The IU antiracist agenda has come a long way since President McRobbie announced the plan at the IU Board of Trustees in June 2020. Spearheaded by Provost Professor Lemuel Watson, associate vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs, phase one and two of the five-phase antiracist agenda are complete.
Phase 1 centered around pre-planning and identifying the necessary components needed to remove systematic barriers and included conducting an inventory of all diversity, equity, and inclusion-related work on each campus and across all units, identifying collaborators, and defining the ultimate outcomes.
Phase II focused on data collection and identifying systemic obstacles within the IU system to make structural change. “It’s exciting work, and I am very pleased to be a part of this process to create a community of belonging,” Watson said. “And what I love about this process is how many people we invite to the table, wanting what is best for our students and the university while affirming diversity and inclusion matters.”
Currently, the agenda is in Phase III, concentrating on developing strategic recommendations based on the data collected from the previous two segments hoping to:
- Receive and consider recommendations for additions, enhancements, changes, or deletions regarding policy, procedures, and documents from the various workgroups across and within the IU campuses;
- Engage in townhall meetings for sharing recommendations on each campus;
- Develop strategies with timelines for implementation of accepted recommendations with the appropriate governing bodies and/or authorities;
- Share results broadly with the Indiana University community;
This phase should conclude at the end of February 2021, at which point the plan will enter Phase IV and focus on reflection and creating systematic implementation plans for changes, which includes:
- Reflecting on strategic recommendations for systemic gaps from collective inputs;
- Continuing to enhance and review an institutional accountability mechanism using a clear plan of action for sustainability and resources needed;
- Developing a clear and transparent system for continuous improvement and review;