The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is committed to eliminating systemic racism wherever it exists in its practices and policies. This is not a new commitment, but one we want to re-new, reinvigorate and prioritize. We are committed to ensuring that our strategic plans and actions will be derived from our commitment to eliminate racist practices from our administrative, instructional and research worlds, with the goal of contributing to the creation of an equitable, just, and sustainable future. The college office is committed to providing staff support, resources and advocacy for this work.
Our College, Our University
In the Summer of 2020, tens of thousands of people took to streets to once again demand an end to racial injustice and brutality, calling for structural changes to our institutions. The university is one such institution. Because structural racism is institutionalized, we know that if we continue doing what we’ve always done, the results will be the same: the outcome will be structural racism. Recognizing that we cannot bring about justice and equity at the university without real structural changes in the broader society, we are nonetheless committed to finding ways to make the kinds of changes in our college that reflect our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression, racism, and structural violence by working at multiple levels simultaneously to institute a model of care.
This moment of multiple global crises calls upon us to rethink our everyday practices. Rather than just add one more program or one more workshop, it is time to concentrate on the values that underlie our idea of what a university should be and to make decisions, large and small, in our college based on those values.
Taking our cue from the Movement for Black Lives, our first priority is to dismantle anti-Black racism, which is reflected in the action plan attached. Expanding upon this, we aim to (1) identify and break down barriers to full participation of women/historically underrepresented/ Black/indigenous/people of color/intersectional/disabled people/LGBTQ+ people/international scholars and students/exploited people in our college, (2) begin building the conditions in which all of us can thrive, and (3) bring about increased awareness of the multiple worlds of human knowledge and experience.
CLAS Race and Social Justice Working Groups
To begin to address these issues, six working groups will tackle anti-racism on multiple levels. These groups are:
- The Anti-racist Workplace Working Group works to ensure that the college work environment is supportive for faculty of all ranks, staff, and students.
- The Graduate Recruitment and Success Working Group works to improve graduate recruitment and success of Black graduate students.
- The Policy Audit Working Group works to find ways to make the kinds of changes in our college that reflect our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression, racism, and structural violence by working at multiple levels simultaneously.
- The Racial and Social Justice Faculty Research and Outreach Working Group work to encourage, recognize, reward, and support service, research, grant work, creative projects, and public projects dedicated to racial and social justice.
- The Self-Reflection Working Group works to engage in college and department self-reflection and self-reflexivity.
- The Undergraduate Student Success Working Group works to improve graduate recruitment and success of Black undergraduate students.