Dear students, colleagues, and partners,
Earlier this summer, we shared our staff’s collective statement condemning acts of police brutality and reaffirming our commitment to anti-racism and social justice in our work. This is, and must be, more than rhetoric. It is part of who we are, and it is fundamental to the study abroad mission. We will continue to feature the voices and experiences of Black and African American students, as well as those from other historically marginalized groups. We do so currently through programs such as the Culture and Identity Envoy Program in Rome, advising for the Gilman and Vira Heinz scholarship programs, and individual student advising aimed at reducing challenges and barriers to study abroad.
Yet there is so much more that we can and must do. Our staff is working together on an Anti-Racism Task Force, in which we are reviewing our hiring practices, program offerings, outreach and communication, student advising and pre-departure preparation, on-site support, returned student programming, and other aspects of our work. It is our goal to represent the diverse population of both Temple and our non-Temple students, to enhance diversity and inclusion practices in the field of study abroad, and to confront and dismantle patterns of racism that hinder the success of our Black students, faculty, and staff. Part of this work will include asking for insight from Black students and other Temple community members of color about their experiences with our office and recommendations related to our future initiatives.
We will update you with more details as we make progress on these efforts, including the official call for participants in our advisory groups.