Dear Members of the Randolph community,
Since issuing my first statement on Randolph’s commitment to racial equality, I have been in further discussions with Black and African-American student leaders at the College. I appreciate these students for both their leadership and their candor. Their message to me has been crystal clear: Randolph’s Black and African-American students expect to see concrete steps to illustrate our commitments. My message in response is that I am listening—and what you are saying is vital and important to Randolph as a community.
One step that the students asked for is to have a Black presence in top-level decision making at the College. To that end, I am appointing Brent Lewis, the Director of the Office of Identity, Culture, and Inclusion, to my Senior Staff. I am simultaneously appointing Brent as the chief diversity officer. Brent, who received his Ph.D. from North Carolina A&T State University, came to the College a year ago with a strong background in diversity and inclusion. He has done exemplary work here, earning the trust and respect of the entire community.
Another request from the students was the creation of a Task Force to examine the lived experience of Black and African-Americans at the College. This Task Force will be formed later this summer and will include Black and African-American students and staff. Hylan “Hank” Hubbard III, the chair of the Board of Trustees, will also join the Task Force.
In order to address the lack of Black and African-American faculty and staff, we will examine and improve our plans for diversifying applicant pools. We will re-double our efforts to increase the diversity of the faculty and staff.
In addition, I commit the College to the following:
We will work to increase programming for Black and African-American students.
We will work to diversify the staff of the Counseling Center.
We will require anti-racist and anti-bias programming for employees of the College.
We will encourage better attendance at BSA events.
During the 2020-21 school year, we will identify multi-cultural space for student use.
I appreciate the conversations and dialogue that have been taking place, and I believe this will be some of the most important work we do at the College. We must continue to listen to one another and take the necessary steps to dismantle systemic racism at Randolph College in all forms. Together, we must commit ourselves to these efforts—today, tomorrow, and every day afterwards.