Task Force on Racial Healing

“I am inspired by this initiative because it is so deeply rooted in our stated principles of justice and love. But this will be challenging and difficult work. It will require courage and determination from each of us. We must first have the courage to acknowledge that we have a problem in this country and to examine candidly and thoroughly the ways in which that problem manifests itself on our own campus. Then, we must have the determination to do our small part to fix it.” – Dr. Stanley T. Wearden, president of Methodist University

About the Task Force

The purpose of the Task Force on Racial Healing is to do a careful, systematic study of issues of racial fairness, equity, and justice on the Methodist University campus. The work of the Task Force is active in the current academic year and most likely into the following academic year.

The Task Force is a diverse and broadly representative group of approximately 30 trustees, staff, faculty, and administrators, who are known for their commitment to MU and for their record of contributions to the wellbeing of the university.

Goals

1. The work is being done in the context of the Methodist University Mission Statement, which talks specifically about the value of diversity and MU’s commitment to truth, virtue, justice, and love. The Task Force is not taking a political stand, nor is it allying itself with any national or local movements. Motivated by MU’s mission, the Task Force is doing a neutral and thorough study of race on the MU campus.

2. The work is being done in the context of MU’s role as an institution of higher learning. This means three things:

A. We are being academically thorough in our study. This will take some time as accurate understanding of complex issues cannot be gained overnight. Thoroughness will take time, but it will produce more complete and actionable results.

B. MU is endeavoring to learn something about its campus community, which it will then use to improve its campus community.

C. MU will be working to teach the campus community both about what it is learning and about larger issues of race and racism in American society.

3. The work of the Task Force is inclusive. MU began a series of surveys and listening sessions in 2020, which continue through 2021. These help to ensure that all voices, all opinions, all points of view, and all experiences with race, racial fairness, racial equity, and racial justice at MU have the opportunity to be heard.

4. The ultimate purpose of the Task Force work is action. If MU identifies areas that need to be improved, whether they relate to policies, practices, behaviors, shared understanding, or anything else, the Task Force will ensure that those improvements happen.

Student Listening Sessions

The Task Force is seeking input from all students, with a series of listening sessions, to continue gaining student perspective so MU can better understand the climate of equity and inclusion on campus. A major goal of these sessions is to create greater understanding of the student experience as a means of informing positive, institutional change. To participate in the sessions, students can sign up here.

Listening Session Facilitators

Facilitator Bios

Lead Facilitators

  • Dr. Quincy Malloy
    Chief Diversity Officer
    Director, Campus Recreation & Intramurals
  • Gavin Myrick
    Director, Multicultural Affairs

Co-facilitators/Task Force Members

  • Dr. Tat Chan
    Dean, College of Business, Technology & Professional Studies
    Professor of Computer Science
  • Dr. Carla Fagan
    Chair & Professor of Social Work
  • Dr. Kathy Fick
    Chair & Professor of Mathematics
  • Dr. Rakesh Gupta
    Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Mark Kline
    Chair, Psychology & Sociology
    Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Amy Spence
    Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator
    Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
  • Dr. Kevin Swift
    Chair, Communication
    Associate Professor of Mass Communications
  • Dr. Drew Ziegler
    Chair, Political Science
    Director, Tally Leadership Center
    Coordinator, Leadership Studies

Technical Support/Research Team

  • Dr. Suzanne Blum Malley
    Provost
    Professor of English
  • Dr. Patricia Fecher (Listening Session Tech Support)
    Director, Teaching and Learning Center
    Director, Field Experience & Student Teaching
    Instructor of Education
  • Dr. Paul Knudson
    Associate Professor of Sociology

Feedback & Action

The Task Force also will be launching surveys and focus groups to get feedback from faculty, staff, and alumni. This process will run through this academic year and likely into next. At the end of this process, the Task Force will summarize and report its findings and turn its attention to identifying and working on actions that need to be taken.

Mission-Minded

The Task Force on Racial Healing is a major official initiative of Methodist University. The overarching goal is to ensure that MU continues to live into its mission. There are and will continue to be other activities on campus, but unless they are labeled as Task Force on Racial Healing, they will be sponsored by other groups. These activities are important, but they are not part of the work of the Task Force.

Task Force Members

Download the roster of members of the Task Force on Racial Healing.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact us at tfrh@methodist.edu.