#BlackatLMU Student Demands

LMU's Response to #BlackatLMU Student Demands

University responses to the #BlackatLMU demands are provided on this website.  A record of specific university commitments and progress made in response to #BlackatLMU demands are permanently maintained on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) website in order to accomplish the following:

  • To provide clarity and specificity regarding the nature of the university’s response to each demand.  For each demand we classify LMU actions in one of three categories:  
    • Green: the demand will be addressed right away or the process for fulfilling the demand will be set into motion immediately; 
    • Yellow: the demand represents a shared goal that will be addressed in modified form, or may need further exploration before it can be addressed) or;
    • Red:  the demand will not be addressed by the university at this time, for reasons that will be stated. 
  • To promote accountability for progress made by the university on each of the #BlackatLMU demands. This will be accomplished by providing an expected timeline and point person for each demand.  In addition, the website will be updated with progress made on demands and will enable LMU community members to receive alerts when updates to the website are made. To receive alerts when the page is updated, please sign up here.
  • To facilitate an ongoing conversation between #BlackatLMU students and the university leadership by providing a transparent, living record of student demands and university responses that will provide continuity through leadership transitions, not only in the university leadership but also naturally occurring through turnover among current students as they graduate from LMU. 

Read the full #BlackatLMU, August 2020 demand letter.

For Reference: September 4 - Acknowledgement of Demands (President's Letter) 

Please contact DEI@lmu.edu with further questions and concerns. 

  • Demand: Formal Statement of Understanding 


    Point of Contact 
    Emelyn dela Peña Ed.D., Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; emelyn.delapena@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Completed

    Comments: In his September 4, 2020 response, President Timothy Snyder and VP Jennifer Abe acknowledged the demands outlined by #BlackatLMU as providing a roadmap to guide and inform a comprehensive vision of what anti-racism means for, and at, LMU, and responded with institutional commitments in several areas, reflecting not only its responses to demands from #BlackatLMU but to the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA), as well.  The current website disaggregates these commitments, so that the relationship between specific demands made by #BlackatLMU and corresponding university commitments is made more explicit and clear.

    In addition, the President’s Beyond Words message formally committed the university to prioritizing addressing anti-racism at LMU, centering on anti-Black racism (see Anti-Racism project).  This is an ongoing university commitment that will feature prominently in longer-term university priorities, including the new strategic plan and comprehensive campaign.  

    The President’s previous communications and the university responses on this website represent a statement of understanding and expression of the university’s commitment to addressing the #BlackatLMU demands in a comprehensive, sustained manner over time that will enable increased numbers of Black students not only to come to LMU, but to thrive at LMU. 

    UPDATE 3/29/21: The Spring semester town hall meeting with #BlackatLMU students has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2-3pm.  

  • Demand: Establish an Ongoing Relationship with LMU’s Black Students


    Point of Contact: 
    Emelyn dela Peña, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; emelyn.delapena@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Ongoing; to be revisited in May 2021

    Comments: LMU is committed to engage in meaningful consistent dialogue with Black students in a way that builds community and a sense of trust rather than simply reacts to crises.  This year, LMU, and the world, are not only experiencing a global pandemic, but also responding to a global movement for racial justice.  As such, conversations between #BlackatLMU student leaders and university leaders have developed out of a shared dedication to the university and shared commitment to the well-being and success of Black students.  Below, are the ways in which the university an #BlackatLMU students are in dialogue for the 2020-21 academic year.  At the end of the current academic year, Black student leaders and university leadership will mutually decide how to proceed for next year in a way that continues to nourish the ongoing dialogue.

    • Beginning in June 2020, Black student leaders have met with the President, Provost, and EVP for Administration on a monthly basis, meetings which will continue throughout the 2020-21 academic year.   
    • One town hall meeting between Black students and the President’s Cabinet and deans will be held in the Fall semester (October 1, 2020 5-6pm) and one will be held in the Spring semester (TBD).  

    UPDATE December 2021: #BlackatLMU student leaders were briefed on updates to demands by the outgoing VP-DEI.  Ten student activist leaders, representing multiple BIPOC and LGBTQ+ student organizations on campus, participated in a credit-bearing weekly leadership seminar facilitated by the Dean of Students and VP-DEI, with access to senior leadership internal and external to the university.  This seminar will be offered again in Fall 2021.

