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Racial Justice Announcement - Sept. 25

Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

Subject: Racial Justice Announcement


Dear Colleagues,

As we continue our work to advance racial justice at BSU and in our broader communities, it is essential that we marshal the passion, creativity, and intellectual power of the Division of Academic Affairs to interrogate our policies and practices and make the necessary changes that will ensure equitable and inclusive learning environments. It is incumbent on all of us to deepen our understanding of the complex legacy of racism and colonialism and do all that we can to transform our social structures, systems, and institutions. That transformation may also involve our relationships with one another.

Our efforts now and in the years ahead will take the form of both practical and aspirational action that will seek to eliminate racial injustice at BSU. Faculty and librarians have been – and will continue to be – at the very center of this university-wide effort. Our longer-term planning for more just, inclusive, and decolonized curricula, pedagogies, and programs is underway, with the insight and guidance of faculty, librarians, and staff across the division and inspired by the voices and experiences of our students and alumni. This significant work will receive campus-wide recognition and be supported with the time and resource investment needed to carry it out. In this challenging budgetary environment, we are working hard to identify funds for alternative professional responsibility (APR) opportunities that will begin next semester. Faculty/librarians are playing key leadership roles, serving as members and subcommittee co-chairs of the Racial Justice Task Force, especially the Curriculum and Co-Curriculum subcommittee (co-chaired by Dr. Diana Fox, Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, and Dr. Jenny Shanahan, Assistant Provost for High-Impact Practices). We envision the work as encompassing professional development and curricular design across colleges and academic departments.

We wish to thank everyone contributing to a growing series of faculty and staff-led workshops and discussions, guest speakers, and anti-racist initiatives open to all on campus, including students. These events will be advertised on the Racial Justice Events page of the Racial Justice at BSU website and highlighted in weekly email updates. Faculty, librarians, and staff who have ideas for additional workshops, discussions, or other virtual learning opportunities, are encouraged to contact Jenny Shanahan ( or 508.565.8166).

The first such event takes place on Wednesday, September 30, 1:00-2:30 pm: Teaching Race in the Wake of the Alleged Murder of George Floyd. This webinar, presented by Dr. Pamela E. Barnett, Dean of Arts & Sciences at La Salle University, is sponsored by the Minnock Institute for Global Engagement, the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, the Office of Institutional Diversity, and the African American Studies Program.


With gratitude,

Karim Ismaili
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Pam Russell
Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs

Jenny Shanahan
Assistant Provost for High-Impact Practices