Drexel Anti-Racism Task Force Launches
June 26, 2020
Dear Students and Colleagues,
As a key initiative in our renewed efforts to support the Black community at
Drexel and eradicate racism in University policies and practices, I am pleased
to announce the formation of Drexel's Anti-Racism Task Force.
The Task Force will be led by Kim Gholston, associate vice president and chief
diversity officer, in partnership with Aroutis Foster, associate professor of
education and associate dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; Lucy
Kerman, senior vice provost for University and Community Partnerships; and
Subir Sahu, senior vice president for Student Success. It will include a team
of co-chairs for 11 committees who will be named next week.
The Anti-Racism Task Force will launch these committees to take on a critical
examination of the full range of University activities, including each of the
Undergraduate Student Life
Graduate and Doctoral Student Life
Admissions and Prospective Students
Faculty Recruitment and Retention
Academic Curriculum and Program Review
Trauma and Mental Health Supports
Professional Staff Recruitment and Retention
Learning and Education
Policies and Procedures
The Task Force will invite broad representation for these working committees
from undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, professional staff and
alumni. I am gratified that we have received over 100 names so far from
members of the Drexel community eager to join this effort, and the Task Force
will draw from this list in filling out its committee rosters.
The committees will report on the challenges and barriers that Black students,
faculty and professional staff have faced at the University, including
experiences with racism that have impeded their success. They will offer
recommendations that will be implemented and monitored as part of the ongoing
work of Kim's office. Preliminary reports and recommendations will be shared
with our community in the fall and we will focus in the new academic year on a
clear plan of action to address racism on Drexel's campus.
In the weeks ahead, members of the Task Force will communicate on their
deliberations and progress, so there can be ongoing engagement and feedback
from the Drexel community. We will provide opportunities for town hall
conversations and individual information sharing along the way.
As announced previously, we are starting two other initiatives in concert with
the Anti-Racism Task Force: the independent review of the Drexel University
Police Department by former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H.
Ramsey, and the establishment of the new Center for Black Culture.
The Anti-Racism Task Force and the work of its committees is among my highest
priorities for the University. I know that some of these discussions will be
difficult and uncomfortable, and that change will take time. But addressing
and dismantling racism once and for all is of critical importance for our
University and for our country. We must embrace this work as fundamental to
Thanks to Kim, Aroutis, Lucy and Subir for their willingness to take on the
oversight of the Anti-Racism Task Force, and to the many members of the Drexel
community who will join in this vitally important work.