15-Point Charge for Racial Equity




Network of advisors to ensure our full community shapes and commits to this work and that Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni voices are elevated.

In 2020, President Mantella formed a Network of Advisors for Racial Equity with representatives from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and senior administrators. The Network meets regularly to advance Grand Valley's Charge for Racial Equity and Inclusion.

June 2020

Campus Safety task force to review current policing practices and recommend change.

Launched listening sessions and survey for feedback to guide recommendations.

Winter 2021

Greater and clearer promotional, developmental, and recruitment pathways for employees of color.

In Winter 2021, the Network repositioned and reorganized its work to focus on four commitment areas including sub-teams dedicated to issuing recommendations on faculty and staff recruitment, promotion, retention, and climate.

Winter 2021

GVSU Police Academy leads the way in enhancing public safety education with more robust requirements for diversity, inclusion, and de-escalation.

The College of Community and Public Service conducted a review of the Police Academy curriculum and found that it aligned with best practices and serves a model for community police training. In addition, the following measures have been determined: (1) adopting a goal to increase the diversity of the Academy enrollment to 20% people of color; (2) the utilize the state of Michigan’s Licensing Standards in selection criteria; and (3) creating a culture where racial equity and inclusion are valued in the curriculum by including: ethics in policing, civil rights and human relations, cultural competence, and unbiased policing.

Summer 2020

Structural changes and opportunities that strengthen accountability across the organization for leadership and supervisors in advancing inclusion and equity.

In Winter 2021, the Network repositioned and reorganized its work to focus on four commitment areas including sub-team dedicated to organizational and leadership development.

Winter 2021

Universal training for all members of our university community on social justice, power, privilege, and anti-racism.

An all-employee online training with supplemental in-person and virtual opportunities has been developed and was deployed in March 2021 to supervisors with an all-campus release in April. SLT has committed to tri-annual DEI-related trainings.

April 2021

Explore ways we can expand education for our students to ensure every graduate deepens understanding of systemic racism, social justice and racial equity.

All students must fulfill a general education U.S. Diversity requirement, which includes a specific learning goal relating to race & racial equity. The Academic Senate formed a task force to review this goal and make recommendations for enhancements.

Winter 2021

Develop an even more aggressive program for the recruitment and retention of students of color that will be undergirded by policies that remove barriers to access.

VP Truss and Dean Plotkowski have led strategic enrollment management planning which has dedicated sub-population teams focused on determining recruitment and retention metrics and strategies for students of color and other underrepresented students.

Winter 2021

Develop a new strategic enrollment management plan with strategies and initiatives with the bold goal of removing all equity gaps.

The Strategic Enrollment Management task force has developed strategies for the recruitment and retention of diverse populations, with the goal of eradicating equity gaps.

Winter 2021

Racial equity scholarship in honor of the Black lives that have been lost due to racialized violence for students that demonstrate a commitment to social justice and racial equity.

VP Loth and AVP Rhoades have instituted the Social Justice Scholarship, funded initial with institutional support. A search for ongoing philanthropic is underway. The scholarship was announced in October 2020, for undergraduate or graduate students in Fall 2021.

October 2020

Support Student Senate in its development of peer-to-peer learning and other initiatives.

Dean Rullman and AVP Kowalski-Braun joined consultants from WMCAT to support Student Senate and a group of other diverse student leaders in a liberatory design thinking exercise to develop a racial equity learning program for undergraduate students.

March 2021

Black Male Symposium: host a national conversation on the need for racial equity, the disproportionate impact on male-identified Black members of our community, and how it can be strengthened in an institution and community that is historically white.

Committee formed for planning for Summer 2021; working to integrate or coordinate with the Black Male Leadership Conference hosted annually by the Urban League and other community partners.

Winter 2021

GRow1000 Commitment: City of Grand Rapids youth employment initiative.

12 students were supported in summer 2020 and participated, with pay, in our Learner Design Virtual Summit, over six weeks; Elizabeth Doyle has provided input to the City on the future of the program.

August 2020

Math Advantage: gateway program will help to improve college readiness and retention which disproportionately impacts our communities of color.

12 students, who participated in the Learner Design Virtual Summit in summer 2020, also participated in Math Advantage, a non-credit, math bridge course to assist with the prevention of learning loss.

August 2020

Accelerate previous commitments: hiring a university ombuds, finalizing a salary equity study, and issuing final recommendations for the 2019 campus climate study with plans to reassess next year.

In 2021, President Mantella appointed Elisa Salazar as the inaugural employee ombuds, HR began efforts for a salary equity study, and the Division of Inclusion and Equity worked with an Academic Senate Task Force to finalize data from the 2019 climate assessment.

March 2021