Dear campus community,
Immediately following the shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of police, I appointed a Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) to examine Wayne State University’s campus operations and culture, identify obstacles to equity and access, root out implicit bias, and most of all identify specific actions to further our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Although a tragic event inspired us to take this step, social justice isn’t a new focus for Wayne State. Diversity, equity and inclusion are part of our history and defining values, and our university has made significant progress in ensuring that students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds have support and access to opportunities to thrive. But we all understand that the work is never complete; there is always more that must be done.
The SJAC recently submitted its full report, and a summary version containing some of their key recommendations and common themes is available on my website. On that site, you may also download and read the detailed version of the report. Some of these recommendations are already being implemented. Others soon will be, and some will take additional time and funding. All of them will shape the development of our next five-year strategic plan.
As noted, the work of the SJAC builds upon Wayne State’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Fostering a campus where every person is valued and supported is an imperative, and we will not shrink from it. It requires the honesty to look at ourselves critically, the humility to listen to the concerns of our community, and the courage to take action. We have done that, and we will continue to do that.
I want to thank the SJAC members for their commitment and the many hours they devoted to researching and compiling the recommendations in this report. These recommendations will further shape our culture and lead to expanded opportunities for Warriors from all backgrounds. Thanks to each of you for your ongoing commitment to this important issue.
M. Roy Wilson