Racial Climate: Our Movement
The shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma brings national attention back to the Black Lives Matter movement and further opens dialogue on race relations.
The shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte brings the focus of race relations to North Carolina. Many NC State students call Charlotte home. There was no statement released from Chancellor Woodson, no public statement of resources and support available for students struggling with the ongoing events.
Student Government hosts the first Chancellor’s Liaison meeting of the year. Student Government leaders ask the administration when a response will be released regarding the recent events. Chancellor Woodson responds that there is no intent to release a statement and addresses the issue by claiming that we “need to have more conversations about race.” There is no mention of NC State University’s role in encouraging difficult conversations, or how the institution could be proactive in educating students on fundamental cultural competency.
After pushing the Chancellor’s office, a statement was released – Chancellor’s Message Regarding Recent Events in Charlotte.
Students organize a Blackout and Die-in protest to express solidarity with Charlotte and national issues regarding race. The protest further highlights legitimate concerns with NC State University regarding racial diversity and inclusion.
Students release “This is not ‘our’ State” video which showcases the lived experiences, thoughts, and emotions of several students of color at NC State. The video further reveals inadequacy within the institution in regard to racial diversity and the issue of tokenizing minority students.
Chancellor Woodson releases Race and Equality at NC State: Moving Forward which acknowledges the enrollment concern of first-year African American students. The statement announces a task force to “review programs focused on bringing underrepresented students to NC State, as well as to examine our recruitment and admissions processes.”
Later that night, Student Government releases a series of demands to the administration. No more asking; it’s time for action. Student Government leaders created these demands with student and community leaders, particularly from our black and African American communities.
Close to midnight, a series of screenshots from a first-year group message goes public. Students were making hateful, racist, bigoted comments. The comments provide further validity that NC State is not an inclusive environment. Read an overview reported by the Nubian Message.
Chancellor Woodson releases a video in response. The video is ill-received by many students. The legal argument is pushed that the students involved in the screenshots are protected by their 1st Amendment rights. The video, which should have focused on the hurt felt by the student body instead focuses on the reaffirmation that anyone can be racist and bigoted, and NC State University will do nothing about it.
- CBS: Controversy at NC State as racist, sexist messages circulate on social media
- ABC11: Tracing the origins of racially charged messages at NCSU
Student Government hosts the Racial Climate Town Hall (planned months in advance but occurring at a critical time at NC State). Students directly address Chancellor Woodson and the administration about the lack of support for our students of color. The administration went into defense, further validating that they cannot relate nor sympathize with the students that they serve.
- ABC11: Black Students vent frustrations at NCSU town hall
- ABC11: NC State administrators under fire after students’ racist messages
- ABC11: Full interview with Chancellor Woodson
- Technician: Students call for action at racial climate town hall
- ABC11: NC State Chancellor denounces students’ racist comments
Chancellor Woodson releases Racial Climate Town Hall and Next Steps.
Moving from here, Student Government will serve to advocate for underrepresented groups and address flaws in the institution. In response to recent events, the university has announced a series of task forces and committees to improve diversity and “inclusion.” Details are listed below.
University Diversity Advisory Council sent recommendations to the Chancellor.
The four areas of focus are:
- Cultural Competency (led by Dr. Linda Smith, OIED)
- Adopt professional competency levels.
- Establish outcomes and expectations for those within the campus community, assessing progress individually and on a unit/division level.
- Develop and make available training and/or educational opportunities for thecampus community.
- Encourage discussion and review of the U.S. diversity course GEP requirement
- Diversity Course Requirement (led by Dr. Mike Mullen, DASA) including:
- What does it mean to qualify as a U.S. diversity course?
- What courses currently are on the list?
- What do we want to satisfy with a course requirement?
- Determine the need for a stand alone cultural competency course for all undergraduate students.
- Communication (led by Mr. Brad Bohlander, University Communications
- Educate the campus community regarding the Bias Incident Response Team.
- Incorporate cultural messaging broadly to reflect the diversity within our campus
- Facilitate marketing efforts regarding awareness campaigns and promotion of events like Diversity Education Week.
- Student Government Action Items (led by Ms. Justine Hollingshead, DASA)
- Continue discussion of, and assist with implementation of key action items, where appropriate, as identified by the Student Government town hall that occurred in January 2016.
Task Force on the GEP Requirement
- Dr. Mike Mullen is leading the task force on reviewing the GEP requirement (see UDAC recommendations above)
- Students involved: Kamrie Risku and CN Pittman
Task Force on Admissions
- Co-Chairs: Dr. Mike Mullen (Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs) and Brayndon Stafford (Student Body Vice President)
- Goal: recruit, retain, and graduate students from underrepresented groups
- Students Involved: Timira Conley
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
“College-wide Conversation About Our Racial Climate”
Recent events on campus surrounding our racial climate have left many students, faculty and staff feeling unsettled and, perhaps, unheard. Join Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jeff Braden for a conversation about the racial climate on campus — and in particular, in our college — and what can be done to foster inclusion, heighten sensitivity and celebrate diversity.
- Provost Arden and the Chancellor have scheduled meetings with several groups of students, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences at NC State and hear recommendations about continually improving our university’s cultural competence.
- Vice Chancellor Mullen and staff from the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA) are hosting additional meetings with students, faculty and staff to discuss their experiences and recommendations.
- The Chancellor is including the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity in meetings of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, as matters of diversity and equity are significant considerations embedded in university decision making.
- NC State is launching a bias incident response team to coordinate appropriate responses to any incidents of bias and ensure support for affected populations.
- The Office of the Provost will implement two programs — the Emerging Scholar Program and the Senior Visiting Scholar Program — in an effort to attract African-American and other underrepresented faculty to NC State. The Council on Undergraduate Education has been evaluating the diversity component of our General Education offerings to help ensure that diversity and inclusion are meaningful parts of our curricula at NC State.
- OIED and Human Resources are evaluating programming opportunities for diversity education for faculty and staff.
- Why can’t we have all faculty take a diversity education course? Tenure. The university cannot mandate tenured faculty to engage in certain programs, like a diversity and cultural competency course. Therefore we’re looking at incentive structures to strongly encourage diversity training for faculty who otherwise wouldn’t engage.
- What about a mandatory cultural competency for all students? The university is currently reviewing the US Diversity requirement in the GEP (see the task force and UDAC recommendations above). One of the proposed solutions is a mandatory course for all students. Reasoning:
- Provides an opportunity for all students to grow cultural competency
- Standardizes fundamental diversity education for all students
Spring 2016: Racial Climate Town Hall
Overview | Action Items
- Inclusivity training for student organizations.
- Inclusivity/Diversity training for all incoming NC State Students during orientation.
- Transparency with consequences and accountability when addressing student non-academic misconduct, discrimination and non-inclusive acts.
- An Asian-American director for Multicultural Student Affairs
- Diversity Digest
- University Diversity Advisory Committee
- NCBI Training
- Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED)
- African American Cultural Center
- Multicultural Student Affairs
- GLBT Center
- Counseling Center
- Office of International Services
- Women’s Center
NC State students organize a Blackout and Die-in | 9.23.16