At the request of President Kevin J Worthen and under the direction of Academic Vice President Shane Reese, last week a committee was appointed to examine issues of race and inequality at BYU and provide recommendations to the university about specific actions to address these issues. The committee will meet for the first time this week.
The committee will first prioritize opportunities to better listen to, and better understand, the experiences of black students, faculty and staff on campus to help inform adjustments and changes that can assist BYU in being a more safe and welcoming place for BYU’s community members of color.
The committee takes seriously the charge issued by President Russell M. Nelson and leaders of the NAACP:
“We likewise call on government, business, and educational leaders at every level to review processes, laws, and organizational attitudes regarding racism and root them out once and for all. It is past time for every one of us to elevate our conversations above divisive and polarizing rhetoric. Treating others with respect matters. Treating each other as sons and daughters of God matters,”
Along with President Nelson’s encouragement on social media to:
- Foster our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
- Foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed or cause.
- Work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.
The newly-appointed committee members are:
Moises Aguirre, Multicultural Student Services
Ryan Gabriel, Department of Sociology
Lita Little Giddins, College of Family, Home, and Social Science
Vern Heperi, Office of Student Success and Inclusion
Carl Hernandez III, J. Reuben Clark Law School
Jon McBride, University Communications
Stephani Perkins, Athletics – Women’s Track
Shane Reese, Academic Vice President’s Office
Beyond this committee, many other members of our BYU community will be utilized in assisting in this work. Of particular importance will be the voice of BYU students.
The committee is eager to get started, and will immediately commence its work by reaching out to many students and members of the BYU community, ready to listen.