Antiracist FSU Commitments

Scroll down to see "Departmental Statements and Commitments"

June 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community, 

I write today to provide an update regarding our ongoing commitment to an anti-racist FSU. Friday is Juneteenth (June 19th), which signifies the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the United States.  June is also Pride Month, an important time to provide visibility and affirmation to the members of our LGBTQ+ community. As some may know, the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in June 1969, were a direct response to police raids. Led by Black members of the LGBTQ+ community (like Marsha P. Johnson), the riots were a significant event in the gay liberation movement. I share this bit of history to bring us to present day. We are living in a moment of history that we will look back on and ask ourselves “What side of history was I on?” and “What did I do to advance liberation for the Black community?” 

I want to be clear about our anti-racist stance. We recognize the damaging effects of systemic racism on the experience and success of communities of color. FSU has begun an intentional process of evaluating and restructuring policies and programs to ensure inclusion and equitable success. We  ask all members of our community to reflect on the historical racist policies and actions of our country and the biases created by them. With this knowledge, our community will actively work together to ensure the physical and psychological safety and success of our community members of color, especially our Black community.  

 I commit the University to the following: 

  • As departments and individuals develop goals and objectives for completion in the 2020-2021 academic year consistent with the 2017-2022 University Strategic Plan, I would expect to see a commitment to the following within Goal 4 of creating a more vibrant and inclusive communityEngage in antiracism work, at the individual, interpersonal, and/or system level. Every department across campus will be expected to engage in this work.
  • We are creating the Institutional Inclusive Excellence Committee. The purpose of the committee is to identify and advance FSU’s strategic inclusive excellence objectives. The primary focuses will be anti-racist strategy to positively impact the student experience.  
  • University Police commit to working directly with our communities of color to break down any barriers that exist and ensure the department’s relationship with our entire community is one of trust and understanding. All of the recommendations within the national #8cantwait campaign are already part of the police department’s use of force policy, which officers must review and sign off on each year. Further training and education for officers focused on maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all will be undertaken. 
    The MSCA recently issued a statement proposing to work toward comprehensive general education reform, faculty development, and more around the issues of institutional racism. We pledge to work collaboratively with them on these efforts. 
  • A central training focus in Fall 2020 for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE), in collaboration with Human Resources, will be anti-racist trainings. Employee sessions will focus on understanding racial trauma, engaging in conversations about race, and understanding white privilege and fragility.  
  • The Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS) will work with DICE to launch faculty professional development aimed at unpacking anti-racist pedagogy and giving faculty tools to enact this in their work. 
  • The Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE) will continue to host programs, discussions, and events that deepen understanding of race and racism. Additionally, the CIE will launch a Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation initiative at FSU. 

Finally, our future starts now, so I want to invite you to join the CIE this Thursday at noon for a Juneteenth Virtual Processing Session. To sign up to receive the zoom link please visit https://tinyurl.com/ycsg9hpl. The program will cover the history of Juneteenth and the past, present, and future perspectives for the freedom of Black people. 

Then, on Friday, we invite the community to take time during Juneteenth to reflect on the meaning of the day and re-commit to our understanding of anti-racism. Resources for this effort can be found at:  https://libguides.framingham.edu/anti-racism 

In Solidarity, 

Javier

Departmental Statements and Commitments (to be updated periodically):