BYU announced several updates to the Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging earlier today, including the launch of the committee’s website, the publication of its mission statement and the addition of law professor Michalyn Steele to the committee.
The website’s homepage contains a portal where students, faculty and others connected to the campus can submit comments on their experiences with race, equity and belonging at BYU. The website aligns with the committee’s mission statement, the first two tenets of which are to listen to BYU’s Black community and invite its feedback.
The mission statement also promises to thoroughly review all campus policies, operations and attitudes and their effect on students of color and to “advance racial understanding, enhance equity, and promote belonging.”
“Rooting out racism, healing its wounds, and building bridges of understanding is the responsibility of every member of the BYU community,” the mission statement reads.
Committee members, including Steele, further explained the meaning behind the committee’s name and mission statement in BYU’s Instagram story July 16 and expressed their personal commitment to its purposes.
“As I’ve listened to students of color, especially the Black students at BYU, I’ve cried with them and mourned with them and I’ve truly felt their pain, and I want to make things better for them and for everyone,” Steele said.
Committee member Carl Hernandez invited all students to read and study the mission statement and “to take action on any impressions you have to join us in fulfilling the purposes identified in this statement.”
Committee member Lita Little Giddins promised students that the committee would maintain transparency and accountability as it takes anti-racist action.
“This will not be the last time you hear from us,” she said. “We are just getting started.”