An announcement from Dean Greg Ball:
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) at the University of Maryland announces an initiative to further coordinate, publicize and enhance our efforts to identify, disrupt and prevent anti-Black racism.
In response to the recent tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other African Americans—in many of these cases at the hands of law enforcement—this initiative is designed to promote long-term change in the college and on the campus, and beyond.
Grounded in the behavioral and social sciences, our mission is to elevate the status and experience of African Americans. To do so, we will engage in supporting scholarship, teaching, and dialogues of all types, and at all levels, to fight against anti-Black racism in our society—individual, structural, and cultural.
As a college, we will self-examine and will promote changes in how we engage in these issues; how we teach about these issues at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and how we hire, mentor, support and retain faculty and staff. A top priority of these reflections will be to identify future pathways and avenues for lasting change.
I am pleased that Professor Rashawn Ray in the Department of Sociology has agreed to lead this initiative. He will be supported by members of the BSOS Dean’s Office leadership team, and by a number of faculty members across the college who are doing work in this critical area.
Dr. Ray said, “This initiative firmly places BSOS in a position to help our university, county, state, and country move forward toward racial equity. BSOS faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students are committed to ameliorating systemic racism. This starts in our own departments and classrooms and expands to the broader communities that we live in. UMD has the potential to be a national model on these fronts, and I look forward to continuing to play a part in this process.”
Dr. Ray and his collaborators will engage faculty, staff, students and alumni who are interested in this project, or who are working in similar areas. Of note, we will be drawing on resources and guidance from entities including:
·The Critical Race Initiative (Sociology);
·The Baha’i Chair for World Peace;
·A number of projects and initiatives in our Department of African American Studies;
·The Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics;
·The new Graduate Programs in Public Safety Leadership Administration (Departments of Criminology and Criminal Justice and of Sociology); and
·The BSOS Summer Research Initiative.
I look forward to updating you on this initiative. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me, or Dr. Ray, if you have any ideas, questions or concerns.
Dean and Professor
Story posted July 9, 2020. Image of Dr. Ray courtesy of the Department of Sociology.