TASK FORCE FOR RACIAL EQUALITY
Task Force Reports & University Action Plan
In 2020, the Office of the Provost examined diversity, equity and inclusion at Georgia State, assessing where the university is, the further moves the university should make and how to put the recommendations of the Commission on the Next Generation of Faculty – the university’s effort to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in recruitment, retention and engagement of faculty – into action.
Following the senseless deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, in addition to those of Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and countless other Black Americans, these efforts must accelerate. As an institution of higher education, it is the university's responsibility to foster difficult conversations and identify solutions.
President Mark Becker and Provost Wendy Hensel established the Task Force for Racial Equality in June 2020 to address these issues, foster the conversations, and identify solutions that the university can place into action for its students, faculty, staff and our society.
Charge of the Task Force
- Identifying how Georgia State, using our curriculum, teaching, research, community outreach and global activities, can address and reduce systemic racism and police violence against Black people and other underrepresented groups at the university and in society;
- Identifying important conversations for Georgia State’s community to increase understanding and awareness of issues of police violence and racial discrimination against Black people and other underrepresented groups; and
- Identifying ways in which Georgia State may best support our Black and other underrepresented students, faculty, staff and community.
Membership of the Task Force
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- Chair, Jonathan Gayles, Chair and Professor of African-American Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
- Gwendolyn Benson, Associate Dean for School, Community and International Partnerships, College of Education & Human Development
- Curtis Byrd, Special Adviser to the Provost
- Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
- Cynthia Lester, Associate Dean of the Clarkston Campus and the Division of Math, Computer Science & Engineering, Perimeter College
- Rodney Lyn, Interim Dean of the School of Public Health
- Elizabeth Beck, Professor of Social Work, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
- Jennifer Esposito, Chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies, College of Education & Human Development
- Collins Airhihenbuwa, Professor of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health
- Elizabeth West, Professor of African-American Studies and English, College of Arts & Sciences
- Natsu Saito, Distinguished University Professor of Law, College of Law
- Jennie Ward-Robinson, Special Assistant to the Dean, College of Arts & Sciences (Center for African Diaspora)
- Joe Spillane, Chief of the Police Department
- Donna Frazier, Chair of Staff Council
- Linda Nelson, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Opportunity Development
- Allison Calhoun-Brown, Vice President for Student Engagement and Programs
- Kaelen Thomas, President of the Student Government Association
- Jessica Siemer, President of the Graduate Alliance
Structure, Subcommittees & Priorities
- COACHE Faculty Survey Process
- Student Climate
- THRIVE Inventory Tool
|Culture & Practice|
|Training & Professional Education|
|Communications & Programming|
|Community Outreach & Town Halls/Discussions|
|Freshman & Graduate Orientations|
|Administrative & Staff Affairs|