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Charting the Path Forward on Racial Equity at BW

Update to the BW community

Baldwin Wallace University As we have stated throughout the summer, BW recognizes that antiracism messaging in solidarity with the current national movement for racial equity is not enough.

While BW's values have supported diversity, inclusion and equal access for all since the University's founding, we know that, in practice, we have not always lived up to those values for each and every member of our campus community.

While BW continues to support the call for systemic change in our country, we must take a hard look at our own campus and be prepared to take concrete action to create the inclusive, safe and respectful environment we desire for every student, professor and staff member.

To that end, BW has established a Racial Equity Task Force that includes students, alumni, faculty and staff of color.

The Task Force's first charge will be to listen with an unblinking eye to underrepresented students and alumni and to collect information on campus culture and practices. We are aware of social media posts articulating some of the negative experiences of Black students at BW and will include those voices in the Task Force's review and call for action. Additionally, the Task Force welcomes direct comments and responses through the form which can be found at THIS LINK. Submissions to this form may be anonymous.

The Task Force's efforts will include commissioning a holistic, detailed audit of BW diversity and inclusion (to be conducted by an outside expert) for the purpose of setting tangible goals to achieve more equitable representation across the University. A contract has been established with Compass Consulting Services LLC to lead us in this work.

The University is also developing new policies, responses and processes to more effectively address racial bias and discrimination. This work is in conjunction with the policy revisions which have been mandated by recently published federal regulations regarding compliance with Title IX. As the BW community, we pledge to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the minimum required by federal law. Please note that reports can already be submitted for response under the University's Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy using THIS LINK.

BW is committed to expediting this work so that significant changes and real outcomes can begin to occur during the upcoming semester. The University stands ready to take the steps needed to identify and address underlying issues of racism and discrimination in all their forms with the ultimate goal of creating a safe space for each member of our community to feel valued and to thrive.

- Charles (CJ) Harkness, Chief Diversity Officer

Media Contact

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