Inclusive Insights with Justin Mallett: January 2024 


The start of a new year provides an opportunity for a fresh start, a moment to reflect on the past and an opportunity to create a plan for growth and change. Don’t worry—the changes we seek don’t have to be huge or demonstrative. It’s going to be small, incremental changes that move NAU in a shared direction essential to contributing to our goal of inclusive excellence. 

Going into 2024, let’s have an enhanced focus on belonging. Belonging is important to our institutional goals of improving recruitment, retention and campus climate. A strong sense of belonging is important in building inclusive and equitable processes that will allow everyone to feel welcome no matter who they are, regardless of their identity.  

During the month of January, we will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will honor Dr. King on Jan. 15 with a breakfast, march and an afternoon of community service. This celebration will allow the NAU and Flagstaff communities an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s words, how they are relevant in 2024 and our ongoing goal to enhance belonging at NAU. 

On Saturday, Jan. 27, we recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day. This day was chosen to commemorate the date in 1945 that the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated by the Red Army, remembering the slaughter of 6 million Jewish people and millions of others by the Nazi regime. At NAU, we have the Martin-Springer Institute to help us understand these events in the context of today’s concerns and crises. As we learn about the events taking place for Holocaust Remembrance Day, we will share them through various NAU communication streams. 

Let’s begin 2024 with a commitment to creating the inclusive environment we want to have at NAU. Our entire campus community, both academic and student services, must be willing to engage in the hard work of inclusive excellence with a focus on growth and change. Let’s take accountability for our commitment to elevating excellence so we can realize our goal of “educating, supporting and empowering students from all backgrounds, identities and lived experiences to reach their full potential and contribute to a more just, equitable, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future.” 

Happy New Year and always remember, we are better when we work together. 

Justin Mallett
Vice President of Inclusive Excellence and Access 

NAU Communications