Editorial: Feedback on the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Brandeis International Business School sections of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan
In light of the Nov. 10 release of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan, the Justice’s editorial board will be reviewing and providing feedback on prominent sections. We hope that these forthcoming editorials will serve as a resource for students to provide feedback to the administration. We also recognize, however, that our editorial board is predominantly composed of white students, and we will work to ensure that we are not taking space or attention away from the voices of the BIPOC students who are most directly affected by racism on campus. In line with this goal, we have grounded our analysis of the appendices in the demands put forward by the Black Action Plan.
This editorial will focus on Appendix G: Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Appendix H: Brandeis International Business School.
Two subsections of the University’s Draft Anti-Racism Plan, G and H, which concern the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Brandeis International Business School respectively, outline clear visions for the University’s attempts to remedy any discrimination within them, and diversify their student, faculty and staff base. However, this board believes that they could be improved through further accountability from the administration, as well as cooperation with the writers of the Black Action Plan.
Appendix G, which deals with the Heller School, contains a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issues at hand, through student-focused, faculty-focused and staff-researcher-focused action plans. It promises to address these issues by adopting measures to increase recruitment efforts and mandating diversity and cultural sensitivity training for all researchers and staff. The appendix also says Heller is working on putting together a group led by Heller students that will work to create campus-wide initiatives centered around conflict resolution. We urge Heller to keep the Brandeis community updated on the progress of this initiative.
Overall, this board appreciates the efforts the Heller School has taken to address issues of discrimination. It clearly states goals for each area of the community that the Heller School interacts with. However, we believe that further cooperation with the BAP is needed.
Appendix H is similar in its goals to increase representation for underprivileged communities by improving student support systems and allocating more funding for research among diverse undergraduate and graduate candidates. Additionally, it seeks to provide training on race and racism to its students and increase the diversity of guest speakers, among other goals.
These approaches combine transparency with specific ways of measuring progress in all aspects of the plan, and this board commends the administration for its well-intentioned efforts to address these long-standing issues. However, we see where parts of the appendices could be improved further. For Appendix G, the goals for each area of the appendix — student, faculty, and researchers and staff — appear to be the same, but the fact of the matter is that the way each group interacts with the Heller School is fundamentally different and the plan should reflect these differences. Heller could accomplish this through further communication with the writers of the BAP. Overall, this board recognizes the Universty’s ongoing efforts to combat racism and discrimination on campus and hopes that it will continue these endeavors through increased advocacy and communication with affected groups and the writers of the BAP.