    UPDATE April 27, 2021: The last dialogue with senior leadership was held on 4/26/2021.  For 2021-22, #BlackatLMU student leaders will transition participation in dialogues with senior leadership to the Umoja Council, representing leadership from all LMU Black student organizations. 

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: Spring semester town hall meeting with #BlackatLMU scheduled for Monday, February 8, 4-5pm 


  • Demand: 1. Establish a Black admissions team to effectively recruit more Black students.

    Code: Yellow

    Point of Contact: Dr. Maureen Weatherall, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management; Maureen.Weatherall@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Increased # of Black students beginning Fall 2021

    Comments: The university shares the goal of recruiting and supporting an increased number of Black students at LMU and commits to doing so, beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2021.  The strategy, however, will begin its efforts through developing partnerships with local community colleges, rather than with an expanded admissions team.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: Admission will identify and partner with community colleges to add to the Pathway program to increase the number of Black students from different backgrounds and perspectives recruited to LMU. 

    UPDATE March 29, 2021: The search for an Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach in the Office of Admission has been successfully completed.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021: In response to community feedback, the search process has been revised.  A search committee has been constituted, including representation of students from #BlackatLMU, and has completed its training.  Applications have been reviewed and interviews will be scheduled.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The university reaffirms its goal of increasing the number of Black students and accompanying resources and services needed to support them.  This goal will be assessed beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2022, given continuing pandemic conditions that will affect in-person campus visits and recruitment efforts in the Spring 2021 semester.  

    The new role of Associate Director for Transfer and Enrollment Services (with a focus on Diversity, Outreach, and Inclusion) will outreach to potential Black students and students from other underrepresented populations at local community colleges.  This position serves to strengthen LMU partnerships with community colleges to add to the Pathway Program in order to increase enrollment of Black transfer students, which will add to the goal of increasing the overall number of Black students at LMU.


    RE: Promotion of Charles Mason to Associate Director of Admissions

    Code: Green

    Timeline: by November 1, 2020

    Comments: Staffing review processes (see below) are in progress towards achieving expanded recruiting goals for Black students.  Outcomes will be reported when these processes have been completed.  Please note that the university cannot report confidential personnel actions related to a single individual and thus will not comment directly on this matter. 

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: The leadership in Enrollment Management will evaluate the staffing and responsibility levels required for achieving newly set goals for recruiting black students. They will work with Human Resources through the regular processes to make any appropriate adjustments to the positions that are affected.

    UPDATE December 2021: Efforts by the Admission team have yielded an incoming first year class for 2021-22 with significantly more representation of students identifying as African American/Black than in past years. Specifically, using the IPEDS definition for Black or African American, the entering first year student percentage was 6% for fall 2020 and 9% for fall 2021.  If we include any student that may identify as Black (which will be our internal definition), the entering first year student percentage was 9% for fall 2020 and 12% for fall 2021. 

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The Admission team has been reorganized to address recruitment of Black students and students from other underrepresented populations for both first year students and transfer students.  

    The Associate Director for Transfer Admission and Enrollment Services (Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach) focuses on expanded recruitment and outreach for transfer students, including responsibilities for expanding the Pathway program with local community colleges. Four work-study students will assist in these efforts.
    The Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach position will focus on recruitment and outreach for first year students.  This position has been approved, a position announcement has been posted, and applications are being received.  Interviews will be scheduled this semester.  Twelve work-study students are currently assigned to assist in these efforts. Four additional work-study students will be recruited and selected by the new Assistant Director, once the position is filled.  This brings the number of work-study students assigned to assist in outreach and recruitment of diverse student populations to 20 students.

    UPDATE October 13, 2020: This process has been completed. 

    RE: Hiring of 3 full-time employees and 1 graduate assistant to Black admissions team

    Code: Red

    Timeline: N/A

    Comments: Towards the shared goal of increasing the number of Black students at LMU beginning in Fall 2021, the recruitment strategy will initially focus on expanding Pathway community college partnerships.  This category is coded red because despite the shared goal, the hiring demands do not match the university strategy.  While future hires in this area, post-pandemic, are expected to assist with recruitment of first year Black students, the organizational structure and number of hires will be up to the VP for Enrollment Management.  If the goal of increasing the number of Black students is not met, however, this category may be revisited.

    UPDATE December 2021: Efforts by the Admission team have yielded an incoming first year class for 2021-22 with significantly more representation of students identifying as African American/Black than in past years.     

