A new Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies department and a requirement that all faculty and staff complete diversity, equity, and inclusion training are among efforts at Augsburg University to combat systemic racism after the police killing of George Floyd near our Minneapolis campus.
“We acknowledge the pain, fear, and trauma faced by the Augsburg community, especially our students, faculty, and staff of color, that was amplified in recent weeks but remains a lived reality every day,” said Paul Pribbenow, the university’s president.
The Justice for George Floyd Initiatives being planned are an important continuation of our ongoing work to build and maintain an equitable and inclusive campus. This work by Augsburg will be persistent, resolute, courageous, and integrated into everything the university does. The Justice for George Floyd Initiatives focus on working to heal our community, creating leadership and structures that make tangible change, and ensuring accountability for the work of undoing racist systems. These initiatives include:
- Funding an emerging proposal from faculty, staff, and students for a Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies department.
- Completion by all faculty and staff of our robust diversity and inclusion certificate program within the next two years—and anti-racist training by the end of the fall semester.
- Creating a scholarship at Augsburg in memory of George Floyd.
- Establishing a fund to match donations from students, faculty, and staff to organizations doing important work, especially for Black-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations.
- Expecting new accountability for inclusive, anti-racist leadership across the institution.
- Reviewing Augsburg’s major academic and administrative policies and practices with a special focus on undoing bias and discrimination and enhancing student success.
- Creating a new blog-format daily calendar on the Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Department webpage that lists community events and volunteer opportunities connected to the memory of George Floyd. The calendar will also have a Google form available for Augsburg community members to submit information about their own events, or events they wish to have added.
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.