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PLNU Collective on Anti-Racism

For such complex and difficult work we expect differences in ideas and opinions, and we strive to be a place where respectful discourse occurs. Our focus is not on whether an idea or action can be categorized as politically conservative or liberal; our focus is on discerning how to be a community of faith, hope, and love that bears witness to the way of Jesus. We wrestle with significant questions, challenging, testing, and evaluating them, as we build knowledge, and hopefully wisdom. We do not do this in isolation, but in community with God’s transforming love at work within us. With this posture we believe we can continue to see the image of God in each other, and work together on both immediate solutions and long term change.

Updates From the Collective

In June 2020, President Bob Brower hosted a virtual gathering of faculty and staff from various areas of the university to reflect together on how to deepen understanding of systemic racism in the PLNU community and help the university foster an environment of racial justice and harmony. In July 2020, Dr. Brower established a leadership team from the original gathering with the goal of discerning and implementing change within the PLNU. Rather than start from scratch, this group pored through the meaningful research already done in recent years and months by individuals and groups from different pockets of our campus community. They worked together and with the broader collective to create a working Statement on Anti-racism and form working groups to implement important changes this academic year.

Read More Updates Here

Statement of Inclusivity and Commitment to Anti-Racism

As a Christian community shaped by grace, truth, and holiness as a way of life, Point Loma Nazarene University is committed to pursue and reflect the diversity, inclusion, and equity of the kingdom of God portrayed in scripture. We believe that every human being is created in the image of God and that our diverse identities, experiences, and abilities enrich our learning community. We recognize that embracing inclusion and equity requires work and intentional collective growth. We are thankful that God’s gracious invitation, offered to all through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, is not only about forgiveness but also continual transformation in the Holy Spirit. We trust that the Holy Spirit is at work among us and guiding us to embrace God’s call toward justice, righteousness, and unity amidst diversity.

Because racism is embedded in national and global history, policies, healthcare, education, cultures, as well as in our collective Christian story, we recognize that racism cannot be addressed by ignoring or denying its presence. Simply claiming to be non-racist does not decrease unconscious biases and structural racism, and thus falls short of the work to which we are called. Rather, we need to consciously and actively practice anti-racism throughout all aspects of community life. As we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we accept the call to learn about and address any form of racism and inequity in our community. We confess that we have a lot of work to do together, and we need accountability to grow in this deeply Christian endeavor. We are committed to this growth both as an institution and as a community of Christ-followers.

Campus Culture Areas of Focus

The PLNU Collective on Anti-Racism has identified immediate areas of focus that have the goal of creating change in campus culture. Each area has an assigned working group from the collective that will work to implement the identified changes during this academic year.

1. Common Language and Goal

  • Develop a common language when addressing matters pertaining to racism, diversity, and inclusion, to increase understanding.
  • Identify partnerships across the university to prevent silos and increase campus coordination.

2. Classroom

  • Gather a list of courses that intentionally address racism and/or intentionally foster an anti-racist environment in the classroom. Consider the creation of an academic hub that focuses on anti-racism and ethnic studies.
  • Enhance faculty evaluations to encourage faculty commitment to support diversity, equity, and anti-racism work at PLNU through their classroom pedagogy, scholarship, service, and mentorship of students historically marginalized and underrepresented in higher education institutions.

3. Student Life

  • Implement a Zero Tolerance policy on racist behavior, considering the University’s commitment to restorative approaches, including a clear and accessible mechanism for reporting.
  • Communicate processes and procedures to all constituents so there is transparency to the process.

4. Hiring and Training

  • Develop and require anti-racism training for all staff and faculty.
  • Implement a process for guiding recruitment, interviewing, and hiring practices that better welcomes candidates from underrepresented racial groups, mitigates problematic biases that undermine the goals of fostering diversity and inclusion, and evaluates candidates’ readiness for working in a culturally competent manner that promotes racial justice and reconciliation.

This work is ongoing and we want to hear from you. Please reach out to collective@pointloma.edu with your feedback, suggestions, or concerns. Regular updates will be posted to the website and communicated through email to staff, faculty, students, alumni, and parents.

If you witness or experience an incident that could be considered unfair, bias, or discriminatory please click here for reporting information.

Anti-Racism Collective Leadership Team

Anti-Racism Collective Members

  • Dr. Bob Brower, President
  • Rev. Dr. Montague Williams, Professor, School of Theology and Christian Ministries
  • Dr. Jimiliz Valiente-Neighbours, Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences

  • Kim Berry Jones, Director Center for Justice & Reconciliation
  • Dr. Jeffrey Carr, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Jill Monroe, Director of Public Affairs
  • Sharon Ayala, Associate Vice President Marketing
  • Shannon Hutchison Carvaveo, Director of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Dr. Nicole Cosby, Athletic Training Director, Professor of Kinesiology & Athletic Training
  • Dr. Jake Gilbertson, Dean of Students
  • Jeff Herman, Associate Vice President Human Resources
  • Samuel Kwapong, Director of Multicultural and International Students Services
  • Glen Laster, Assistant Director of Public Safety
  • Dr. Pat Leslie, Director, Social Work Program, Professor of Social Work  
  • Dr. Lindsey Lupo, Institute of Politics and Public Service, Department of Political Science
  • Dr. Karl Martin, Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, and Languages
  • Pam Macias, Assistant Director of Training and Development
  • Rev. Dr. Mary Paul, Vice President for Spiritual Development
  • Rev. Esteban Trujillo, University Chaplain
  • Melanie Wolf, Director of Discipleship Ministries

Additional members will be sought to join the Collective, including students and alumni. 

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