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An update on efforts to confront racial bias | Student Affairs

Dec 5 2019

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Announcements, Faculty, Initiatives, Students

An update on efforts to confront racial bias
Dear Stanford students,

As the end of fall quarter approaches, with the winter break close behind, we want to provide an update on issues that have been on many of our minds in recent weeks.

An important subject at Stanford this fall has been the need to confront and vigorously address incidents of racial bias and racially motivated attacks on others. There have been several of these incidents, affecting members of different communities.

University leaders have been working in collaboration with students, staff and faculty in an effort to create solutions that advance the true inclusion to which we aspire at Stanford. We know that this requires concrete actions that address not only individual incidents but underlying systemic issues. It will be ongoing work that demands our persistent attention.

Here are some of the steps we have taken, are taking and will be taking:

A review of the Acts of Intolerance Protocol is under way, involving a working group of students, faculty and staff. This group will be seeking input from the community and will be examining issues including definitions of bias incidents, response mechanisms, support systems, tracking and reporting.

A new series of Education Against Racial Hatred events was initiated this fall, including a screening of the Harriet Tubman biographical film, the visit of Experience Sankofa Project, and Project 562, an exhibit from a multi-year effort to photograph 562 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States. Project 562 continues in January, and we are currently discussing additional quarterly events to provide ongoing learning and engagement for the campus community.

The IDEAL initiative is developing learning and training modules for different Stanford populations on issues of diversity, inclusion and equity. Paid student internships have been created to support the work of IDEAL, and they will be posted on Handshake for students to apply at the start of winter quarter. As a reminder, the online dashboard developed under IDEAL also now offers more accessible demographic information about the Stanford community itself.

Efforts to advance and accelerate faculty diversity are occurring, supported by a significant increase in annual funding for programs including the Faculty Incentive Fund and the Faculty Development Initiative.

Partnerships with the Department of Public Safety are occurring in several areas, including collaboration with SPARQ on the topic of implicit bias in law enforcement and improved exchange of information between DPS and the Office of the Dean of Students.

New efforts have been developed in support of gender inclusion in our community, as highlighted in the provost’s recent message to the community.

This is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling of current efforts. We are committed to listening, learning and acting to create, with all of you, the inclusive and just community we wish to see.

There will be more discussion, engagement and action on these issues in winter quarter.  We welcome all of your input to help shape these efforts. Thank you for the contributions you are making to this important work, and best wishes for the end of fall quarter and the winter break.


Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Harry Elam
Senior Vice Provost for Education

Tiffany Steinwert
Dean for Religious Life