USC Unveils Latest Anti-Racism Efforts


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - USC will take an additional series of actions in an effort to dismantle anti-Black racism at the university, President Carol L. Folt announced Tuesday.

The USC Race and Equity Center will hold focus group interviews with Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni over the next four months, seeking “to hear more about racialized experiences from Black members of the Trojan Family,'' Folt wrote in a letter to the Trojan community.

“We will see their findings and recommendations by mid-fall semester,'' Folt wrote.

There will be five public forums this fall and spring, one each for Black undergraduates, Black graduate students, Black staff, Black faculty and Black alumni. The forums will be supplemented by panelists and audience participation, Folt wrote.

All USC undergraduates will complete the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates survey this fall. There will be racial climate surveys for all USC faculty and staff in 2021.

“We need to know how every racial/ethnic group uniquely experiences our campus climate,'' Folt wrote.

The USC Race and Equity Center will provide no-cost, multi-year professional learning experiences focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion for USC employees.

Each month, the center will offer live, synchronous sessions through a virtual platform, accommodating up to 10,000 employees at once. Within two hours, videos from each live session will be posted to a password-protected website that will be permanently available to all USC employees.

Readings and other resources will accompany the videos. The sessions in the first year will focus on aspects of racial equity.

USC announced on June 11 that it would remove the name and bust of Rufus Von KleinSmid, its president from 1921-47, from a prominent historic building on campus because of his support of eugenics, the study and practice of conforming the human population to create a race of people alike in physical features.

Other steps announced June 11 were creating a Community Advisory Board for the Department of Public Safety on best practices regarding safety, policing and the engagement of the department; strengthening support for diversity, equity and inclusion programs, hiring a chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, and expanding on-campus spaces and programmatic support for students in underserved groups.

“We know that it is easy to say we are going to change, and that actions will fail unless they are strategic, realistic, committed, and tenacious, with ongoing learning, broad participation and modification to meet the goals,'' Folt said.

“Dismantling racism is the responsibility of our time and I am honored to walk this path with you.''

Photo: Getty Images

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