ELP: Leadership in Social Justice

The students of the 2015 Leadership for Social Justice had the opportunity to put theory into practice: they developed a diversity action plan for the University of Utah.


Introduction

The events surrounding the African American student movements on campus to address continued overt racist incidents and undergirding racial climate problems related to institutional and systemic racism came to a head this fall at the University of Missouri-Columbia campus; as the Black football players supported the hunger-strike of the graduate student who was protesting the lack of senior level-leadership on campus to address these problems, this led to the resignation of both the president and chancellor of this campus. This event was also followed by similar moves at other campuses which called into serious question the lack of campus leadership and progressive response to the continual racial problems on predominantly white campuses.

Given this context, the University of Utah had a campus town-meeting on November 20, 2015 in which over 700 students came to the University of Utah student union to meet with the senior level campus leaders and actively voiced their concerns about the lack of campus diversity in general, and then specific concerns around racism, gender/sexuality and other problems that they felt were not being adequately addressed on campus. This meeting resulted in a number of calls for changes led by a group of Black students who have been pressing for change through a list of demands presented to central administration.

Our class (some of whom were at the November 20th meeting) felt it was time to actually put into action the theories and concepts we have been reading and discussing in our Leadership for Social Justice class (ELP 7480)... 

To read more and download the Diversity Action Plan Proposal, click here.