Staff listening sessions on racial justice continue next week

The university has scheduled additional listening sessions for staff next week to provide a space for discussion about how Vanderbilt can meaningfully respond and take tangible next steps for action in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, and subsequent protests for racial justice in a number of cities.

Registration is required for the staff sessions, which will be hosted on Zoom’s webinar platform. Prior to and during each listening session, community members are invited to submit questions for the university leaders. Those who wish to submit questions can pre-submit them upon registering. Attendees also will be able to share questions and thoughts through the webinars’ “Q&A” feature.

Register to attend the staff listening sessions. >>

Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer André Churchwell will host the sessions with Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Safety and Special Initiatives and Chief of Police August Washington, and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Capital and Business Services Laura Nairon.

Cleo Rucker, director of Human Resources Consulting, Employee and Labor Relations; Anita Jenious, director of the university’s Equal Employment Opportunity office; and Jim Kendall, manager for Work/Life Connections and the Employee Assistance Program, also will be on hand to answer questions and provide support.

The staff listening sessions are among a number of virtual events scheduled to address issues of racial injustice, equity, diversity and inclusion. The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center scheduled a series of check-ins with Black students, faculty and staff.

William Robinson, vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, has organized discussions for faculty and is working with student leaders to host similar events for undergraduate, graduate and professional students and postdoctoral scholars.

The Divinity School will continue to host Reclaiming Breath: Conversations in Community for Community Change on Wednesday, June 17, and Tuesday, June 23. Registration is also required for these events.