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Leadership statement on racial justice

Statement from Barrett leadership

Members of the Barrett community have proposed changes in the following areas that will bring more Black students to Barrett and ASU, fully support them, and more thoroughly educate all honors students about race and racial injustice:

  • Increase recruiting of Black faculty and staff
  • Increase recruiting and admission of Black first year and transfer students
  • Establish an ombudsman for issues of racial injustice at Barrett
  • Establish more scholarships available to underrepresented minority students
  • Build on the already diverse readings in The Human Event, including works by Black and African-American authors
  • Develop more student programming in support of racial justice and cultural competency

President Crow's statement

The students, faculty and staff of Barrett, The Honors College completely subscribe to President Michael Crow’s call to all members of the ASU community to engage in the process of new ideas, new designs and new initiatives to ensure that the United States Constitution’s directive of equal justice to all in our society is recognized and brought to reality.

Read President Crow's statement

Barrett Steps taken to date in our areas of commitment

  • We partnered with the wider ASU on faculty hiring initiatives, and President Crow included the hiring of a Black faculty member for Barrett as one of ASU’s top priorities. We have hired three new faculty of African American descent within the last two years.
  • We expanded and diversified our cohort of Faculty Honors Advisors.
  • We revised our faculty mentoring program to create a group mentoring model, in alignment with best practices for faculty retention. 
  • We held an anti-racism workshop for all Barrett faculty and staff by external facilitators. 
  • We implemented a systematic review of hiring protocols. Members of Barrett leadership participated in a two-day Inclusivity in Faculty Hiring Institute hosted by Excelencia in Education and the Center for Urban Education. 
  • We applied best practices and academy protocols to revise our job ads and recruitment criteria, and to train diversity advocates to serve on every faculty and staff search committee. 
  • We worked on the creation of an online dashboard with data about the demographics of our faculty and staff to maximize transparency.
  • We partnered with the NFL and Sports Metric to create a new recruiting program, the Legends Scholars Program, which will provide mentoring and outreach to Black, Indigenous and other underrepresented students of color in underserved Phoenix-area schools. 
  • We implemented SAT/ACT test-blind admissions for the 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 academic year admission cycles.
  • We made significant changes to transfer student recruitment, including offering expedited pathways for alumni of Honors Programs in Arizona Community Colleges, and providing fee-waiver scholarships for All-Arizona Scholars
  • We expanded transfer recruitment strategies with increased attention to upper-division entry options.
  • We implemented bridge programs at the Downtown and Tempe campuses to provide additional mentoring and peer support for first-year students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • We expanded our Barrett Summer Scholars program to support more students from Title I schools.
  • We are expanding our international recruiting to include increased focus on the Caribbean.
  • We met with BHCC leadership to discuss the best structure for the ombuds system, and planned to appoint three ombudsmen – a faculty member, a staff member and a student – to ensure maximum accessibility and representation.
  • We increased the visibility of the Barrett Community Scholarship application process and instituted a Barrett Emergency Fund. 
  • We implemented two bridge programs that come with dedicated scholarships.
  • We worked with the Barrett Development Office and the ASU Foundation to expand our range of scholarship opportunities.
  • The Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships (LFONSA) continues to promote an exceptional range of national scholarships and fellowships that promote equity, access, and inclusion, including the Gilman International Scholarship, the Rangel and Pickering scholarships, the Public Policy & International Affairs program, and the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars program.
  • The Office of National Scholarships developed a workshop series on scholarship and fellowship preparation that specifically targets first-generation college students.
  • We partnered with CUNY-Macaulay Honors College in the creation of a Justice and Equity Honors Network Certificate Program.
  • We developed institutional partnerships for undergraduate research and thesis research on racial injustice.
  • We worked with ASU faculty to offer more HON 394 courses on topics related to race and equity.
  • Barrett faculty created a database listing all texts taught across all sections of The Human Event that will help faculty identify and integrate new texts into their courses.
  • Barrett faculty are constantly working to create meaningful intellectual engagement opportunities around themes of race, equity and social justice, through both in-class and co-curricular forums.
  • The anti-racism workshop for faculty included a dedicated segment on approaches to The Human Event. 
  • Barrett faculty mentoring programs are paying enhanced attention to the inclusivity of assigned readings.
  • We embedded cultural intelligence training in our Global Resolve program, and enhanced focus on the social and political context of project sites.
  • We expanded Study Abroad sites and course offerings to provide more opportunities for study in Africa and the Caribbean with increased attention to themes of racial equity and justice. 
  • We supported faculty in using professional development opportunities to create tools for introducing more texts by Black, African Diasporic and Indigenous authors.
  • We created collaborative opportunities such as faculty brown bag lunches where faculty can share perspectives on texts from diverse traditions.
  • We launched multiple new programming series that focus on racial justice including:
    • Critical Conversations
    • 100 Black Innovators in 10 Days
    • Black Lives, Radical Possibilities 
  • Our signature event speakers included Centennial speaker Roxane Gay and Distinguished Global Leader speaker PJ Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
  • We hosted sessions in support of the National Scholar Strike and ASU Teach-In for Racial Justice on September 8&9, 2020
  • We created dedicated Barrett Multicultural Center space in our Vista del Sol complex.
  • We created more visible signage in Barrett locations on all four ASU campuses in support of our racial justice programming and dedication to inclusion efforts.

Moving forward: your help needed

Barrett stands with our African American community and all students who are working for an end to institutionalized racism. We completely subscribe to President Michael Crow’s call to all members of the ASU community to engage in the process of new ideas, new designs and new initiatives to ensure that the United States Constitution’s directive of equal justice to all in our society is recognized and brought to reality.

In fall 2020, student, faculty and staff members of the Barrett community collaborated to build a framework that puts in place mechanisms to permanently address racial injustice in our country. The Barrett Racial Justice Taskforce evolved from our work with the Barrett Honors College (Student) Council, and provided the opportunity for students, faculty and staff to participate in both a larger Task Force and constituent working groups that emerged from this effort to identify and implement new priority areas linked to racial justice and racial inclusion. 

As we continue to move forward with these priorities, as well as many outcomes over the past year listed above, we seek your help. If you have other suggestions for work we can do to continue to enhance racial justice at Barrett, please don’t hesitate to contact any members of the Barrett leadership. Students can also provide feedback.

We are committed to long-term, meaningful systemic change, and we welcome your support and input. We believe that by strengthening our commitment to promoting equity throughout Barrett Honors College we are strengthening our overall community and creating opportunities for all students to be the best they can be.  We continue to work with our Barrett Honors College Council to ensure that we have strong student representation in providing ongoing feedback, and we encourage you to join the BHCC and get to know your BHCC Senators; this organization is central to long-term, sustainable engagement around issues of racial justice. We also look forward to collaborating with the other colleges of the university and their students and deans in this crucial work and effort to remain steadfast in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

As we continue to work on these solutions, and strive to advance in other areas of action, we seek input from students, faculty and staff from the honors community. We encourage your participation by either (a) volunteering to be a member of working groups associated with these goals or (b) sending in your suggestions for improvement in these, or other related, areas at Barrett.

Submit a suggestion