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: As described above, the university reaffirms its goal of increasing the number of Black students and accompanying resources and services needed to support them.  This goal will be assessed beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2022, given continuing pandemic conditions that will affect in-person campus visits and recruitment efforts in the Spring 2021 semester. 

    RE: Increase of budget for recruitment efforts

    Code: Green

    Timeline: Progress report November 2020

    Comments: LMU is committed to identifying the resources needed to recruit and enroll an increased number of Black students for Fall 2021.  However, recruitment strategies and programs will be reviewed and revised to be maximally effective.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: The Black Student Overnight, one of our highest yielding Admission programs, will continue in spring 2021 (pending reopening) in addition to other events for Black students through Enrollment Management.

    UPDATE March 29, 2021: As noted previously, the search for an Assistant Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach in the Office of Admission has been successfully completed.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021: (see above) In response to community feedback, the search process has been revised. A search committee has been constituted, including representation of students from #BlackatLMU, and has completed its training. Applications are under review.

    UPDATE December 2021: As noted above, Admission efforts have been successful in recruiting Black students for 2021-22.  In the midst of ongoing pandemic conditions, Enrollment Management will continue making adjustments as needed to recruitment strategies for 2022-23.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: Position has been finalized; job position has been posted and advertised; applications are being reviewed, and  interviews will be conducted prior to the end of the semester. 

    UPDATE October 8, 2020: A DEI-focused role is being created in Admission, an Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion.  This position represents a repurposing of existing resources to enhance the effectiveness of recruitment efforts oriented towards ensuring a diverse student population, including Black students, at LMU.  The position will be posted once the final job description is approved.

    Demand 2. Increase need and merit-based scholarships to support recruitment efforts.

    Code: Yellow

    Point of Contact: Dr. Maureen Weatherall, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management; Maureen.Weatherall@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Progress report November 2020

    Comments: LMU is committed to increasing scholarship support to assist recruitment of an increased number of  Black students for the incoming class of Fall 2021 and beyond.  More details will be provided pending further budget analysis.

    UPDATE December 2021:  The Board of Trustees approved the strategic plan in May 2021.  The Strategic Planning Advisory Council approved revised metrics and action plans to be used for evaluating progress for the strategic plan in December 2021.  One of the key performance indicators (for spotlight 5) includes a commitment to increased scholarship support for undergraduates with family incomes under $100,000.  Fundraising and resource allocation with be aligned with strategic planning priorities, including DEI and anti-racism commitments.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021: DEI and Anti-Racism has been named as a central feature of the university strategic plan (draft released 1/26/21 for community feedback), as both (1) an overall commitment that drives all elements of the university’s strategic plan and (2) as a spotlight initiative, namely, 

    Learning for Justice, Inclusion, and Transformation, which includes an objective specifically oriented towards Increasing the diversity of the student population. Through this, DEI and anti-racism commitments are institutionalized as shared university goals that will influence all university efforts, including allocation of resources, fundraising, and institutional priorities.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: Scholarship support is a major priority for the university in its comprehensive campaign and will continue to be a focus of attention as it pertains to the recruitment and retention of a diverse student population.  The university reaffirms its goal of increasing the number of Black students and accompanying resources and services needed to support them.  This goal will be assessed beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2022, given continuing pandemic conditions.

    Demand 3. Expand the budget for ‘The Learning Community’ program.

    Code: Yellow

    Point of Contact: Dr. Kawanna Leggett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; kawanna.leggett@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Progress report April 2021

    Comments: LMU is committed to expanding TLC so that more Black students can access the support offered by the program.  This includes preparing for an expanded TLC class for Fall 2021.  Specific budget increases will be identified post-pandemic, when the university’s budget situation is known and more stabilized.

    Note: LMU’s “Day of Giving” was September 23 and Student Affairs raised $22,000 specifically for TLC.   

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: As part of the Student Affairs campaign goal, and in collaboration with the university, Student Affairs commits to raising $2 million to endow The Learning Community (TLC) program.

    Update December 2021: TLC continues to be a major fundraising priority for the university, especially Student Affairs.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The university reaffirms its goal of increasing the number of Black students and accompanying resources and services needed to support them.  This goal will be assessed beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2022, given continuing pandemic conditions.


