Longwood UniversityEQUITY ACTION TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONSAugust 20, 2020Task Force Members:Mr. Brandon Bowen ’21, President of the Student Government AssociationMr. Byron Bracey ’81, member of the Alumni Association BoardDr. Erica Brown-Meredith ’95, Assistant Professor of Social WorkMr. Jason Faulk, Dean of AdmissionsMs. Autumn High ‘21, Student Government Association SenatorDr. Naomi Johnson-Tsigaridas, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, UniversityDiversity Council co-chairMr. Jonathan Page, Director of Multicultural Affairs, University Diversity Council co-chairDr. Tim Pierson, Vice President for Student AffairsTask Force Co-chairs:Mr. Cameron Patterson ’10, Executive Director of the Moton Museum, co-chairDr. Larissa M. Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, co-chair
2A Call to ActionIn May and June 2020, outrage over the violent deaths of Black people – most notably Mr.George Floyd, Mr. Ahmaud Arbrey, and Ms. Breonna Taylor – sparked nationwidedemonstrations against racism and police brutality. On June 17, President Taylor Reveleyappointed an Equity Action Task Force to make recommendations for actionable stepsLongwood could pursue during the fall semester. He declared, “This national moment ofreckoning regarding systemic racial inequality and discrimination is a call to action, not justwords.” The Equity Action Task Force was charged with making recommendations to advancethree goals:1. Develop a process for addressing incidents of racial discrimination, in accordance withTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 19642. Design opportunities for every student to engage with the Moton Museum andFarmville’s civil rights history3. Propose a series of Conversations on Campus for the campus communityThe Task Force was empowered to solicit recommendations for additional short-term, actionablesteps, as well as work with incoming Chief of Police Doug Mooney to plan for expandeddiversity and inclusion training for campus police.Members of the Equity Action Task Force used their broad connections with campusstakeholders, including students, to gather input and suggestions. The Task Force met weekly asa whole from June 25 – August 12, and also held smaller group meetings to discuss specificrecommendations.The Task Force’s efforts focused on short-term actions and did not replace important longer-terminitiatives relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Longwood’s 2019-2025 StrategicPlan elevated diversity to an institutional priority. The University Diversity Council and itssubcommittees remain hard at work on a diversity and inclusion strategic plan, which willaddress many areas, including improving faculty and staff diversity. This plan and its supportingaction steps will be formalized during the spring 2021. Lastly, the Bicentennial Initiative wasestablished in February 2020 to study aspects of Longwood’s institutional history, particularlywith regard to race relations. As part of its broad scope of work, the initiative will explore thehistory of people and places on campus, providing interpretation, context, andrecommendations. On June 30, the University took steps to ensure that the names of ourbuildings truly reflect the values of Longwood.
3Summary of Recommendations1. Develop a process for addressing incidents of racial discriminationa. Appointment of a dedicated Title VI Coordinator and an advisory committeeb. Development of sound policy, procedures, and practicec. Commitment to transparency in reportingd. Commitment to campus education and training opportunities2. Design opportunities for every student to engage with the Moton Museuma. Initial visit to Moton during the Coaching Group experienceb. Integration of the Moton experience into the Civitae Core Curriculumc. Creation of the Moss Scholars Program (co-curricular experience)3. Propose a series of Conversations on Campus for the campus communitya. Student-focused town hall conversationsb. Continued learning through Residence & Commuter Life programmingc. Professional development opportunities for faculty & staffd. Professional development opportunities for campus administratione. Campus Book Read - available to all of campus and the local community4. Additional Recommendationsa. Appointment of a Presidential Student Advisory Committeeb. Increased Web Presence for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Issuesc. Diversity and Inclusion Training for Peer Mentorsd. Orientation & New Lancer Days Programming on Navigating Life at aPredominantly White Institution (PWI)e. Conversations with Campus Police: Policy Review, Training, and Outreach
41. Develop a process for addressing incidents of racial discriminationLongwood needs a stronger, and more straightforward, process for reports of racialdiscrimination to be addressed seriously and fairly. Similar to the establishment of a Title IXoffice to address gender-based discrimination, the most effective way of doing so is byestablishing a Title VI office responsible for documenting, investigating, and addressingincidents of racial discrimination. Under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and itsimplementing regulations, “no student shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, beexcluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination underany program or activity of a recipient receiving federal financial assistance.” The Task Forcerecommends the following guiding principles in establishing a Title VI office.a. Appointment of a dedicated Title VI Coordinator and an advisory committeeThe Task Force recommends that the President appoint a Title VI Coordinator who will lead theefforts of the office. The Task Force also recommends the creation of an advisory committee,appointed by the Title VI Coordinator and the President, which will assist in developing policies,procedures, educational programming, and training for the office. The advisory committeeshould be comprised of representatives from key stakeholder groups across campus, includingfaculty, staff, and students.b. Development of sound policy, procedures, and practiceThe Task Force recommends that the Title VI office establish a policy and develop a subsequentset of procedures and practices based on best practices. Existing university policies and practicesthat reference these items will be evaluated and updated to delineate and reflect the work of theTitle VI office. Versions of this policy would also be included in the Student Handbook andother appropriate places. The Task Force recommends that the Title VI Coordinator beresponsible for the existing bias incident reporting process as well.c. Commitment to transparency in reportingThe Task Force recommends that the Title VI Office publish monthly a summary ofdiscriminatory complaints and bias reports received on its website. This web-based reporting willindicate the type of incident, group targeted, conduct type, reported location, and the resolutionoffered regarding the incident. Additionally, a report from the Title VI office will be emailed tothe campus community at the conclusion of the semester.d. Commitment to campus education and training opportunitiesThe Task Force recommends that faculty, staff, and students participate in mandatory trainingrelated to the Title VI process, incidents of bias and discrimination, relevant University policies,and reporting procedures. The Title VI Coordinator and Advisory Committee will determine howthe training will be facilitated across campus.
52. Design opportunities for every student to engage with the Moton MuseumIn 2015, Longwood and the Moton Museum entered into a formal partnership. The museum’spermanent exhibition, The Moton School Story: Children of Courage, conveys many messages.It teaches about the particularly powerful and often painful history of African-Americansfighting segregation in our local community during the middle decades of the twentieth century.More broadly, it reveals how young people and their advocates can use the levers of democracyto make meaningful change when faced with whatever forms of discrimination and injustice theymay encounter at their own moment in history. Students should have opportunities to engagewith the Museum and its content at multiple points over the course of their time at Longwood.The Task Force recommends scaffolding the student experience in the following ways.a. Initial visit to Moton during New Lancer DaysThe Task Force recommends that all Longwood first-year students tour the Moton Museum aspart of their Coaching Group experience during New Lancer Days and participate in aCoach/Peer Mentor-guided reflection following the visit. The Moton Museum staff will createthe reflection activity and provide support to Coaches and Peer Mentors as it is implemented.b. Integration of the Moton experience into the Civitae Core CurriculumThe Task Force recommends that the Civitae Core Curriculum Committee work to incorporatethe Moton Story into the CTZN 110: Inquiry into Citizenship, ENGL 265: Writing and Rhetoricfor Citizenship, and CTZN 410: Symposium on the Common Good courses that are required forall students. This will allow all Longwood students to develop an understanding of local civilrights history and the tools citizens use to make significant change in our democracy. InDecember 2019, the Civitae curriculum received a grant from the Teagle Foundation to providefaculty with professional development opportunities to learn about the Moton story.Moreover, as part of Civitae, encourage faculty to develop team-taught, integrative courses at thePerspectives level that relate to the Moton Story – e.g., by examining the history and culture ofour local community or by engaging students in a community-based learning experience. As aprecursor to the development of these courses, faculty would participate in a Moton Short Courseled by the Center for Faculty Enrichment (CAFE) and Moton.c. Creation of the Moss Scholars Program (co-curricular experience)The Task Force recommends that students will have the opportunity to continue engagementwith Moton through the Moss Scholars Program, named for Dr. C. G. Gordon Moss, dean ofLongwood College, who worked to end the Prince Edward County school closings. Students willbe recognized with this distinction during their senior year in a formal program with the MotonMuseum and a medallion at Commencement. The framework would be developed by museumstaff and staff from the Office of Student Engagement. The designation would require thatstudents engage in a determined number of public programs with Moton and facilitate a capstoneservice learning project within the Prince Edward community.
63. Propose a series of Conversations on Campus for the campus communityMembers of the campus community, particularly students, continue to be affected by recentnational events. They are seeking space to converse, listen, process, heal, and develop plans foraction. Some of that work has been taking place virtually over the summer, but there is nosubstitute for in-person conversations. These conversations may be difficult. But as a trainingground of citizen leaders, Longwood has a particular obligation to guide and facilitate them. TheTask Force recommends multiple opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage indialogue and conversation.a. Student-focused town hall conversationsThe Student Government Association (SGA) will work with the Office of Multicultural Affairsto facilitate a series of student-focused town hall conversations that create space for students andother members of the campus community to reflect, converse, and offer ideas on how theUniversity can move towards being a more inclusive and equitable institution. The first TownHall will occur within the first two weeks of the semester in a hybrid format and focus on how tohave difficult conversations around issues of race, equity, and inclusion. The Town HallConversations will continue one or two times per month throughout the semester. The notes fromthe conversations will be shared with the entire campus community, including with the StudentGovernment Association, Faculty Senate, the President, the Provost, and the Vice President forStudent Affairs.b. Continued learning through Residence & Commuter Life programmingThe Task Force recommends that the Office of Residential & Commuter Life (RCL), throughtheir Residence Hall & Campus-Wide Programming model, provide students with opportunitiesto have conversations about social identity, race, acceptance, belonging, and inclusion. TheResidence & Commuter Life Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) model recognizes theimportance of facilitating conversations that are timely for the situation and need, includingfacilitating one-on-one conversations. The RCL team will continue work to provide studentswith resources at their opening Hall meetings, Commuter Resource fairs, through groupfacilitation, and through campus-wide programming opportunities (i.e., Longwood's Got Talent).c. Professional development opportunities for faculty & staffThe Center for Faculty Enrichment (CAFE) will facilitate workshops during the fall related to Teaching Difficult Dialogues in the ClassroomUnderstanding Issues Impacting Underrepresented Student PopulationsIncorporating Inclusive & Equitable Practices in the Classroom & Co-CurricularExperiencesCAFE will offer a certificate of completion to faculty that they can include in their professionalportfolios. Faculty will be encouraged to record this professional development in their annualevaluation, and the Provost will encourage department chairs to recognize this professional
7development in their evaluations of faculty. Staff will have the opportunity to participate in theseprofessional development offerings as well.Additionally, a Brown Bag Discussion, entitled “A Chat to Counter Oppression: Doing Race &Undoing Racism in the Dismantling of Inequities in Higher Education,” will be held monthly