Black Lives Matter

Housing & Residence Life Believes Black Lives Matter

The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd and the attacks on the larger Black community are unjust. Hate has no home at Grand Valley State University and we are committed to our role in addressing injustice in our community. A major part of GVSU Housing and Residence Life’s mission is to develop safe and inclusive communities through the work we do. While you are not yet residing with us on campus, we would like to offer opportunities for education and engagement about what is happening in our country and community.

We encourage you to reach out to our Housing & Residence Life staff to voice any concerns or take time to process recent events. Housing & Residence Life will also be holding programming opportunities and spaces for education, self-care, and reflection. While you are not yet physically here on campus, we invite you to join the conversations of our community. 

As we move forward as a residential community, it is our right and responsibility to report acts of bias and malice towards those around us. As you are able, intervene, but know that these reporting tools are available to you to support your fellow community members. Find more information on GVSU resources to report here. 

What can you do?

Education is necessary to break the bounds of white supremacy and we all do that work on our own but also for the communities in which we live. Engaging in self-reflection and education can be keys to positive change and have a major impact on those that you live with. There is a plethora of resources available and we encourage engagement to continue learning how we each contribute.  

Learn the Basics and Historical Context

Systemic Racism Explained

This short video gives an overview of systemic racism. 

Overview of Terms

This resources is a glossary of basic terminology used in Anti-Racism work. 

The Origin of Race

What is the origin of race? Watch this video to see how race has been socially constructed over history. 

The Root of Racial Injustice

Megan Francis traces the root causes of our current racial climate in this TED Talk. 

Reflect on Your Role

Advocate for Systematic Change

Move beyond hashtags and slogan – consider where you fit in a social change ecosystem

Act on Racism

View a collection of the 2012-2013 GVSU Act on Racism performances. How does your campus experience compare? 

Engage in Self-Reflection

Consider your hidden biases – take the Project Implicit Social Attitudes Assessment

group of students at campus event

Continue to Engage


Watch a TED Talk

Color Blind or Color Brave

How Racism Makes Us Sick

Courage is Contagious

An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter

Pick Up a Book

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Subscribe to a Podcast

Hope and Hard Pills

The Nod

The Stoop

Speaking of Racism

Identity Politics 

Identity Politics 

Code Switch

Watch a Film


Are you Racist?

More Ways to Reflect, Learn, and Grow

Read this article to learn more ways your communication can be anti-racist.  5 ways you can do better on your “statements of solidarity”

This article by Holiday Phillips addresses the dangers of performative allyship.

Watch these this series of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man with Emmanuel Acho. 

Episode 1

This video from Marlon James looks at the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist. 

Learn more about the organization, The Maven Leadership Collective, and watch their Facebook Life video of Observations of Solidarity. 

Taking Action in Our Department

Housing and Residence Life is focused on our support of students and staff as we face challenges in understanding and addressing injustices in our communities. As we move to action, we continue to examine our policies, procedures, practices and our own continued learning to develop communities that are true to our values and place student success at the center of our work. 


  • Enhanced social justice focused engagement opportunities for residential students 
  • Understanding of community standards and guidelines for inclusive communities
  • Active participation and opportunities to create community
  • Provide education to residential students on bystander intervention techniques and reporting options 


Resident Assistants

  • Co-facilitation of the revised Inclusive Lakers Transitions module content
  • Continue partnership with the Division of Inclusion and Equity to enhance learning outcome-based teaching and learning scaffolded annually
  • Continue development of curriculum for Social Justice Mentors as well as their formal training in facilitating Intergroup Relations
  • Engage residents in individual relationship building to develop community
  • Develop programming and opportunities for residents that complements university-wide efforts in action against racism

Housing & Residence Life Team

  • Monthly social justice professional development requirements for all members of our team
  • Annual Implicit Bias training for all members of our team
  • Review and enhance search team opportunities at all levels of the organization
  • Consistent and regular review of policies and procedures that impact community living
  • Implement 360-degree review (2x/year) of each staff member to gain valuable insights and feedback about performance as well as continuing to grow professionally
  • Annual leadership training including; microaggressions, supporting diverse staff members, antiracism engagement as well as additional topics added by the team

GVSU Partners in Action Against Racism

See more about what GVSU is doing to fight racism here.