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
Loyola is forming a presidential task force that will be 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 will be:
- John Kiess, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, co-chair
- Stephen Fowl, Ph.D., dean of Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, co-chair
- Rev. Scott Adams, assistant director of interfaith and ecumenical ministries
- Rev. Timothy Brown, S.J., special assistant for mission integration
- Afra Hersi, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Education
- Rodney L. Parker, Ph.D., acting chief equity and inclusion officer
- Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., director of the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice
In addition, the task force chairs will be approaching the Faculty Affairs Committee to request faculty representation and the Student Government Association for student representation.
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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