Chancellor’s Update: Racial Justice: A Call to Action, Part II

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

For the last several months, our nation has grappled with intolerable barriers that continue to hold back historically-marginalized individuals from their equitable place in society. Our country and college campus communities are demanding a needed focus on racial and social inequities and injustices.

Those inequities have initiated global change to make certain that ALL have the same access and opportunities. And, here at UWM, we are no different. We have a responsibility to look at ourselves critically. We must be – and are – actively part of the difficult work that ensures our own partnerships, affiliations, policies and practices reflect the values that we champion.

Last month, I shared our overall diversity, equity and inclusion roadmap in my plenary address. In my plenary and Racial Justice A Call to Action – Part I message I shared several actions underway. We’ve since built on those actions and have added several more, including:

  • Joining the EAB Moon Shot for Equity initiative to eliminate equity gaps. There will be a national release about this at the end of this month and campus communications about the specific actions underway to eliminate racial and income disparities in college completion.
  • Being the first 4-year public and largest institution to sign on to the MMAC Region of Choice Initiative pledge.  This work has as its specific goal the increased representation of employee, supervisors and leaders of colors over the next five years.
  • Reviewing of “Towards an Anti-Racist Campus” action mini-grant proposals; $100,000 has been allocated and we expect to announce awardees next month.
  • Airing the second WUWM Chancellor’s Report radio show focused on racial and social injustices. The third program in this periodic series will air on Oct. 1.
  • Creating an independent UWM Police advisory workgroup.
  • Launching a diverse recruitment and selection protocol initiative.
  • Formalizing an equity lens framework for development of UWM policies.
  • Commissioning a third UWM history book; this one to focus on our university’s contributions of diversity.
  • Developing anti-racist, anti-bias training for faculty, staff and students; Work is underway now and training is expected to begin early in the spring semester.

There is a lot here, thanks to the efforts of many faculty, staff, students and governance leads.  In particular, our series of listening sessions this summer and conversations with many diverse thought leaders contributed to these signature programs. I am thankful for the thoughtful work of the DEI training group, co-led by Dr. Chia Youyee Vang, Associate Vice Chancellor of GIE and Professor, Jamie Cimpl-Wiemer, Equity and Diversity Services Director, and Karen Massetti-Moran, Human Resources Associate Director. Vice Chancellor Joan Prince and I accepted the work group’s recommendation report earlier this month.

These are our latest specific actions and we will continue to do more, with regular updates on our progress. There is much work to be done. With your assistance, we will take actions  that truly reflect our commitment to an inclusive teaching, learning, research and work culture and climate that embraces and values the best of each of us.

Thank you to all those in our Panther family who have reached out with heartfelt concerns and suggesting ways in which we can do better. I promise that our work will continue until diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives are thoroughly integrated and more equitable outcomes are realized for all.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee