Task Force on Anti-Black Racism

Task Force

The Task Force on Anti-Black Racism was distinctly constructed to encourage critical self-inventory and broad participation.

Upon delivery of its report recommendations April 28, 2021, the formal work of the Task Force is complete.

“It is our hope that the specific anti-racist work we recommend will be sustained over time.”

–Task Force on Anti-Black Racism

President’s Charge to the Task Force

In this nation, unjust legacies of slavery and violence rooted in anti-Black racism date back more than 400 years. The persistence of structural and systemic inequalities in education, economic opportunity, policing, health care, housing, criminal justice, and more threaten the lives and livelihoods of Black people in this country.

Brown has a role to play in dismantling societal systemic racism by providing pathways for equity and access, advancing knowledge and enacting change locally and globally through teaching, research and public engagement. The Task Force on Anti-Black Racism will consider how Brown can best address these issues in a way that reflects Brown’s mission of education, scholarship and service to society.

The task force will focus on topics including, but not limited to:

  • The development of educational programs, workshops and trainings that ensure that all members of the Brown community have opportunities to learn about and understand anti-Black racism
  • The consideration of ways to ensure that the Brown campus is welcoming and supportive of Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • The support of curriculum, scholarship and research that sheds light on the history of anti-Black racism and its role in economic, health and social disparities, with the goal of reducing those disparities
  • The expansion of the Brown-Tougaloo partnership and the exploration of collaborations with other historically Black colleges and universities, as well as local school systems to create expanded educational opportunities for students of color, especially Black students

It is imperative that work on anti-Black racism be supported and sustained over a long period of time, rather than be merely reactive to current circumstances. To that end, the task force should consider the long-term sustainability of any programs and partnerships that are recommended.

Task Force Composition

The task force was co-chaired by Andre C. Willis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Shontay Delalue, who was at that time the Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity at Brown.

To ensure that the task force was representative of all facets of the Brown community, members of the task force were nominated by their respective governing bodies. In addition to the co-chairs, the task force was composed of two staff members, two faculty members, two undergraduate students, one graduate student, one medical student, one alumnus, one Providence community member, and one ex officio member.

Task Force Members:

  • Shontay Delalue, Co-Chair, (now former) Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Andre C. Willis, Co-Chair, Associate Professor, Religious Studies
  • Lydia Ademuwagun ’19, MD’23
  • Wassa Bagayoko ’21
  • Kevin Boyce ’21, MPA’22
  • Rosalba Lopes, Custodian
  • Kia McNeill, Head Coach, Women’s Soccer
  • Andrea M. O’Neal ’03, President-Elect, Inman Page Black Alumni Council
  • Chloe Poston MA’10, PhD ’13, (now former) Assistant Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Marco McWilliams, Providence Community Member
  • Seth Rockman, Associate Professor, History
  • Donnell Williamson, PhD’24, Religious Studies
  • Taneisha Wilson, Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
  • Mary C. Wright, Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning; Executive Director, Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning; and Professor of the Practice, Sociology

Task Force Focus Areas

After convening, the task force identified four subcommittee dedicated to developing recommendations for actions that could directly address anti-Blackness:

  • Curriculum and the classroom experience
  • Culture and climate
  • Administrative and academic policies
  • External and community engagement