    RE: Additional full-time position

    Code: Yellow

    Timeline: Progress update by November 2020.  Goal of supporting increased # of Black students in Fall 2021.
    Comments: Pending restoration of temporary budget cuts for the current fiscal year, LMU will add another FTE to Ethnic and Intercultural Services (EIS) to assist with TLC, OBSS, and the Intercultural Facilitator program, as well as other campus activities that support the retention and thriving of Black students.  

    UPDATE April 2023:  The position was funded for academic year 2022-2023. February 2023 - Student Affairs submitted a strategic funding request for this permenent full time position in EIS.

    UPDATE December 2021: Ethnic and Intercultural Affairs hired a staff member to supervise student employees and manage the Mbongi Spot at the Bird Nest (Black Student Space), representing an increase in staffing and resources that directly impacts Black students at LMU.  The demand will be changed to green, if the position becomes permanent.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: Due to staff departure, this demand has changed from green back to yellow.  An FTE to support this area is still needed.

    UPDATE October 13, 2020: A temporary position in EIS has been extended until 2022-23 to provide support for these programs (e.g., TLC, OBSS, and IF), until the budget is stabilized and hiring can resume for regular full time employees.

    RE: 50% Budget increase for summer program/40% budget increase for 2021-22.

    Code: Yellow

    Timeline:  Budget for the program will be evaluated in Spring 2021
    Comments: Level of increase pending increased # of Black students admitted/accepted to LMU and pandemic-related budget conditions.

    UPDATE April 2023: 36 students participated in TLC program in Summer 2022. This is an increase from 24. Expenses were much lower for last two year because a good portion of the program was virtual. As the program returns in full on-person model, we will review how to support and fund the larger numbers.

    UPDATE December 2021: There was a 50% increase in the  number of Black students who participated in the TLC summer program.   

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The university reaffirms its goal of increasing the number of Black students and accompanying resources and services needed to support them.  This goal will be assessed beginning with the incoming class of Fall 2022, given continuing pandemic conditions.  

  • Demand 1. Establish a Black Space on LMU’s Campus.

    Code: Green

    Point of Contact: Dr. Kawanna Leggett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; kawanna.leggett@lmu.edu

    Timeline: The space will be managed by Student Affairs Division and will be deep cleaned and ready by the Spring 2021 semester, pending the campus reopening.   

    Comments: The Bird Nest is designated as the initial campus space that will be set aside for this use for the next several years. 

    • The space cannot be formally renamed, as there are university policies that govern the naming of buildings on campus.
    • In addition, the Bird Nest was named after Fr. Rich Robin, S.J. who expressed his full support for the commitment of the space for Black students.

    The Collins Center is a faculty space and is designated as a future site for a residence hall.  The Bird Nest emerged as the best option among several alternatives that were considered, not only for its spectacular location and bluff view, but also its ample outdoor space, and symbolic significance to the university as a community-building space.
    The site may be used for all the purposes listed by #BlackatLMU

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: LMU will make an ongoing commitment to creating a dedicated space for Black students. We will begin by offering the Bird Nest as a temporary location for this space. As university master planning processes unfold, we will work closely with the Black community to identify an appropriate future location for dedicated Black student space needs.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: A committee has been formed within Student Affairs to develop a plan for the space.  The committee includes representation of students from #BlackatLMU. 

    UPDATE April 27, 2021:  The committee has submitted a proposal to Facilities Management (FM).  FM and Student Affairs are working together to identify the scope of the project, associated costs, and priorities.  FM leadership met with the committee on 4/22/21 to understand students’ vision for the space.  

    The Bird Nest is expected to be ready for student use in Fall 2021.  Timeline for full completion of proposed upgrades, however, is yet to be determined, given the scope of the project.

    UPDATE December 2021: The Mbongi Spot at the Bird Nest was refurbished, including the purchase of new furniture,  by Facilities Management in collaboration with the Black Student Space Committee.  The grand opening was held on October 26, 2021.  The space is now managed by a new EIS staff member, with a cadre of dedicated work-study students assigned to the space.

    Demand 2. Acknowledge Black LMU history.
           a. Include Black Faculty in Existing LMU Faculty Hall of Fame
           b. Establish a Black Staff Hall of Fame.
           c. Public and Lasting Recognition for Dr. Robert and Helen Singleton.

    Code: Green

    Point of Contact:
    Dr. Tom Poon, Executive Vice President and Provost; Thomas.Poon@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Progress Report November 2020 


    A. Include Black Faculty in Existing LMU Faculty Hall of Fame (U Hall, 4th Floor)

    LMU absolutely supports the principle that the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame should be inclusive of Black and other faculty of color who have made outstanding contributions to the university. 

