Yousef, T. et al
After recent tensions highlighting the institutional racism towards students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, a group of all-white tenured faculty members decided to tackle racial justice within the university by asking the first Black student they ran into to lead a diversity committee for no pay.
“I declined,” said Black graduate student Brandon Moore. “I’m not giving the university good racial PR for a few slices of pizza.”
After watching other universities receive praise online for issuing vague, actionless statements in support of Black Lives Matter, the university’s Dean Dr. Randall Bean proposed that some graduate students put together a diversity task force, on their own unpaid time, and then nominated himself as director. Their mandate? “They can talk as much about racism as they want, as long as I’m home by five,” Dr. Bean noted.
“Of course, there had been rumblings about systemic racism for years that we’d ignored,” continued Dean Dr. Bean, “but now we’re ready to make a public show of support for our students so we don’t have to think critically about how racism is built into the academic system.”
One committee member, Dr. Michelle Okereke, who remains an adjunct professor after being denied tenure repeatedly, says she never agreed to be on the committee and that it does nothing about the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of Black and Indigenous students and faculty.
“I brought this up with Dr. Bean,” said Dr. Okereke, “but he told us that we should try to diversify the planned virtual homecoming instead, since it’s ‘more important right now, with everyone being home and lonely because of this virus and all that.’”