Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success

Strengthening and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University

Jacquelyn Pogue (second from right) attends a RAMmalogues session in Fall 2019 at VCU Cabell Library.
Jacquelyn Pogue (second from right) attends a RAMmalogues session in Fall 2019 at VCU Cabell Library.

Richmond local and former director of Richmond Action Dialogues, Jacquelyn Pogue, gave a financial gift to the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success (IES) to support capacity-building for respectful and inclusive dialogue among Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) students, faculty and staff. 

“Most conversations are exchanges of knowledge, opinions and reactions of agreement or disagreement, whereas dialogue is a facilitated, structured group conversation with agreements so that participants can go deeper with feelings, reflections, meaning and understanding both within themselves and with others.” Pogue goes on to say “it can also lead to discovery of creative thinking and new questions.”

The fund – titled IExcel Bridges to Inclusion – will first support the VCU community in learning how to engage in respectful dialogue across differences and in practicing skills of ongoing and inclusive dialogue. It creates two new programs under IExcel Bridges to Inclusion: an Institute of Dialogue and the Dialogue Lab, both with a steadfast commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity and inclusion principles. The institute will focus on creating opportunities for faculty, students and staff to learn and train in how to facilitate inclusive dialogue and build leadership skills among students and engage them to become ambassadors in promoting respectful dialogue. The Dialogue Lab is aimed at exploring, implementing and practicing different models of dialogue, and developing optimal approaches to dialogues for inclusion. Both programs are currently under development.

IExcel Bridges to Inclusion will also continue to support RAMmalogues to encourage and facilitate crucial conversations across VCU’s community members. RAMmalogues – which has been under IES since its inception in 2019 – offers a broad range of topics touching on social identities and lived experiences at VCU to periods of crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Previous session topics include Me and My People: Ethnicity and Stigma at VCU During a Pandemic and Gender: My Identity, My Expression, My Expectations.

In a quote posted on the VMFA page regarding giving, Pogue says “charity, to me, is a response to an immediate, urgent need. Philanthropy is the thoughtful implementation of our highest vision. How we give should be a reflection of our values, a way to shape the world as we wish it to be.”

IES is extremely grateful for Pogue’s generosity and confidence and looks forward to her continued partnership as the IExcel Bridges to Inclusion moves forward.

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