Loyola University Maryland

Office of the President

Universities Studying Slavery: Scholarly research at Loyola University Maryland

History is an evolving understanding of our past, and Loyola University Maryland recognizes the need to research and understand the University’s possible connections to slavery. We must investigate and identify Loyola's historical relationship to slavery so we can address those issues and move forward together as a community.

Loyola is undertaking this work as a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium, a group of universities across the country that are investigating their connections to slavery.

"Although we cannot change the past, we must understand the full impact of past events and actions to be able to move forward. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, we must always seek truth, honestly engage with our past—as difficult as that can be—and respond with continued action as we work to create a more just future for all."

Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., Interim President, and Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., Incoming President
December 2021

Task Force

Loyola has formed a presidential task force that is charged with initiating and guiding a university-wide examination of the University’s connections to slavery and its ongoing legacies. These legacies include, but are not limited to, the broader experience of African American persons at Loyola and Loyola’s contributions to efforts promoting racial justice on campus, in Baltimore, and across the country.

The task force membership is:

  • John Kiess, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, co-chair
  • Stephen Fowl, Ph.D., dean of Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, co-chair
  • Afra Hersi, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education
  • Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D., chief equity and inclusion officer
  • Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., executive director of the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice
  • David Carey, Ph.D., Doehler Chair in history
  • Diana Betz, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology
  • Jenny Kinniff, Loyola-Notre Dame Library Archivist
  • Mélisande Short-Colomb, representative of the GU272 Descendant Community
  • Lynn Nehemiah, representative of the GU272 Descendant Community
  • Alexis Faison, Loyola Class of 2024
  • Jacqueline Rogers, Loyola Class of 2024

The task force will issue reports each semester to the president to be shared with the community. We expect the initial work of the task force to be completed within two years.


Please share your comments regarding Loyola's research regarding slavery. All input is appreciated and will be thoughtfully considered.

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