Black Lives Matter @ SF State

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear campus community,

Nearly a month ago, San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney affirmed in a campus email our role as an engine of educational and economic equity for Black students and communities and committed the University to action. In the intervening weeks, we have engaged in many cross-campus conversations, inventoried current work and generated a set of initiatives and goals. We are very grateful to the many students, faculty and staff who have emailed us or spent time speaking with us. We want to thank Chair Teaster Baird Jr., Chair Doris Flowers, Director of Educational Opportunity and Pathways Programs Oscar Gardea, Assistant Vice President Fred Smith, Dean Amy Sueyoshi, Associate Dean Rob Williams and the Executive Committee of the Black Faculty and Staff Association for their work to move Black Lives Matter @ SF State forward. 

As leaders representing all of the University and its colleges, we commit to the following actions:

  • Implementing workshops and other educational opportunities for University employees addressing white supremacy and anti-Blackness and requiring these for all managers
  • Improving our hiring practices for faculty, staff and administrators to include anti-bias education and other best practices to ensure more diverse pools and hiring
  • Incorporating education about the ongoing, pernicious consequences of anti-Blackness, asset-based understandings of Blackness and support for anti-racism in all Student Life programming, including new student programming, leadership development and wellness initiatives
  • Recruiting, retaining and graduating Black studentsby developing partnerships with regional K-12 and community college districts and by strengthening work to eliminate equity gaps 
  • Developing new programs that strengthen the pipelines to graduate education and careers for Black students
  • Bolstering Black student life on campus by increasing support for the Office of Equity and Community Inclusion and the Black Unity Center.
  • Raising philanthropic funds for the College of Ethnic Studies and for the financial support of students whose studies focus on the Pan-African diaspora or Black populations
  • Advancing curricula that support Black student success by increasing the number of faculty whose work lies in the Pan-African diaspora or who have a demonstrated record of success in research, teaching and/or service with Black populations. We will also offer pedagogical workshops for faculty, solidify pathways for double majors or minors in identity-based degrees and increase community service learning opportunities with our Black community partners
  • Reallocating funding from policing to ensure continued support for campus programs that support BLM and anti-racist initiatives, reviewing and revising University protocols related to policing, and creating an advisory council for campus safety

So many across this University are already deeply engaged in BLM work, but we know we can and must do more. We remain committed to listening, to learning and to taking meaningful actions. As a University community, we must work together and keep our eyes on our goals. As the events of the past months recede from the headlines, our intentions and focus will remain. We will effect change.

Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.
President

Jennifer Summit, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Beth Hellwig, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Yim-Yu Wong, Ph.D.
Dean, Lam Family College of Business

Cynthia Grutzik, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate College of Education

Amy Sueyoshi, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Ethnic Studies

Alvin Alvarez, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health & Social Sciences

Andrew Harris, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Carmen Domingo, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science & Engineering