The sunrise over Heritage Hall.

Racial Justice Advisory Committee

Our campus and nation have been galvanized by the tragic deaths of George Floyd and too many others. Students, faculty, staff and alumni have said enough is enough and that we must not only address abuses in policing, but root out the plague of racial hierarchy that has permeated our broader society and institutions leading to longstanding disparities in health, education, income and myriad other social and economic indicators. 

The time has come for us to build inclusive and equitable systems and structures. In 2020, we find ourselves at a point when we must reckon with our past and present to build a future in which we all thrive. James Baldwin stated, “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This statement is as timely, though it was made in 1962. 

Western Michigan University alone will not change the ills of our nation, but we can and will address those ills as they exist on our campus, and together we will be a force for positive change in our society. The issues we are confronting are neither new, nor will they be easily or quickly overcome. WMU, however, is committed to beginning the process of change and to seeing it through. Our campus community expects us to begin taking significant action to address these issues. 

As part of our strategy we are forming a Racial Justice Advisory Committee, which will work to identify issues we need to address, prioritize those issues and identify actions that we can take to create change. This committee will advise President Montgomery and his cabinet in effectively addressing the systemic racism and racial inequities on our campus.