Anti-Black Racism Task Force

Mission Statement

“We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Fred Hampton

The Anti-Black Racism Task Force, with the support of the university administration, faculty and students, is committed to strategic and intentional action to address inequities on campus through programming and service in collaboration with university stakeholders and community partners.

We stand united in our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice for all people, and state without reservations our belief that Black Lives Matter and the lives of all people who live in this world matter. We raise our voices in solidarity with all communities of color, partners, allies, and others who struggle for the equitable and humane treatment of all disenfranchised, under-resourced, under-represented, and under-served groups. We denounce police brutality, racial injustice, and anti-Blackness. We put this call of action to a few to inspire the participation of many in order to bring true systemic change to UNLV, Las Vegas, Nevada, the nation, and the world. Please stand with us!

Statement of Values

“My fear was not of death itself, but a death without meaning.”
Huey P. Newton

Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Natasha McKenna, Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Pearlie Golden, Eric Garner, India Beaty, and the many more names we must never forget.

Countless members of our collective communities have been killed as a result of police brutality and racial violence. We denounce white supremacy and any acts of violence. We believe in freedom and justice for all who call America home, and all who visit this great nation. We believe in the right to peacefully protest, freedom of speech, the right to control our economic freedom, and the right to live life free from fear, harassment, and inequity.

All people, especially People of Color, have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We contend that to this point in U.S. history, these rights have not been upheld for all people, and we can no longer accept the imbalance of power that disenfranchises so many people in terms of criminal justice, sentencing, education, and socioeconomic standing.

Priorities

The task force priorities foster an environment that focused safety, equity, and inclusion.

  • Equity and Inclusion – Address inequities for Black faculty, staff, and students, and diversify academic schools and colleges.
    • Create and implement diverse curriculum offerings.
  • Campus and Student Safety – Design and implement the processes by which instances of racial threats or violence against Black students, faculty and staff are effectively reported to the university community and appropriately addressed by university administration in a timely and effective manner.
    • Improve campus safety for Black faculty, staff and students through community policing initiatives, such as the University Police Advisory Board and NSHE Police Review Board.
  • Supportive Campus – Ensure student success by fostering a campus community of support, equity, respect, and understanding through programming and education.
    • Develop and implement mandatory training to educate the campus community on bias, unconscious bias, etc. (Specifically UNLV Employees)

Committees

Student

Main Initiatives

  • Focuses on systemic/institutional change rooted in student voices
  • Continues to voice the need for faculty of color
  • Created the “Black Students Matter” healing space
  • Advocates for more minority and minority-informed mental health counselors on campus

Members

  • Juanita Fain, Chair, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Kaliya Arnwine, Wilson Advising Center, Senior Academic Advisor
  • Harriet Barlow, Executive Director of The Intersection Academic Resource Center
  • Simone Beasley, Residence Hall Association
  • Tanya Crabb, Student Counseling and Psychology, Staff Psychologist
  • Garrison Garth, Grass Roots
  • Joshanna Holyfield, Residential Education Coordinator
  • Tarryn McGhie, Senior Instructional Designer, School of Nursing
  • Keith McMath, SUES Associate Director, Facilities and Operations
  • Sebastian Ross, Black Law Student Association
  • Nicholas Vaughn, SUES Administrative Assistant
  • Edna Wanene, Delta Sigma Theta and National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Mary Whitehead, Director for Student Diversity and Social Justice
  • Kevin Wright, Interim Assistant Director/Black/African American Program Coordinator, SDSJ

Administrative Faculty and Classified Staff

Main Initiatives

  • Pushed for funding priority for a director of Intercultural Education
  • Collaborating with campus partners to develop a search advocacy program for equitable hiring practice
  • Implemented funding for African American Studies program
  • Building UNLV Human Resources survey of Black faculty and staff
  • Provide policy and structural recommendations to address faculty and staff needs
  • Studying structural issues of racism at UNLV and how to address them

Members

  • Ericka Smith, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Tarryn McGhie, Co-Chair, Senior Instructional Designer, School of Nursing
  • Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Cherisha Gaitor, Accountant Technician 1, Campus Life-Student Union and Event Services
  • Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Nakia Jackson-Hale, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events
  • Renee Watson, Associate Vice President for Student Services
  • Takiyah Beckett, Special Assistant to the Chief Diversity Officer/Business operations manager

Academic Faculty

Main Initiatives

  • Working on the disparities within certain colleges on campus, and developing strategies for recruiting minority faculty to those colleges
  • Seek ways to fairly represent the cultural student body, and active scholars in a qualitative way

Members

  • Javon Johnson, Chair, Assistant Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
  • Kweisi Ausar, Associate Professor, Hospitality-Hospitality Management
  • Doris Watson, Professor, Educational Psychology and Higher Education

Communications

Main Initiatives

  • Advise Task Force on best practices regarding media relations, web, photos, in coordination with public affairs, media relations, and fellow college and unit communicators
  • Collaborate on the creation of the mission statement for the task force
  • Submit to UNLV News Center feature stories and profiles that give voice to members of the UNLV Black community, including stories that highlight faculty, staff, and student achievement, convey the issues of systemic racism and the work of the task force and others in the community pursue to address them

Members

  • Juliet Casey, Chair, Director of Communications for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Adam Crisp, Director of Communications for Student Affairs
  • Afsha Bawany, Director of Communications, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
  • Karyn Hollingsworth, Director of Communications for College of Liberal Arts
  • Tiffany Ponds-Kimbro, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for the William S. Boyd School of Law

  • Cherisha Gaitor, Accountant Technician 1, Campus Life-Student Union and Event Services

Members

Task Force Members

  • Ericka Smith, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer and Co-Chair, Administrative Faculty and Classified Staff Subcommittee
  • Javon Johnson, Chair, Assistant Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies
  • Juanita Fain, Vice President for Student Affairs and Chair, Student Subcommittee
  • Tarryn McGhie, Senior Instructional Designer, School of Nursing and Co-Chair, Administrative Faculty and Classified Staff Subcommittee
  • Adam Garcia, Vice President of Public Safety Services and Director of University Police Services Southern Command
  • Kweisi Ausar, Associate Professor, Hospitality-Hospitality Management
  • Barbee Oakes, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Cherisha Gaitor, Accountant Technician 1, Campus Life-Student Union and Event Services
  • Chris Heavey, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Doris Watson, Professor, Educational Psychology and Higher Education
  • Edna Wanene, Delta Sigma Theta and National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Garrison Garth, Grass Roots
  • Harriet Barlow, Executive Director of The Intersection Academic Resource Center
  • Joshanna Holyfield, Residential Education Coordinator
  • Kaliya Arnwine, SUES Conference and Events Coordinator
  • Keith McMath, SUES Associate Director, Facilities and Operations
  • Kevin Wright, Assistant Director for Student Diversity, Student Diversity & Social Justice
  • Mary Whitehead, Director, Student Diversity and Social Justice
  • Nakia Jackson-Hale, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events, Boyd School of Law; member of the Black Professional Women's Alliance
  • Nicholas Vaughn, SUES Administrative Assistant
  • Renee Watson, Associate Vice President of Student Services
  • Sebastian Ross, Black Law Student Association
  • Simone Beasley, Residence Hall Association
  • Takiyah Beckett, Special Assistant to the Chief Diversity Officer/Business operations manager
  • Vicki Rosser, Chair, Faculty Senate

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