Community Forums on Racism

The next forum will be July 7 at 7pm EDT.  We will be focusing on classroom experiences and solutions.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Letter on Second Community Forum June 11, 2020

Dear Clarkson Community Members,  

Thank you for attending Clarkson’s second Community Forum on Racism (06/11/2020).  With the size of the group attending, we tried a different format to include everyone interested in participating.  It was with great hope that we would be able to continue the energy and enthusiasm from our first forum (06/04/2020), but unfortunately, the technology did not carry the same spirit of engagement as the first forum.  

With more than 300 members of the Clarkson community in attendance, it is clear that our university community wants to engage in dialogue that moves to meaningful action to affirm Black lives matter. During this time when many are engaging remotely, we realize the need to create online forums that support more productive conversations in and outside of the Clarkson community. With this being said, we will be moving forward to provide a variety of large and small group sessions and dialogues to create actions to reduce systemic racism within our own University and wider community now, this Fall when we return to campus, and into the future. 

After review of the action items presented in the first forum letter, the following items were added or clarified: 

  • Develop a common educational experience for all students with a corresponding set of trainings and workshops for staff and faculty that address macro and microagressions, implicit bias, bias incidents, and systemic inequality, i.e. systemic racism within society and our institution.  
  • Ensure educational requirement and employee training is inclusive, involves input from the community, and the whole community participates in it.
  • Build personal and systematic methods of accountability
  • Understand the symbols that divide our university community by sending messages of oppression and marganization to members of our community such as the confederate flag. Identify the common values and symbols that unite us.
  • Create conversation safe spaces via e-forums/chat/Facebook groups for Black and POC alumni and current students. Support the current efforts developing.  
  • Develop groups for individuals to volunteer to work on action items.  The following Google Forms below.

At our next forum, we will focus on class-based issues. What are the issues related to classroom experience and management and what steps can we take to address them?  

Also, please find links to current resources: 

Thank you,
The Members of Chief Inclusion Office and Bias Prevention and Response Team (BPART)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Update from the Chief Inclusion Office and Bias Prevention/Planning and Response Team [BPART]

June 5, 2020 

Dear Clarkson Community,

Black lives matter. 

During our Forum on Racism with over 200 members, we heard the pain and call for action from the Black members of our community. To our colleagues, alumni and students who came forward at the forum, we want to make sure you know we care, we hear you, and we are here for you. Please know that you are not alone. 

We are currently writing up the issues that need to be addressed and a list of action items. Some of the biggest takeaways broadly include effective communication, wider community engagement, and accountability measures, and specifically: 

  • Include Black voices in the formulation of action items
  • Focus on the safety of our Black community members
  • Address Campus Safety & Security interactions
  • Commit to fiscal and social support for Black student groups
  • Attention to implicit bias and microaggressions in the classroom, clubs, activities
  • Centralized safe spaces for Black students
  • Create more celebrations/recognition of Black student accomplishments
  • Foster a supportive and collaborative environment between CUSA and Black students
  • Representation within Student Affairs spaces and student government
  • Foster meaningful relationships with Black students and alumni
  • Create representative marketing reflective of Clarkson

As members of the Clarkson community and future leaders of our country, we must take a unified stance that Black lives matter. We must show compassion for our Black community, and we must move forward with our brothers, sisters, and sibs to correct decades of malice and mistreatment. This is the responsibility of every Golden Knight.   

The following actions have been taken:

  • On June 16, the Chief Inclusion Office hosted the Community Forum on Racism for Faculty & Staff. We are following up in this forum with the Provost’s Office, the Faculty Senate, and the Human Resources Office to develop action items related to concerns raised: recruitment of BIPOC faculty and staff, addressing microaggressions between employees and wider community relations.
  • Representatives from Clarkson’s Black students met with the President, Provost, Chief Inclusion Officer, VP for Student Affairs and Enrollment, Associate Provost for Faculty Achievement to establish Black Leadership Advocate for Change (BLAC) and develop a list of action items with deadlines with ongoing meetings scheduled. A separate list will be shared out on these items after our next meeting on July 6.
  • The Chief Inclusion Office has met with students from the Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islanders Communities at Clarkson to hear their concerns and work on action items with them to address safety concerns, develop stronger support networks, and identify needed trainings for employees and students.
  • In addition, Society for Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) hosted the Asian & Pacific Islander Forum on June 19. SASE and the Chief Inclusion Office have identified a few key action items and are currently working on the details of how to roll them out.
  • The Human Resources Office is getting ready to roll out a baseline online D&I training program for all employees. This will be supplemented by follow up trainings and professional development.
  • The combined BPART and Climate and Engagement Committee is drafting a new Bias Incident Policy and developing a back-to-campus Action Guide for employees to support BIPOC students.
  • The Chief Inclusion Team is currently developing the comprehensive training and professional development roadmap for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
  • The Chief Inclusion Office and Human Resource Office is working with our food service provider, Sodexo, to offer training in August, create a stronger process for reporting concerns to Sodexo, addressing those concerns, integrating Clarkson into these responses so we know the concerns, can make sure they are addressed, and keep them from reoccurring.
  • The Chief Inclusion Office along with the Clarkson Intercultural Ambassadors are going to give training to all incoming students as part of orientation and we will give DEIB training to all student-based club leaders in the Fall.
  • Board Trustee, Simoon Cannon, is working with the Chief Inclusion Officer to establish the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board for the University. It will consist of both internal and external advisors drawing on alumni and DEI field experts to guide the DEIB strategic plan.
  • The Chief Inclusion Office is finalizing a partnership with Sustained Dialog Institute to grow and support the University’s commitment to intergroup dialog.
  • The Provost’s Office is working on a plan to increase recruitment of BIPOC faculty and working on a core set of resources with the Chief Inclusion Office to distribute to all faculty to foster systematic change in Academic Affairs with follow up professional development.
  • Several academic departments and the Student Affairs Division are currently performing a review of potential action items to share out with the wider community.
  • A group of faculty is utilizing a slack channel to discuss faculty actions to develop supportive classroom environments, improve the representation of BIPOC contributors and texts to courses, and ways faculty can practice anti-racism in their classes, mentorship, and research. Please contact for more details and access.
  • Another group of Clarkson Community members have begun an Anti-racist reading group open to all. Please contact for further information and to join.