Black Lives Matter.

Taking action together for racial justice and equality

Following the death of George Floyd, and with the renewed momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Black Student Union and the Student Body Government petitioned Gallaudet leadership for six specific changes to address systemic racism. Gallaudet accepted this petition and is acting on all six requests.

Gallaudet University’s Anti-Racism Commitment

Our work to eradicate racism requires both systems transformation and individual change. We are taking action on both for meaningful and sustainable results. We have announced the following actions and commitments to combat racism and help accelerate our work for racial justice and equality. This is just a beginning; there is much more to be done.

  1. We will continue to support Black Lives Matter and its 13 Guiding Principles.
  2. We will provide and require additional training for the officers at the Department of Public Safety, including training on implicit and explicit bias, nonviolent communication, and American Sign Language and Deaf culture.
  3. We will ensure that student engagement, especially from student organizations of color, be part of the hiring process for the Department of Public Safety. 
  4. We will provide and require additional anti-racism training for staff and faculty.
  5. We will increase the diversity of our student body, staff, faculty and teachers.
  6. We will share on our website by July 2020, and then annually, demographic data about our student body, staff, faculty and teachers. 
  7. We will increase diversity in our leadership.
  8. We will prioritize engagement with and outreach to deaf organizations of color to recruit for positions.
  9. We will continue to include student input in the University hiring process.
  10. We will strengthen our policies and procedures prohibiting racism, including the establishment of a new hate-bias incident reporting response protocol. 
  11. Led by a majority-BIPOC Transforming the Work Experience Committee, we will review and update human resources delivery model, systems, policies and procedures while incorporating an anti-racist framework. 
  12. We will conduct a thorough review of Department of Public Safety policies and practices.
  13. We will conduct a thorough review of all campus structures, names, and signs. 
  14. We will establish specific success measurements for full accountability.

The killings of George Floyd and many other Black men and women at the hands of police officers have magnified the global urgency to dismantle systemic racism. This is especially true for us here at Gallaudet University. For far too long, and for far too many individuals, Black Lives Matter is not the lived experience. We acknowledge the deep pain and suffering that has come from this. We recognize that our past collective actions for progress have fallen short. We know that we must do better.

Together, we must stand up and step up against racism. We must do the work to transform institutional systems so that Gallaudet is a place where all feel safe and valued, and that they belong, so that Black Lives Matter is the lived experience.

We are listening

As we accelerate our commitment to anti-racism, Gallaudet will continue to listen to and engage Black members of our community. We will talk with individuals both inside and outside Gallaudet, and with organizations, including the Black Student Union, the Student Body Government, the Organization for Equity of Deaf Staff of Color (OEDSOC), the Faculty of Color Coalition, and National Black Deaf Advocates.

We are grateful for all the students, faculty, advocates and leaders who have come forward to express their very personal stories of pain and suffering, and to share their concerns and suggestions for a better world and a better Gallaudet.

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