Story and photos by Ryan Gavin
The Inclusive Excellence Mile Run is part of the University of Missouri’s commitment to the Inclusive Excellence Framework, which is designed to help our campus and local communities integrate diversity efforts into core organizational functions. The goal is to serve as an entry point to greater dialogue and discussions between student organizations, faculty, staff and local affiliations. Ultimately, just by showing up and walking, jogging, or running a mile, participants are expressing their commitment to fostering a community where everyone feels welcomed, valued and respected.
“We are delighted to collaborate with the Department of Athletics on the Inclusive Excellence Mile run,” said Kevin McDonald, UM System Chief Diversity Officer and MU Vice Chancellor of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity. “The collaborative spirit and enthusiasm of our students, faculty, staff, and community members are both overwhelming and incredibly exciting. I hope this run signifies that diversity and inclusion are not optional exercises but rather indispensable preconditions that enable us to capitalize on our diverse skills, perspectives and experiences so that we can better advance the fundamental mission of our respective organizations.”
The Inclusive Excellence Mile supports a variety of charitable organizations in addition to raising awareness of inclusion, civility and mutual respect. They include the United Service Organization (proceeds to military assistance), Rally4Rhyan (pediatric cancer) and Circle of Sisterhood (removing barriers to education).
Awards were handed out to the top three finishers in 11 different age groups, and the fastest overall male and female times received an additional award.