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June 5 Announcement of Campus Listening Sessions

Announcement of Campus Listening Sessions

June 5, 2020

Students, faculty and staff,

In the very near future, members of Belmont’s Welcome Home Diversity Council and the Office of Multicultural Learning and Experience will be meeting virtually with the Executive Leadership of the Black Student Association. The purpose of this meeting is for our student leaders to speak directly to us about what they are feeling in this moment, what they are experiencing out in the world, and what they need from their University. And for us to listen, so that together we can best determine our next steps.

While we have certainly and rightfully heard from many members of the Belmont community over the past few days, we need to hear more. So this meeting will be the first of many listening sessions that will take place this summer, in consultation with Dr. Fisher, so that members of our community can speak, and we can listen. It is our hope that this series will galvanize our work of building a diverse and inclusive campus where all members feel accepted, safe and valued.

As leaders of the Welcome Home Diversity Council and the Office of Multicultural Learning and Experience, we affirm that the subjects of racism, bigotry, hate and violence are not ones we ignore. Members of our faculty and staff consistently meet throughout the year to advance initiatives designed to combat such forces through scholarship, service, dialogue, training, mentorship and community-building. And we are far from done in our efforts.

The current state of our society serves to remind us yet again that the battle against racism, injustice and inhumanity rages on. The hurt, fear and anger suffered by students of color requires us to acknowledge the state of our society and actively engage as change agents.

But first, we listen. We encourage you to participate so that your voices may be heard.

We look forward to the continuation of our work together.

Sincerely,

Dr. Susan West
Dr. Mary Clark