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What Kind of Progress Are We Making In Becoming Anti-Racist Institutions?
On 15 July 2020, while the nation was still in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, the recently formed Black in Engineering organization released its Call to Action, “On Becoming an Anti-Racist University” (https://blackinengineering.org/action-item-list/). The Call reflects an awareness that white supremacy is not an historical legacy but an active, ongoing, and systemic aspect of contemporary American society pervasive in even the most well-meaning institutions.
The Call challenges our universities to examine themselves in seven areas, and this Roundtable asks participants to report on progress in those areas at our home institutions. Even as we recognize the additional challenges in changing institutional directions in the midst of a global pandemic, this Roundtable offers us not only the opportunity to examine and share our own institution’s efforts towards becoming actively anti-racist, but also a chance to build structures by which we hold each other and our universities accountable for creating and sustaining anti-racist policies, procedures, and practices.
The Roundtable will unfold in three segments. In the first segment, expecting that participants will have reviewed and reflected on the Call, we will review the principles and recommendations in the Call. In the next segment, we will ask participants to share their knowledge and awareness of efforts at their universities to implement the Call’s challenges, collecting success stories and lessons learned into a document that can be shared among participants and others. In the final segment, we will make and renew commitments with mutual accountability towards effecting our institutions to achieve the Call’s recommendations.