4. Hire diverse faculty members
“The main task of any college or university is education,” says Loris, “education for our students, our faculty, and our local communities to bring knowledge, reason, understanding, meaning and values to the whole human community.”
To provide a more holistic understanding of racial injustices, higher ed should recruit faculty of color to bring their voices, experiences and expertise into the conversation. “We need to provide opportunities for them to be heard, to educate and inform,” says Loris.
At Sacred Heart, administrators recently hired three black women for a recent Heart Challenges Hate colloquia on the legacy of American’s original sin, which looked into recent events including the brutal murder of George Floyd. “These new hires are all Black women whose work directly involves crucial expertise about Black people. This is why they are on the panel: to extend their knowledge and expertise.”
Last year, the university also hired an executive director of diversity and inclusion who works in close contact with students of color and sits on strategic committees. She will also lead colloquia in the fall and spring. “Her work is just beginning, but she is going from department to department to discuss hiring,” says Loris. “She was hired to work on what her title says: diversity and inclusion.”