Committee on Racial Equity

In 2019, Dr. Mignonne C. Guy (chair of the Department of African American Studies) founded the Committee on Racial Equity (CORE) and the Committee on Racial Equity Student Advisory Group (CORE SAG) and co-led over 30 faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from numerous disciplines, and community volunteers to advocate for and co-create a course on race and racism. One of the outcomes of the committees' work was CSIJ 200: Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States, a course that was launched in the Spring 2022 semester.

CSIJ 200 is housed in the Department of African American Studies and fulfills the racial literacy requirement as a part of the foundations of VCU’s general education curriculum.

Each course in the Racial Literacy Requirement of General Education curriculum needs to address all the following criteria through a lens of analysis and application specific to the United States:

  1. The social construction of race and racism, along with their origin, evolution, and maintenance
    (i.e., political, social, and cultural invention).
  2. Key theoretical concepts about race and racism.
  3. The operation of interdependent types and levels of racism (i.e., individual, interpersonal,
    intergroup, institutional, structural, and systemic).
  4. The historical and current structures of racialized power and privilege, including whiteness.
  5. Social institutions, policies, and practices that contribute to and enable racism.
  6. Approaches and strategies to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism as well as ways to engender
    and institutionalize equitable alternatives.

Excerpt of the 2019 Wilder Symposium, featuring a panel discussion with Makola Abdullah, Ph.D., president of Virginia State University; Ronald Crutcher, D.M.A., president of the University of Richmond; Paula Pando, Ed.D., president of Reynolds Community College; and Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU. Alvin Schenider, Ph.D., former executive vice president and interim president at Norfolk State University and former president of Thomas Nelson Community College, serves as moderator.

The panel examined the role of post-secondary educational institutions in combating structural racism and explore the institutional practices that work to either reinforce or mitigate racial inequity.

In this clip, the panelists answer a question from Dr. Mignonne Guy about racial literacy courses and whether any of the represented schools include racial literacy as a general education requirement.