In a campus-wide email Monday, Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley announced her equity and action report set to enhance diversity and promote action toward a more inclusive community.
Conoley detailed her plans for the university to “confront systemic racial inequities impacting people of color and Black people in particular” in the statement. She said that she feels the university has fallen victim to the rapidly changing social climate surrounding race and racism, which has ultimately pushed the school to address problems such as racial inequity.
“We at the Beach are vehemently against racial injustice and police brutality,” Conoley said. “We embrace the Long Beach City Council Framework for Reconciliation by acknowledging the existence and longstanding impacts of systemic racism, especially anti-Blackness, and the kinds of abuses of power that have historically targeted the Black community; convening stakeholders, listening to the experiences of Black students, staff, faculty, alumni, community members and faith leaders and their recommendations on how to confront bias and injustice and to become a more inclusive campus; and beginning the process of ongoing listening and convening to catalyzing immediate, medium and long-term action.”
In the statement, Conoley said that over the summer she met with groups of Black community constituents to launch a faculty diversity hiring initiative and a campus survey to gather data in attempts to further diversify the Beach.
To move forward, Conoley stated her campus-wide plans for action including increasing diversity among Counseling and Psychological Services counselors, emphasizing the importance of cultural centers and implementing training on helping to recognize bias within faculty and the University Police Department.
She plans to create a full-time coordinator for CSULB’s Black Resource Center as well as work with the Black Student Union, University Relations Development and student affairs to implement a scholarship, called the Catalyst for Chance, for “anti-racism and social justice and additional fundraising priorities.”
“Today my focus is on one in particular—an unprecedented mandate to diversify our faculty and student body and ensure more equitable opportunities for diverse faculty, staff and students,” Conoley said in the statement. “CSULB lacked regular communication structures that purposely interrogated the working, learning and living experiences of Black members of the campus community.”
Conoley said the administration is aiming to work more closely with BSU and Black and Africana studies, increase diversity on CSULB boards and encourage Black cultural events and conferences.
In an attempt to increase the recruitment and retention of Black students at the Beach, CSULB is looking to develop stronger university outreach and school relations, which will allow for the school to “aggressively follow-up with accepted students to increase yield.”
The university will also increase targeted recruiting in schools with high populations of Black students, Conoley said.
The president mentioned there is talk of implementing a residential housing theme in Africana studies as well as new ethnic studies course requirements.
“Change is always around us, but great organizations like the Beach have to be ready to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities that come from crises as well as incremental change,” Conoley said.