The Black Lives Matter protests sparked a renewed commitment to racial equity across Taubman College. We knew that our response must:
- acknowledge the pain the African American community was enduring from systemic societal oppression and
- express our collective outrage and absolute dedication to racial equity.
As a first step, we hosted a town hall co-designed with, among others, African American students, faculty, staff and alumni. Over a period of three hours, with more than 150 people in attendance, Black community members expressed their pain and White community members expressed their sorrow at the impact of white supremacy on their teaching, learning and work. From this, students and alumni developed the “Design Justice Actions,” inspired by the Design as Protest group.
The College then embedded—where possible and where consistent with law—the principles underlying their proposals into its thinking for its Year Five DEI Strategic Plan, building on work already underway to center the curriculum on social justice, prioritize research that advances DEI, create a culture of belonging and promote equitable policies and practices.
We also developed an Anti-Racism Resource Guide and created a racial equity framework. Throughout the summer, students met with faculty to redesign our curriculum, staff launched a Racial Equity Workgroup and our Chief Diversity Officer was appointed to the College leadership team.