The recent series of police attacks against Black Americans, and the widespread outrage in response, have sparked a flood of conversations surrounding equity and justice across the country and around the world. At Case Western Reserve, students, staff, faculty and alumni have shared their experiences and concerns related to campus and beyond, and university leadership is committed to addressing those issues—and, most importantly, taking action.
On Sept. 17, members of the campus community are invited to continue the conversation surrounding equity, inclusion and racism raised earlier this year through a Day of Dialogue. Next week, the Case Western Reserve Sustained Dialogue Program is providing an opportunity to receive updates, share concerns about these critical issues and learn more about the mental health support and wellness resources available through the university.
In an email to the campus community on Sept. 7, Robert Solomon, vice president for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, emphasized the university’s commitment to listen “intently to our community about their lived experiences and challenges and obstacles they faced in our institution.
“Back in June we held a Day of Dialogue to start the conversation,” he wrote. “In the months since we have worked to begin to respond to the many concerns we have heard expressed. Before we even begin, however, we want to be clear that these efforts mark only the beginning of our work. Like democracy, equity, justice and equality require our continuous and perpetual attention.”
Details for each discussion can be found below. Additional information may be added before Sept. 17; please check back for updates.
Panel: Updates from the June Day of Dialogue
Introductory remarks: Scott Cowen, incoming interim president, Case Western Reserve University
Naomi Sigg, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs
Robert Solomon, vice president for the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Lou Stark, vice president, Division of Student Affairs
Event description: In the months since the last Day of Dialogue, leaders across Case Western Reserve have worked to respond to the concerns that have been expressed. The panelists will provide a summary of the common themes that emerged from those conversations, address progress on some of the concerns raised, and discuss the creation of the task force as a comprehensive vehicle to identify priorities and work on sustained action.
Closed Event: A Discussion between Students and Neighborhood Residents on Building Community
Host: Know Your Neighbors CWRU
Rev. Dr. Anthony Everett (Pastor, Church in the Circle, University Circle United Methodist Church)
Delaney Jones (SAS ’20, Master of Science in Social Administration)
Samantha Kelts (fourth-year student majoring in nursing and medical anthropology)
Rev. Stanley Miller (Pastor, Rust United Methodist Church and Glenville resident)
Dominic Oddo (CWR ‘20, astronomy and physics)
Brandy Smith (East Cleveland resident)
Barbara Wilcher-Norton (Neighbor to Neighbor and Glenville resident)
Case Western Reserve Office of Government and Foundation Relations
Community Innovation Network
Ohio Students Association
Event description: As outlined in Pathway 4 of the university’s Think Big strategic plan: “We believe in valuing how our campus, community and world treat and reflect one another. In a future where technology is a key driver, the need to focus on our human interactions is ever more necessary. To achieve our best interactions, we must become a model of the community and citizen of the future, building bridges and breaking boundaries when necessary.”
Representatives from the Ohio Student Association, a statewide organization of young people working together in an intergenerational movement for racial, social, economic and educational justice, will introduce their campaign to improve relationships between the CWRU student body and residents of the communities that directly surround the campus. Students are invited to engage in an introductory dialogue with local residents, and learn about past challenges and new opportunities for creating authentic, mutual relationships between students and residents.
Hosted by: University Health and Counseling Services and University Wellness Program
Event description: Students, staff, and faculty involved in advocacy and activism work (whether formally or through grassroots online or in-person campaigns) are facing tremendous pressures, pain and stress, exacerbated by the national civil unrest and the ongoing pandemic. Recognizing the need for mental health support is critical.
In this concluding event, University Health and Counseling Services and University Wellness Program staff will briefly introduce the resources available on campus and beyond. Participants can then take part in a “mental health break,” including renewing activities (e.g., meditation, movement and poetry) followed by a discussion of self-care strategies.
The Day of Dialogue will conclude with an invitation to participate in ongoing Sustained Dialogue initiatives.