusive excellence at SU. The report highlights some signature moments from last academic year including our ongoing efforts to engage and evolve prior to the wave of social movement around racial injustice, and our commitment to listen and respond to the national and institutional calls to action, particularly those of our students.

You will see our Jesuit values and impact reflected in the voices of some of our students and colleagues who generously share experiences of these unprecedented times. Importantly, this report captures the climate and context of the last several months as we look ahead to pursue LIFT SU: Inclusive Excellence Action Plan for Racial Equity and Antiracism.

The report contains embedded hyperlinks for ease of reading and deeper reflection. For example, view Dr. Alvin Sturdivant’s memorable Red Talk from last season, “I Am Enough: Resilience in a World that Says You Don’t Matter.” His words ring salient given our current reality.

Thanks to the Marcom team for their partnership with ODI to bring the vision and content to life.

ODI welcomes Marquinta Obomanu

Marquinta Obomanu has joined ODI as Executive Coordinator. Marquinta brings a range of skills and wonderful energy to this role. A little about Marquinta in her own words below: 

Marquinta Obomanu is a Seattle native who has come to ODI through her recent work within the Center for Community Engagement. In her previous role as High School Success Coordinator, she worked to strengthen the tie between campus and community, while cultivating an atmosphere of inclusion for students living within the University’s Youth Initiative zone. Marquinta received her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and her Master’s in Public Administration from Kaplan University in 2017. She is passionate about advocacy and intentionality to support marginalized communities.  

What’s been getting her through the quarantine? Time with family, learning about outdoor gardening, and… Lemon flavored Oreo Thins!

I’m very excited to have Marquinta on board and look forward to you having an opportunity to engage with her in our shared work for the good of our students! I ask for your patience as she settles into the new role under our current physically-distanced circumstances. 

Three questions from Dr. Kim Caluza for well-being 

Your health and wholeness matter. At the recent Educating for Justice session – Post-election Reflection, Dr. Kim Caluza, Psy.D., Director of SU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), shared a powerful perspective on the impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and general uncertainty on our mental health and wellness. She encouraged “self-compassion” and offered three (3) questions to reflect upon as we wade through the angst, grief and loss we may experience during this time. I offer them here as inspiration to give and receive grace in the spirit of our Jesuit value of cura personalis:

How am I feeling right now? 

What do I need right now? 

What do I need to do to give myself what I need?

Dr. Caluza also shared this additional resource on self-care: https://self-compassion.org/. Be gentle with yourselves, and take the time to check in on one another.

I extend my hands and heart to you in gratitude in this season of Thanksgiving. Stay safe and be well.

In Solidarity,

Natasha T. Martin, JD
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Associate Professor of Law