Black Lives Matter – Advancing Our Work

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

Today we mark Juneteenth, an historic date in the legacy of slavery and the fight against anti-Black racism. In this moment when justice for Black Americans is being lifted up across our country, we are called to accelerate our close examination of Puget Sound’s culture, our history, and our path forward.

To advance that vital work and fully support the efforts of our Race and Pedagogy Institute, African American Studies, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Intercultural and Civic Engagement and other expertise in our community, I am convening a panel of diversity leaders to meet with me on a regular basis to promote our progress as expeditiously as possible.

This group is charged with further supporting, enhancing, and coordinating the university’s multi-faceted approach to addressing, in particular, the injustices faced by Black Americans and the inequity that plagues our country. I will convene the group this summer and we will work together throughout the coming academic year to achieve the following:

  • Required training and education. Explore the development and implementation of a requirement for members of the Puget Sound board of trustees, faculty and staff members to attend educational workshops, complete online modules, and/or participate in presentations on unconscious bias, implicit bias and inclusive culture, building on both the anti-racism/anti-Black racism series of programming already underway under RPI leadership and the training that our students receive.
  • Strategic initiatives. Identify and advance the development of our first universitywide Legacy Project, prioritized under Goal Two of the Leadership for Changing World strategic plan, and identify other pertinent work we should undertake and how it might be structured, delivered, and funded. I am grateful to the faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustee representatives who brought this work forward under the leadership of our strategic planning Goal Team Two Co-chairs Professor Grace Livingston and Professor Gwynne Brown.
  • New initiatives. Work with appropriate campus leaders to support rescheduling of the eugenics symposium and the Committee to Recommend Principles on Renaming University Buildings and Spaces, both of which were put on hold this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is purposely intended to be a small group of campus leaders to focus on the charge above, and is intended to coordinate and build upon—rather than duplicate—the good work already underway. It also provides me with the opportunity to be more deeply immersed in this work as next steps are considered in the university’s search for a vice president for diversity and inclusion. The names of those who have agreed to serve appear below.

We are fortunate to have so much good work upon which to build, and all have a role to play as we both challenge and support each other to realize our goals.

Thank you for your efforts, here on campus and in the community, to make our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access a reality.

Sincerely,

Isiaah
Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President