Statement from Barrett Leadership

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September 4, 2020

In June we pledged our institutional solidarity with movements for racial justice in the United States. We promised to take action in six areas to enhance our Barrett community, and to ensure that our commitment to inclusivity and racial equity can be maximized in all areas of our operations. We wish to share with you steps that have been taken to date in those areas of commitment; to detail our plans for ongoing work; and to highlight areas where we seek your help and input – including in support of the national Teach-In for Racial Justice to be held on September 8 & 9.

Commitment Area One: Increase recruiting of Black faculty and staff

 Work in progress:

  • We are partnering with the wider ASU on faculty hiring initiatives, and President Crow has included the hiring of a Black tenured faculty member for Barrett as one of ASU’s top priorities (see President Crow’s message dated September 2 2020).
  • We are implementing 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. Academy protocols and best practices are being implemented to revise our job ads and recruitment criteria, and to train diversity advocates to serve on every faculty and staff search committee. 
  • We are expanding and diversifying our Faculty Honors Advisors.
  • We are working on the creation of an online dashboard with data about the demographics of our faculty and staff to maximize transparency.

 Work completed:

  • We have hired new faculty of African American descent within the Academic Years 2019-2021.
  • We have revised our faculty mentoring program to create a group mentoring model, in alignment with best practices for faculty retention 
  • An anti-racism workshop was held in August for all Barrett faculty by external facilitators. We will be holding an anti-racism workshop for staff later in the Fall semester.

Commitment Area Two: Increase recruiting and admission of Black first year and transfer students

Work in progress:

  • We are partnering 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 are expanding transfer recruitment strategies and pursuing increased awareness of upper-division entry options.
  • We are expanding our international recruiting to include increased focus on the Caribbean.


  • We are piloting bridge programs at the Downtown and Tempe campuses to provide additional mentoring and peer support for first-year students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • We are piloting test-blind admissions for the 2020-2021 academic year admissions cycle.
  • We have recently 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 are continuing to expand our Barrett Summer Scholars program to support more students from Title I schools

Commitment Area Three: Establish an ombudsman for issues of racial injustice at Barrett

In Progress:

  • We have met with BHCC leadership to discuss the best structure for the ombuds system. We are planning to appoint three ombudsmen – a faculty member, a staff member and a student – to ensure maximum accessibility and representation. 

Commitment Area Four: Establish more scholarships available to underrepresented minority students

In Progress:

  • We are working with the Barrett Development Office and the ASU Foundation to expand our range of scholarship opportunities.


  • We have increased the visibility of the Barrett Community Scholarship application process and instituted a Barrett Emergency Fund. 
  • Each of the two bridge programs currently in pilot phase come with dedicated scholarships.
  • The Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships continues to promote a wide 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.
  • ONSA has developed workshop series on scholarship and fellowships preparation that specifically target first-generation college students.

Commitment Area Five: Build on the already diverse readings in The Human Event, including works by Black and African authors

In Progress:

  • We are supporting faculty in using professional development opportunities to create tools for introducing more texts by Black, African Diasporic and Indigenous authors.
  • We are working to create collaborative opportunities such as faculty brown bag lunches where faculty can share perspectives on texts from diverse traditions.


  • Barrett faculty have 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 mentoring programs are paying enhanced attention to the inclusivity of assigned readings.
  • The anti-racism workshop for faculty included a dedicated segment on approaches to The Human Event. 
  • 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

Of course, The Human Event is only one part of our Honors curriculum. Other curricular efforts in progress include:

  • Partnering with Macaulay Honors College in the creation of a Justice and Equity Honors Network Certificate Program
  • Developing institutional partnerships for undergraduate research and thesis research on racial injustice
  • Working with ASU faculty to offer more HON 394 courses on topics related to race and equity
  • Embedding cultural intelligence training into Global Resolve, as well as providing greater focus on the social and political context of project sites
  • Expanding Study Abroad sites and course offerings to provide more opportunities for study in Africa and the Caribbean and for increased attention to themes of racial equity and justice 

Commitment Area Six: Develop more student programming in support of racial justice and cultural competency

In Progress:

  • We are working on the creation of a Barrett Multicultural Center in our Vista del Sol complex.
  • Our Centennial Speaker for 2020 is Roxane Gay.  Her keynote address will take place on September 25, 2020.
  • Our Distinguished Global Leader for November 2020 will be PJ Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica. 
  • We will be hosting sessions in support of the National Scholar Strike and ASU Teach-In for Racial Justice on September 8&9, 2020


  • We launched multiple new programming series that focus on racial justice including:
    •  Critical Conversations
    • 100 Black Innovators in 10 Days
    • Black Lives, Radical Possibilities 

Moving Forward: Your Help Needed

As we continue to move forward with these priorities, we seek your help in the creation of a Barrett Racial Justice Task Force. The Task Force will support some of the works in progress discussed above and also identify and implement new priority areas linked to racial justice and racial inclusion. We are working with Barrett Honors College Council to ensure that we have strong student representation on both the larger Task Force and the constituent working groups that emerge from this effort. Please use this form to apply to serve on the Task Force:

Additionally, we encourage you to join the BHCC and to get to know your BHCC Senators, as this organization is central to long-term, sustainable engagement around issues of racial justice.

Finally, we stand in solidarity with the National Scholar Strike For Racial Justice and the affiliated ASU Teach-In and we encourage Barrett students to participate in the events being hosted on September 9, 2020:

Barrett faculty will also be hosting Teach-In sessions in support of the Scholar Strike on September 8&9, 2020, in order to facilitate our students in engaging issues of racial justice and equity. Further information will be posted on our social media channels and in the Honors Digest on September 8, 2020. Again, we encourage Barrett students to participate in these events.

And, 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. 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. 

June 11, 2020

Barrett, The Honors College is committed to addressing racial injustice in our country. Black Lives Matter, and we want to support that fact by making changes in the following areas that will bring more Black students to Barrett, 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
  • Reserve space for Black students, staff and faculty to access and engage
  • 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 authors
  • Develop more student programming in support of racial justice and cultural competency

As we work on these solutions, and strive to advance on 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. The address for suggestions is

June 3, 2020

The students, faculty and staff of Barrett, The Honors College are horrified by the death of George Floyd. As our nation mourns this injustice, 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.

All members of the Barrett community will be working from this moment through the coming academic year to begin to build a framework that puts in place mechanisms to permanently address racial injustice in our country. We look forward to collaborating with the other colleges of the university and their students and deans in this crucial work. We remain steadfast in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Read President Crow's Statement