Xavier University President’s Cabinet’s Commitment to Fight against Racism
As members of Xavier’s leadership team, we condemn racism in all its manifestations and pledge to work toward establishing and sustaining an anti-racist culture at Xavier University, whereby each member of the campus community feels a sense of belonging, being supported and being enabled to succeed. Though antithetical to our nation’s fundamental principles of equality, liberty, and justice for all, racism has been indisputably evident in our society, permeating all aspects of our lives and preventing communities of color from experiencing these same principles in their own lives.
Likewise, racism is diametrically opposed to Xavier’s ideals and values. Our mission cannot be fulfilled without us affording each person equality, liberty, and justice, which in turn requires that we actively work to eliminate unjust policies and practices and replace them with ones that advance racial equity. In the spirit of Magis, the Ignatian principle that calls us to do more, we go beyond our pre-existing University commitment to equity and inclusion to further declare that Xavier University is committed to being anti-racist. The Xavier community must collectively develop a new mindset that requires taking action against racism, and to walk with those who are harmed by it.
We state this commitment because:
- As members of a Jesuit Catholic Community, we are bound to be and declare herein again that we are people for and with others;
- Many recent events, including the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of a sworn police officer that was recorded and broadcast across the world, compels us to speak in one amplified voice; and
- It aligns with and advances the vision of the Society of Jesus, including The Universal Apostolic Preference 2019-29 (especially Preference 2: To walk with …. those whose dignity has been violated, in a mission of reconciliation and justice) and the Midwest Province’s Go Forth: 2020-2025 (in press).
We solemnly make this commitment on behalf of ourselves, even as we also humbly make it on behalf of the over 1000 employees at Xavier and proudly declare it for Xavier University. As a Jesuit Catholic university, Xavier is poised and equipped to exemplify and model an anti-racist institutional culture as it graduates students committed to acting with integrity, generosity, and justice for all as they work with others to change the world. Therefore, be it declared that we, members of the President’s Cabinet, commit to:
- Use our voices, influence, and positions to work toward eliminating racism in the ways that members of the Faculty Assembly have agreed to do;
- In accord with the Apostolic Preferences, walk with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color whose dignity has been violated by racism and who are demanding and entitled to equality, liberty, and justice and, given recent events, it is especially important now for us to publicly declare that Black lives matter;
- Engage in activities, including Mission Reflections, that permit vulnerability and transparency with one another and promote self-awareness about our beliefs, assumptions, and biases;
- Make a concerted effort to interact with and understand others with different identities and to listen more attentively to all voices, especially those that have been traditionally marginalized;
- Continue to cherish and adhere to our Jesuit Catholic mission and identity and employ Ignatian values, including “solidarity and kinship” and “service rooted in justice and love,” to guide our actions and decision-making;
- Articulate clearly, openly, regularly and without hesitation or reservation the integral role not only of establishing and sustaining a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment to fully live out Xavier’s mission but also that we are committed to eliminating racism and white supremacy within our institution;
- Take responsibility for educating ourselves about power, white privilege, white supremacy, and systemic racism, as well as for understanding and working to undo our own complicity in systemic racism;
- Closely collaborate with Faculty to further the principles of the resolution passed by Faculty Assembly and to further the principles of this commitment; and
- Account to the Xavier community for reviewing and assessing our commitment twice each year and for executing on the specific actions of the Xavier University Anti-Racist Action Plan.
The Xavier University Anti-Racist Action Plan
- Reposition the University's marketing and communication assets to effectively communicate Xavier's diversity, equity, and inclusion story and plans to become an anti-racist university. Audit the University’s communications and content to ensure representation of our diverse constituent base. (DISP)
- Amplify the connection between the Jesuit social justice mission and civil-rights activism for education equity, economic justice, criminal justice reform, voting rights protections, and other liberties with race-based disparities through hosting special events, activities and programs (e.g., Day of R.E.A.D., Universities Studying Slavery Symposium, Stained Glass Initiative, and renaming Fenwick Place).
- Increase our population of undergraduate underrepresented students (both domestic and international), especially Black, Latinx, and Indigenous student populations, by continuing to aggressively recruit these students and enhancing their retention. Identify or allocate sufficient sources of funding for students who experience financial barriers that reflect socioeconomic inequities of our country. (DISP)
- Strengthen efforts to recruit and hire people of color for faculty and staff positions, including senior leadership positions, utilizing the new Recruiting and Hiring for Inclusive Excellence materials. (DISP)
- Enhance further the diversity of existing external boards and councils, including the Board of Trustees, President’s Advisory Council and the alumni associations, and utilize their assistance, expertise and wisdom to better understand and address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. (DISP)
- Identify offices where people of color are historically underrepresented and recruit/identify effective, appropriate resources to provide support and promote the success and well-being of students of color.
- Collaborate with students to create a commission for responding to the articulated concerns of underrepresented students across a variety of areas (e.g., academic, financial, representation, student life and support, and communication).
- Develop stronger retention programs for historically underrepresented faculty and staff to ensure the retention of the talented faculty and staff we have worked hard to recruit. Provide underrepresented faculty and staff with resources and paths to success that empower those who plan to pursue advancement and leadership roles. (DISP)
- Continue to build a campus climate free from racial bias, harassment, and discrimination by educating and training faculty, staff, and students and actively investigating and responding to reports. Publicize widely and regularly the existence of BART (Bias Action and Response Team) and B.E.A.T. (Bias Education and Advocacy Team). (DISP)
- Ensure that all faculty have access to appropriate resources to support their efforts to make sound and informed decisions about course materials, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment that contribute to diversity-related and antiracist teaching and learning. Assist faculty in their resolve to establish a multicultural curriculum that promotes racial justice.
- Assess the current model of community safety to ensure that campus police policies and activities on Xavier’s campus are anti-racist.
- Use a racial equity lens to assess/audit internal policies and practices on matters such as financial aid and scholarships, funding, code of conduct processes, tenure and/or promotion guidelines, merit evaluation, and committee and leadership appointments. Address inequities that are found.
DISP = Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
February 15, 2021
- The Work Plan for Anti-Racist Actions
- The Faculty Assembly Commitment to Fight Against Racism
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
- Fr. Graham's June Letter to Campus Community
- Dismantling Racism Resources Bellermine Chapel
- The History of Racism in America Smithsonian Magazine
- Racial Equity Tools
- Project Implicit - Implicit Association Test (IAT)
Books and Resources:
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Ph.D.
- How to Be an Antiracist by Inbram X. Kendi
- How to Be An Antiracist Book Club Kit and Antiracist Reading List
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo