Update on Anti-Racism Plans

August 25, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

We are writing to give you an update regarding the status of our Anti-Racism Plans, and to provide the campus community with details for the opportunity to provide feedback on these plans.

In June 2020, a much-needed national conversation on race and systemic racism was initiated around the country. Consistent with our tradition of social justice and self-reflection, we announced our intent to create a strategy to identify and address any vestiges racism at Brandeis.

On November 10, 2020, the Draft Anti-Racism Plans were unveiled to the university community for notice and comment. After much revision and contemplation, we are now ready to unveil the semi-completed plans to the Brandeis campus community for a final comment period ending September 30, before ultimate compilation and external distribution. At this link, you will be able to access the plans, as well as read more detailed instructions for how to submit feedback.

This original Anti-Racism Plan was an initiative of the President’s Office and stewarded by Dr. Mark Brimhall-Vargas—then our Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. However, the entire Brandeis community undertook the serious challenge of developing an intensive university-wide anti-racism strategy. It is this collaborative spirit that we wish to guide us as we move forward.

Thus, during this final review period, we are asking Brandeis students, faculty, and staff not only to review plans from the departments with which they are involved, but to also engage with plans from other offices across campus. In doing so, we encourage our community to learn from one another, deliberate best practices, and spark critical conversations concerning race and racism. When the review period is complete, we hope the entire Brandeis community will have familiarity with this robust initiative.

We will use your comments as these draft plans are finalized. The final plans will serve as a working resource in the future as we attempt to change the understanding, response, and analysis of systemic racism at Brandeis. Even after this next phase of our significant endeavor is completed, the work of ridding our institution and society of the lingering vestiges of racism—in all of its forms—will be an ongoing process. This is a goal which we are both enthusiastically committed to achieve.

We appreciate your continued involvement and support, and look forward to your participation in this final review period.

Best regards,
Ron and David

Ron Liebowitz

David M. Fryson, Esq.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of DEI