President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism, Equity & Inclusion

Dear FSU Family,

As many of you know, I’ve been engaging in dialogue with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders regarding recent acts of racism nationally, as well as historical racial injustices.

As a result of those conversations, in my message to you on July 6, I announced the creation of the President’s Task Force on Anti-Racism, Equality & Inclusion for the 2020-2021 academic year. Today, I appointed 30 members of the university community to serve on that task force.

I am grateful to each of these individuals for agreeing to contribute their time and attention to these topics during this crucial time in the nation’s and university’s history, and I’m confident they will help the university address racial and ethnic disparities on campus and accelerate our goal to strengthen FSU’s diversity.

The task force will be led by a three-person executive committee, which I’ve asked Professor of English Maxine Montgomery to chair. This group’s work will support our efforts to advance the third goal of the university’s Strategic Plan — Realize the University’s Full Potential of Diversity and Inclusion. We’ll announce the group’s first organizational session in mid-August.

We have a long history of addressing difficult racism and inclusion issues on this campus, and we know there is still much work to do. As the nation faces great unrest and an urgent call for change, we, as a university, will continue to listen, learn and evolve.

With the hope of fostering a stronger sense of trust, respect and good faith within the university community, Professor Montgomery and I agree that the Francis W. Eppes statue should be immediately placed off campus as the task force begins its work. The panel members will make final recommendations on specific symbols and names of buildings on campus, including the statue, Eppes Hall and Doak S. Campbell Stadium, and will examine how to best reflect FSU’s values in relation to its historical connections to race and ethnicity.

I’ve also asked the group to identify racial and ethnic disparities on campus and to implement a range of initiatives, such as developing mandatory diversity and inclusivity training for all campus employees and students and fostering the recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff from underserved groups.

The task force members will produce bimonthly progress reports on actionable issues, as well as a final report at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. As they forward me recommendations, I will consider action for each.

I’m looking forward to hearing input from the task force on a range of important items connected to racial inequity. This task force will be results-driven, and I know the work they do now — with the full support of the administration — will result in a stronger future for Florida State University.

Sincerely,
President John Thrasher


Task Force Executive Committee

  • Maxine Montgomery, Professor of English (Faculty) – Chair
  • Brandon Bowden, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Staff)
  • Michelle Douglas, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office (Staff)
  • Maxine Jones, Professor of History (Faculty)

Task Force Members

  • Rawan Abhari, Secretary of Internal Affairs, Student Government Association (Undergraduate Student)
  • Tom Block, Vice President for Advancement Relations, FSU Foundation (Staff)
  • Cortez Brown, College of Medicine (Medical Student)
  • Billy R. Close, Assistant Professor and Director of Service Learning and Mentoring, College of Criminology & Criminal Justice (Faculty)
  • Katrinell Davis, Associate Professor of Sociology (Faculty)
  • Kyle Doney, Seminole Tribe of Florida, FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors (Alumnus)
  • Miles Feacher, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (Undergraduate Student)
  • Craig Filar, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies (Faculty)
  • Stacey Hardin, Teaching Faculty in Special Education (Faculty)
  • Robinson Herrera, Associate Professor of History (Faculty)
  • Roxanne Hughes, Director, Center for Integrating Research & Learning at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (Faculty)
  • April Jackson, Assistant Professor of Urban & Regional Planning (Faculty)
  • Gail Jackson, Senior Custodial Supervisor (Staff)
  • Nastassia “Tazzy” Janvier, Vice President, Student Government Association (Undergraduate Student)
  • Cassandra D. Jenkins, Parliamentarian, FSU Black Alumni Association (Alumna, Community)
  • Hannah Kelsey, President, Garnet and Gold Key (Undergraduate Student)
  • Samantha Kunin, College of Law (Law Student, Undergraduate Alumna)
  • Bruce Lamont, Jim Moran Eminent Scholar in Business Administration (Faculty)
  • Stefany Moncada, Multicultural Admissions Counselor and President, Hispanic/Latinx Alumni Network (Staff)
  • Malik Osborne, Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete (Undergraduate Student)
  • Alan Rosenzweig, Deputy County Administrator, Leon County (Community)
  • Nan Rothstein, former Vice President, Student Government Association (Alumna)
  • Kevin Rutois, President, Interfraternity Council (Undergraduate Student)
  • Jarrett “Jay” L. Terry, Assistant Provost (Faculty)
  • Greg Washington, Special Operations Lieutenant, FSU Police Department (Staff)
  • Allisson Yu, National Board of Directors, FSU Alumni Association (Alumna)

Task Force Staff Support

  • Jimmy Cole, University Relations