UMD introduces first steps of its anti-racism plan

The University of Maryland's Miller Administration Building. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

The University of Maryland will host a series of “Community Conversations” as part of its anti-racism action plan, according to a campuswide email sent Wednesday.

“Current events—and UMD’s history—make it imperative that we address anti-Black racism as it manifests in our structures and everyday lives,” read the email, which was signed by several university officials, including university President Wallace Loh, Provost Mary Ann Rankin and Georgina Dodge, diversity and inclusion vice president.

There will be separate discussions for students, staff and faculty. The first, for exempt staff, will be held June 30. The non-exempt staff community conversation will be held on July 8, while the faculty community conversation will be held July 17. There will be two community conversations for students, one on July 14 and one on July 20.

The administration will use these conversations to determine and direct ongoing initiatives, according to the email.

“Change is needed. And to lead the change we seek, we will listen, act and unite,” the email read.

The university is also reviewing the current general education diversity course requirement and moving forward with plans to launch diversity and anti-racism training for staff and faculty. The progress of each initiative will be documented on a website, they wrote.

Additionally, the university promised to work with different campus groups, including the University Senate and University Police, to address these issues.

“This is just a start. We know there is much more to do,” the email read. “The impact of centuries of racism cannot be addressed overnight, but we believe that with sustained attention and our determination to be an inclusive and equitable campus, we can be a place where Black lives truly matter.”

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