In one of my young adult wards a few years ago, the Sunday school teacher started the lesson with the question, “How is your love life?” Groans and chatter filled the room. Some were anxious to talk about their dates from the night before. Others wanted to complain that they had not been on a date in weeks or months. The teacher allowed the participants to share for a few minutes. Then she led us to realize that we were in a place in our lives that when we hear the words “love life,” we automatically assume “romantic love.” She pointed out that as young adults, we might be more focused on finding our eternal companion than on our love of God, love of Christ, and love of our neighbors.
February, the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, is often thought of as the month of love. For myself, I find February a good time to take inventory of how I am demonstrating and extending love in all interpretations of the word. For the past many months, MSE employees have been refining a statement entitled, “The McKay School of Education’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Statement.” This statement highlights our commitment to loving all people at all times. Thank you to those who have had a direct role in crafting this statement and for those who took the time to provide suggestions. Please take the time to read and digest the statement and use it to self-evaluate how you are doing with your “love life.”
Mary Anne Prater
Introduction to the Statement
The intent of this statement is to articulate the McKay School of Education’s position on diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Although racial discrimination was the catalyst for creating this statement, we also recognize that other forms of discrimination occur; thus, the language in this statement is intended to include all of God’s children. Departments, programs, and individuals are encouraged to use this statement along with the BYU Mission Statement,1 Aims of a BYU Education,2 and the McKay School of Education Mission Statement3 as foundations upon which initiatives may be established.
McKay School of Education's Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Statement
The David O. McKay School of Education is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive environment that values diversity, promotes equity, and invites belonging for all students, faculty, and staff as we strive to fulfill Brigham Young University’s mission to “assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.”1, 4
We recognize the divine worth of each child of our Heavenly Parents, and we endeavor to accept each other with understanding and respect for our differences. Christ’s example inspires our approach to learning, teaching, and leadership2. As educators, we actively seek to overcome biases that limit people’s educational opportunities.3,4 As fellow human beings, we consciously seek to embrace all people “regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other distinguishing feature.”5
Recognizing there is work to do, the McKay School of Education invites all students, faculty, and staff to join in our commitment to a culture of love and unity. Together we must humbly heed our prophet’s admonition “to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice,” 6 “promote respect for all of God’s children,” 6 and teach others to do so.
1 BYU Mission Statement, https://aims.byu.edu/byu-mission-statement
2 Aims of a BYU Education, https://aims.byu.edu/aims-of-a-byu-education
3 McKay School of Education Mission Statement, https://education.byu.edu/deans/mission.html
4 University Statement on Fostering an Enriched Environment, https://multicultural.byu.edu/what-we-do
5 Worthen, K. J.; 2020, September 8; The Process and Power of Hope; BYU Devotional, https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/kevin-j-worthen/process-power-hope/
6 Nelson, R. M.; 2020, October; Let God Prevail; General Conference, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2020/10/46nelson?lang=eng