Dear Members of the UMBC Community,
We are deeply troubled by continued acts of brutality against Black people, including the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This tragic shooting saddens us, as does the violence that has since occurred in Kenosha. Today, we are writing to share new opportunities to get involved in UMBC’s work to confront structural racism and listen to and uplift the voices of those who are too often silenced or ignored.
As the University System of Maryland leadership previously stated, we believe that public colleges and universities are obligated to help end inequity and to promote social justice. UMBC is committed to promoting social justice and taking action to address inequities on our own campus in a number of important ways, including the work being done by UMBC’s new Inclusion Council.
The Inclusion Council was formed to provide advice and guidance to the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) from a variety of perspectives. Members also act as ambassadors for the office across campus, and Inclusion Council meetings provide a venue for discussing equity issues as they arise. The Inclusion Council is made up of students, faculty, staff, and alumni working with the campus community. UMBC’s important Retriever Courage initiative is now a part of the Inclusion Council’s work, which is also being advised by the Retriever Courage Faculty/Staff Advisory Committee.
The Inclusion Council is committed to partnering with the UMBC community. We acknowledge that there are many faculty, staff, and student groups that are already doing important inclusion work in our community and beyond. We believe in the power of collaboration and seek to help elevate and provide space for the important work that is already underway.
The Inclusion Council is now launching working groups to gather information, develop recommendations, and propose a plan of action with respect to a number of issues that have been identified by our community as priorities. We encourage UMBC community members from a variety of backgrounds to participate in these working groups. As a community, we plan to draw on the leadership and wisdom of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, many of whom confront these issues every day through their teaching, research, and activism.
If you are interested in joining any of the working groups, please submit your top two choices via the Inclusion Council Working Group Selection Form by September 21, 2020. You will find a brief description of the proposed subject matter for each group there.
Please note that group space is limited, so depending on the number of volunteers it is possible that not all volunteers will be able to be a member of a particular group this year.
- Alignment of Economic Decisions and Values
- Bias and Microaggression
- Conflict Resolution and Restorative Practices
- Faculty and Staff Diversity, Recruitment, Retention, Belonging
- Intersectionality and Engagement
- Land Acknowledgment and Education
- Policies and Procedures
- Policing and Safety
- Sexual Misconduct and Harassment
- Student Recruitment and Enrollment
- Student Retention and Belonging
- Training and Education
We will continue these important conversations and invite all to share their thoughts about the efforts these working groups will undertake through email@example.com. For more resources on inclusive excellence in action, please visit the OEI website.
UMBC Office of Equity and Inclusion