We want to acknowledge the range of experiences articulated by the messages shared on Instagram by @blackatuniversityportland. As we examine each of these examples deeply and with open hearts, we realize the pain in these narratives as well as the individual and collective trauma of these events. As an institution that is committed to equity and inclusion, any instance of injustice does not align with our values and must be rectified. We are reviewing the individual posts and acting in appropriate ways, including in accordance with our harassment and discrimination policies. We are also aware of an inflammatory Instagram site that appeared over the weekend. We reject the premise and harmful impact of that site.
We also acknowledge that we have work to do to dismantle racism and ignorance on our campus, and we are committed to this work. Just as we are humbled by the work ahead, we are fortified by the strength of our community and its ongoing efforts. As some of the posts on @blackatuniversityportland note, there are allies in our community who are actively working to advance equity on campus. Indeed, our students, faculty, staff, and administration have been engaging in this work in recent years in multiple ways. As Fr. Mark Poorman mentioned on June 12, we are planning numerous activities for the next academic year that will advance our efforts, such as:
- Further empowering the President’s Advisory Committee on Inclusion to collaborate with the Office of International Education, Diversity, and Inclusion on initiatives, programming, and events that will center the voices and lived experiences of people of color, and support such efforts with increased funding.
- Implementing training modules on topics such as institutional racism and implicit bias.
- Fortifying our efforts to recruit faculty, staff, and students from minoritized groups.
- Strengthening the University’s relationships with community organizations at the vanguard of advocacy for historically marginalized populations, such as the NAACP, Urban League, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.