On July 7, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green released an update to the UNL community about the school’s journey of addressing anti-racism and racial equity.
Green had announced this journey at the beginning of June 2020 and has been having conversations with UNL institutes and facilities about the matter, including the UNL Institute for Ethnic Studies faculty, the African and African American Studies Program, the African and African American Leadership Caucus, the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color, the Black Student Union and more. Campus leaders have also studied statements and recommendations submitted by departments, faculty, staff and student organizations from the UNL community.
Green has also identified co-leaders whose research, creative activity and engagement explore these topics. These co-leaders will work closely with Vice Chancellor Marco Barker and staff, faculty and students in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Council on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity and the collective student, faculty and staff organizations across UNL. The named co-leaders include Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies Lory J. Dance, Chancellor’s Professor of English Kwame Dawes, Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Anna W. Shavers, Associate Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, Kara Mitchell Viesca and Associate Professor of Political Science and Ethnic Studies Sergio C. Wals.
Green along with these leaders will also be taking steps to strengthen the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence. These steps include examining how the current core curriculum addresses diversity with a focus on race, privilege and power and developing a more transparent process for addressing campus climate issues that may impede an individual’s participation in the UNL community based on their identity. Other steps on this can be viewed in Green’s update.