Demand #5

Developing a mandatory Anti-Racist Module Training, similar to the the Alcohol Awareness and Sexual Harassment trainings currently required by the University. This mandatory Intercultural Competence Training must be completed by ALL incoming university first-years and transfers before starting their academic activities. 

Why is this important?

Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25th, 2020, thousands of students at universities across the United States began petitions for their institutions to commit to greater anti-racist efforts. In response to this national movement, many university presidents issued statements denouncing racism with a commitment to racial justice. However, analyses show that this “commitment to racial justice” tended to be short-terms initiatives that were more symbolic than effective. Few institutions offered substantive and systematic approaches to addressing racism on their own campus and did not provide a timeline or specific metrics to measure success. The murder of George Floyd is one of the most recent instants that sparked national revolt, and it is not the first nor will it be the last. Racism within institutions has gone unaddressed and it is a common trend that institutions commit to long term goals such as crafting developing anti-racism training that are not completed. 

When looking at anti-racist efforts produced by the University of Cincinnati, there is the Racial Awareness Program (RAPP), a 9 month intensive program that works to fight oppression through individual awareness and collective action. The Student Activities Leadership and Development (SALD) also offers Anti-Racist Resources on its website, with a drop down menu offering a variety of anti-racism related educational material. In addition, the UC College of Medicine has its own Anti-Racism Task Force with the mission of establishing a new institutional culture–relationship and create educational policies and practices that are anti-racist. Though these efforts are wonderful, the University lacks a comprehensive, mandatory anti-racism program that all students across the main and branch campuses are required to take. Anti-racism training is a need at this university, as this will push students to acknowledge their racists beliefs and structures and provide guidance for how to actively work to address them. Requiring ALL incoming university first-years and transfers  to partake in this training before starting their academic activities will allow the university to remain committed to promoting no-tolerance towards racism at this university. 
 

Research

Anti-racism work at UC:

 

Why is anti-racism training important?

  • Source #1

    • On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police.

    • Floyd’s murder sparked national protests calling for police reform and progress on racial justic

    • Thousands of college and university students demanded their institutions commit to a host of anti-racist efforts.

    • In response to the national moment and student demands, many college and university presidents issued statements denouncing racism, reaffirming their institutional values, and committing to progress on racial justice issues

    • EAB conducted an analysis of 130 statements on racial justice and anti-racism issued by colleges and universities in the U.S. after the Floyd murder 

    • Our analysis revealed that 82% of institutions in the sample released statements following George Floyd’s death. 

    • The actions institutions typically committed to tended to be short-term and more symbolic in scope. 

    • While some institutions identified longer term initiatives such as developing anti-racism trainings and advancing the recruitment of faculty of color, they did not provide a timeline or specific metrics to measure success.

    • EAB’s analysis showed that few institutions offered substantive and systematic approaches to tackling racism on their own campuses.

  • Source #2

    • Anti-racist work means acknowledging that racist beliefs and structures are pervasive in all aspects of our lives—from education to housing to climate change—and then actively doing work to tear down those beliefs and structures. 

    • Those beliefs and structures don’t just exist in primarily white/and or privileged institutions—they thrive there.

    • Schools that house mostly students and teachers who have benefited from white privilege can lack the perspective to push back on institutional malpractice or racist mindsets that may be present. 

    • In addition, it is difficult to convince those with power and privilege to give those privileges up without clear education and work to understand why doing so is a necessity for true justice in our society.

    • Students coming from positions of power need to see and understand the power and agency of those who have been historically disenfranchised, particularly since society frequently tells them otherwise. 

    • This will allow white students to have a more accurate and nuanced understanding of our history, while also ensuring they can center BIPOC voices and be allies and accomplices instead of “saviors.

Good resources to look at when developing this training