The Diversity Committee Task Force is proud to report significant progress was achieved during the 2017-2018 school year. While our reach may have exceeded our grasp with regard to several items within our mandate (i.e. attempts to dismantle America’s pervasive culture of systemic racial oppression), we remain optimistic about the future of diversity and equity on this campus.
A summary list of our accomplishments includes the nomination of a Chief Diversity Officer, the purchase of five (5) copies of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, and the partial drafting of a 12-point plan to rectify centuries of intergenerational disenfranchisement experienced by people of color.
Following an unfortunate incident involving a former student, this Task Force was assembled to identify and address the root causes of the College’s diversity-related issues. Which, it turned out, happened to be our existence within a continuum of ideologies and policies focused on the singular function of enshrining white privilege in all aspects of civic, economic, and cultural life.
Suffice it to say, this proved a tough nut to crack.
Still, we’d be selling ourselves short if we failed to mention our updating of the College website to feature a Diversity page outlining our institution’s commitment to envisioning a future where all students learn in an environment untainted by America’s legacy of withholding educational opportunity from non-white communities.
While it is true that students of color continue to allege mistreatment from campus security, faculty, fellow students, residential life coordinators, administrators, and custodial staff, it is also true that the new admissions brochure features a stock image of not one but two students of African-American descent.
As the summer break begins and we reflect upon the past year’s endeavors, we hope you will focus on the small, incremental steps we made toward inclusivity, rather than our objective failure to create a haven of equality where no English professor would ever dream of reading an uncensored excerpt from Huckleberry Finn juxtaposed against Wu-Tang Clan lyrics. And where, even if said English professor did misguidedly incorporate such an activity into her lesson plan, she would not attempt to alleviate the burden of stating a certain racial epithet aloud by requesting the class’s only black student read the word because “he’s allowed to.”
On a somewhat related note, the Diversity Committee Task Force has been asked to meet with campus attorneys to discuss a public relations strategy in the wake of the recent press conference held by said former student alongside civil rights icon and legislator, Representative John Lewis.
Next steps for the Task Force include auditing course reserves to ensure the representation of authors from diverse backgrounds, investigating whether the Nips brand snacks in the cafeteria are racist, and untangling the post-colonial chaos upon which so many of today’s global conflicts are predicated.