Introduction

Last month, President Ron Liebowitz announced a new initiative to address systemic racism at Brandeis. To efficiently address this issue, Ron has asked for a set of action plans from three major areas (these groups include: 1) Public Safety and Human Resources; 2) Community Living, Residential Life, and Athletics; and the 3) Academy and Schools) to be submitted to him for review, engagement with the campus community, and implementation in the semesters to come.

These action plans must: a) include ongoing, significant engagement with members of the campus community, including BIPOC students, faculty, staff and organizations representing their interests and concerns; and, b) be transformational, including new approaches regarding the roles and responsibilities of everyone who is charged with creating and sustaining a safe, respectful environment for learning and living. As the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, I have been charged with coordinating with the three major areas listed above to review and share these plans with the President and the community.

As we move forward, we also must acknowledge the work that has been done already. Many students, faculty, and staff have protested and petitioned the institution for change. The status of these agreements can be reached by visiting the ODEI website. Brandeis’ administration is committed to moving beyond “business as usual” and requesting voluntary efforts for change at every level and in every corner of the organization. We must work together to build a community that is diverse, welcoming, and free from bias and discrimination. In the spirit, I have drafted the following proposal and welcome your input and ideas to ensure we are making this initiative a collaborative effort to bring about a lasting and long term change for Brandeis.