Actions to address racial injustice in STEM fields at Furman University
The faculty and staff in the STEM Departments at Furman University are committed to cultivating an inclusive culture where students and members of the campus community have the opportunity to thrive. We stand against racism and racial injustice in all forms and acknowledge that we have not done enough in the past to embrace and support our students and colleagues in this area. We stand united in making measurable changes going forward and commit to continuously assessing our departmental and institutional cultures to ensure a welcoming, respectful, and mutually supportive environment for students and members of our department communities.
We have formed a coalition among the STEM Departments to address inequitable systems in our community, facilitate communication between students, faculty, and staff, and to hold ourselves and each other accountable. Each department brings a unique set of strengths and challenges to this work and will prioritize where to begin its department-level actions for change while giving and receiving support through the STEM coalition.
We pledge to:
- Educate ourselves and our department communities about racial injustice in the STEM fields.
- Actively recruit racially diverse faculty and staff.
- Work to recruit and retain racially diverse majors and other students in our courses in STEM departments through programming focused on cultivating community and a sense of belonging in STEM, including through existing programs and initiatives at Furman.
- Ensure that all students have equitable access to academic support and opportunity for engagement in STEM departments, including but not limited to research, internships, and other components of the Furman Advantage.
- Provide meaningful opportunities for students to be engaged in the development and implementation of departmental diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
- Maintain a repository of resources to be shared among departments so that we, collectively and as individual departments, may reflect on our weaknesses and strengths in order to create welcoming, equitable, and actively anti-racist departments.
- Plan biannual meetings with representatives (students, faculty, and staff) from each department to report growth, discuss methodology, and assess the Furman STEM community’s progress on the actions above.
In forming this coalition, the STEM Departments at Furman commit to a new collaborative approach to shifting our institutional culture. The implementation of change to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion is not a milestone to be achieved and archived; the Departments understand that this initiative is an ongoing way of approaching our work as educators and scholars. We believe that collaboration is the vehicle of change that will best serve our current and future students, staff, alumni, and faculty.
These objectives are aimed at addressing racism and racial injustice in STEM departments at Furman, which is a critical part of Furman University’s mission to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion across many dimensions.