University creates Call to Action to address racism, social injustice

Chancellor+Jones+delivers+the+State+of+the+University+Address+on+Jan.+24.

Mark Capapas

Chancellor Jones delivers the State of the University Address on Jan. 24.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer

The University will be introducing a series of actions, investments, programs and policy reform efforts in a new Call to Action to address systemic racism and racial disparity. 

“It is time to focus the vast and unmatched intellectual and scholarly talent of this 21st century land-grant university on finding new solutions to these persistent and destructive issues,” said Chancellor Jones in a Massmail. 

Led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the initiative will create working groups “charged with taking concrete steps forward to dismantle systemic racism and injustice,” Jones said. 

These steps will be both measurable and accountable by the end of spring 2021. 

The program will invest $2 million annually to support competitively awarded/tenure-track faculty grants, an annual symposium of funded projects and an ongoing lecture series.

“There is a critical need for high quality, high integrity scholarship that provides foundations to intervene in institutionalized disparities, structures of violence and over-criminalization to fundamentally address the root of issues that continue to create inequality, inequity and lost opportunities for too many in our society,” Jones said. 

The inaugural call for proposals will focus on three areas: 

  • system racism and social justice
  • law enforcement and criminal justice reform
  • disparities in health and health care

The call for research proposals and inaugural awards will begin early in the fall semester.  

“This initiative is just the first step as we seek to transform the way our own university supports, prioritizes and recognizes the research of scholars working on issues of systemic racism in the United States. There are many more to come in the days and weeks ahead,” Jones said. 

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