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Commitment to Anti-Racism

As we welcome our Class of 2027, Messina reaffirms our solidarity and commitment toward anti-racism for the 2023-2024 academic year. Content on this page will annually be updated to reflect our ongoing work in this area.

2021-2022 Progress

  • Selected The Master Plan for our annual Messina Common Text. Conversations and programming around this text will occur throughout this year.
  • August 2021: In collaboration with Student Athlete Support Services, annual Messina training opportunities for Messina faculty, mentors, and Evergreens welcomes THREAD, a Baltimore-based organization that provides long-term and team-based mentorship for underserved city students. This workshop includes activities that explore topics on The Privilege of Relationships, Questions to Open Up, Interrogating Bias & Perspective, and Active Listening. 
  • August 2021: Meeting for Messina faculty and mentors coordinated by Academic Affairs and ALANA Services on supporting Ignatian Scholars Program students throughout the year within Messina.
  • Fall 2021 and Spring 2022
    •  Provided campus and community based programs, including a viewing of the documentary, Charm City held at The Senator Theater.

2020-2021 Progress

  • Summer 2020
    • Offered free e-book copies of Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist to interested Messina faculty, mentors, Evergreens. All recipients completed a post-reading reflection on the content of the book and one commitment they are prepared to make for the fall semester in their work with students and colleagues. An optional reading group was facilitated by Messina.
    • Offered webinar for Messina Working Groups: Facilitating Conversations on Anti-Racism, Race and Justice in Messina.
    • Annual Messina training opportunities for Messina faculty, mentors, and Evergreens conducted from a racial justice lens.
  • Fall 2020 and Spring 2021
    • Annual Messina theme events and Common Text events included The Subtleties of Overt Racism: Continuing the Conversation, MLK Convocation speaker Ibram X. Kendi, An Evening with R. Eric Thomas, asynchronous screenings of Race the Power of an Illusion and Charm City, and Common Text author Jose Antonio Vargas.
    • Developed additional Messina Modules to address the topic of anti-racism.
    • Messina Fall and Spring Student Survey Data were analyzed to identify potential disparities in experiences in responses by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity. Portions of these findings were presented throughout the academic year to the following stakeholders: Academic Affairs leadership, Board of Trustees, Messina Advisory Board, Messina working group members, the office of Equity and Inclusion, and Student Development leadership. Survey findings were also published on our Program Assessment website.
  • Spring 2021
    • Annual January Messina trainings offered breakout sessions for Messina faculty, mentors, and Evergreens related to continuing to approach anti-racism in the spring semester.
    • In February, offered Let's Talk: Facilitating Critical Conversations About Race workshop to Messina faculty, mentors, and the Equity and Inclusion Faculty Fellows.
    • Conducted focus groups with Messina students about how topics of anti-racism, systemic racism, privilege, and power are addressed in Messina classes, enrichment sessions, and at Loyola.
    • Conducted listening sessions with Messina faculty and mentors to understand the successes and challenges of incorporating conversations around anti-racism into their Messina to help guide future trainings, support, and professional development opportunities in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Existing Efforts Related to Anti-Racism Prior to Summer 2020

The following efforts were in place prior to developing our commitment plan in Summer 2020. These continue to be ongoing efforts.

  • Theme-wide programming: each semester, Messina offers a variety of events connected to our Messina themes open to Loyola and the surrounding Baltimore community. Over the years, many of these programs have addressed topics related to racial justice. Past programs have included: The Subtleties of Overt Racism- A Panel Discussion (Spring 2020); Baltimore Health Justice in Action (Fall 2020); Charm City Film Screening at the Senator Theatre (Fall 2020); What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America lecture by Michael Eric Dyson (Spring 2019). 
  • BRJA Modules: These three lesson plans are designed to have students think critically about institutions and the causes and roots of oppression; think about race through a critical lens at the institutional level; and help students determine how to actively participate in a solution (organizing, letter writing, taking related courses, offer different takes on what justice looks like).
  • Each year, Loyola chooses a Common Text for all first-year students to read before arriving on campus. During Fall Welcome Weekend, the incoming first year class convenes with their Messina faculty member, Evergreen, and classmates to discuss this text using ideas presented in the provided study guide. The text is revisited throughout the year in course discussions, assignments, and events sponsored by Messina. View our past Common Text selections.
  • Investment in Baltimore through Explore Baltimore events and Loyola at the Senator.
  • Supporting Ella Baker Day on campus since 2016.
  • Partnering with the Assistant Vice President of Student Development to make Speak Up! Microaggression Training available to all students.

Work Moving Forward

The following areas were established in Summer 2020, initially guiding our approach in 2020-2021 and future years.

  • Explore new curricular offerings in Messina that provide better venues to discuss power, privilege and anti-racism.
  • Engage with Loyola alumni of color through programmatic and advisory functions. 
  • Discuss how we recognize exceptional effort toward addressing topics of anti-racism and racial justice within Messina and hold accountable those that are not engaging in this work.
  • Preference anti-racism, equity, and inclusion innovations in Messina Innovation Teaching Grants.
  • Evaluate how we are delivering on this commitment- reaching out during the semester to ask for feedback from students.
  • Partner with others on campus to bring additional facilitation and identity development training to campus for faculty and mentors.
  • Review Messina assessment findings through an equity lens to see if there are disparities in experiences in responses by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity; and use these findings to guide our work.

Resources That Are Guiding Our Work


  • Boutte, G. S., & Jackson, T. O. (2014). Advice to white allies: Insights from faculty of color. Race Ethnicity and Education, 17(5), 623-642. Doi: 10.1080/13613324.2012.759926
  • News Staff. (2020, August 25). The quest for justice: Acknowledging race. TuftsNow. Retrieved from


  • Baldwin, J. (1963). The fire next time. [Audio Book].
  • Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist (1st ed.). One World.
  • Tharp, D.S. & Moreana, R.A. (2020). Doing social justice education: A practitioner's guide for workshops and structured conversations. Stylus Publishing.
  • Verschelden, C. (2017). Bandwidth recovery: Helping students reclaim cognitive resources lost to poverty, racism, and social marginalization. (1st ed). Stylus Publishing.

Podcasts/ Videos


  • Collection of Anti-Racism Resources gathered by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, CCSJ, Counseling Center, and individual student and faculty contributors
  • Anti-Racism Daily: On this website developed by Nicole Cardoza, you are able to sign up to receive a daily email on ways racism continues to be perpetuated in different ways in the US and throughout the world. The emails also include personal reflective questions and tangible actions you can take toward working on dismantling white supremacy.
  • Bellamy, P. L. (2020). Resources. Academics for Black Survival and Wellness.
  • National Museum of African American History & Culture. (n.d.). Talking about race: Whiteness.