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Furman responds to Black alumni petition

Last updated July 10, 2020

By Clinton Colmenares, Director of News and Media Strategy

In the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans, people of color who are members of the Furman family have shared horrific and painful stories about explicit and implicit racism they have experienced at Furman. A group of Black alumni petitioned the university to address specific issues.

In a letter signed by President Elizabeth Davis and Chief Diversity Officer Michael Jennings, and with input from across campus, the university has replied, acknowledging and agreeing with the alumni’s concerns and enumerating steps to address the issues.

You can read the full text of the petition and the university’s reply on the Diversity and Inclusion website.

The university has pledged to build on and inform the foundational work of the Task Force on Slavery and Justice and the ongoing efforts of our university-wide Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

An immediate step by the university is the formation of a working group of Black alumni, students, faculty and staff to lead a review of current practices and to plan the specifics of further actions. Idella Glenn ’84 has agreed to provide support throughout this process and to co-chair the committee with Jennings. The university plans to have the group in place and to start work on their recommendations early in the fall semester.

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Clinton Colmenares
Director of News and Media Strategy