    The Provost has asked the Faculty Senate to review the process and procedures for the Faculty Hall of Fame and to provide a recommendation going forward. 

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: The Provost’s Office, in collaboration with the deans and Faculty Senate, will review eligibility criteria and the process for inclusion in the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame with the intent of ensuring that the selection process embraces and appropriately honors LMU faculty of color who have made outstanding, distinguished contributions to the university and society.

    UPDATE December 2021: Five faculty of color were selected by a committee to be included in the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame after a process of nomination and review.  Faculty recognized with this honor in May 2021 included Dr. Ronald Keith Barrett (PSYC); Dr. Robert Singleton (ECON), and; Dr. John Davis (AFAM).

    UPDATE April 27, 2021:  The inductees for the Faculty Hall of Fame will be announced in May 2021. Black History Month will be uplifted each year through LMU Communications, and the Inclusive History and Images Project will seek out contributions from Black, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), and Native American alumni, as well as alumni from other underrepresented populations to share memories, images, and stories as part of a more inclusive narrative of LMU’s history.

    UPDATE March 29, 2021:  The Faculty Hall of Fame is reviewing applications after extending the deadline for submissions.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021:  The application for the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame has been revised and is now available online.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The Faculty Senate has reviewed the selection process for the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame and has submitted recommendations for revision. These were reviewed by the Dean’s Council.  A new process is being finalized by the Office of the Provost including the selection of additional inductees this Spring 2021, to redress lack of inclusiveness in past selection processes.

    B. Establish a Black Staff Hall of Fame

    Point of Contact: John Kiralla, Emelyn dela Peña, BFSA Executive Board

    Timeline: Depends on option selected

    Comments: There are three potential options for creating a Black Staff Hall of Fame (or Black Staff and Faculty Hall of Fame) that does not depend on university processes and that could be implemented in a more timely manner:

    1. Work with the Kente graduation ceremony which selects a staff and faculty member to honor each year and induct them into a Black Hall of Fame,
    2. Work with BFSA to create a Black Staff Hall of Fame, or
    3. Create a Bird Nest-based Black Staff Hall of Fame through a process developed by students.  The impact of any of these options may be augmented through collaborations with AAAA, without relying on university-based processes for implementation.

    Reference Sept 4:  The criteria and process for establishing a Black Faculty and Staff Hall of Fame will be developed in close collaboration with the African American Alumni Association (AAAA).  Establishing eligibility criteria and a process of review will enable membership in the Black Faculty and Staff Hall of Fame to be gained by peer review and recognition and can be accompanied by appropriate ceremony and celebration.

    UPDATE December 2021: No further progress to report at this time.  BFSA and the outgoing VP-DEI have not followed up on this matter.  Note that historical images of Black staff,  faculty, and students are highlighted on the walls of the Mbongi Spot at the Bird Nest (Black Student Space) although this is not equivalent to a Black faculty and staff Hall of Fame.  

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: BFSA leadership will work with BFSA members to identify the preferred option for creating a Black Staff and Faculty Hall of fame.  These will be shared with the VP for OIA to move the process forward with appropriate units. The university has placed internal promotional campaigns on hold due to the pandemic and budget reductions. MarComm anticipates resuming an LMYOU-style banner campaign in Fall 2021, budget permitting, that will highlight and celebrate the DEI contributions of staff members, focused on underrepresented community members.

    C. Public and Lasting Recognition for Bob and Helen Singleton

    Additional Point of Contact: John Kiralla, SVP for Marketing & Communications

    Timeline: progress report November 2020

    Comments: While Bob and Helen Singleton have been recognized in different ways, LMU is in total agreement with the principle of providing public and lasting recognition for their contributions as Freedom Riders and their commitment to justice.

    LMU will examine options for how best to honor the Singletons, in consultation with #BlackatLMU and P.B.L.A.C., in an effort led by Marketing, Communications, and External Communications. A progress report will be provided in November 2020.

    UPDATE March 29, 2021: The President’s Award was bestowed upon Bob and Helen Singleton in a beautiful virtual ceremony on March 16, 2021, attended by over 160 members of the LMU community.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021: Details are being finalized for honoring the Singletons this semester.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: In progress. The Economics Department and Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts are developing a program to honor the Singletons as part of the Bellarmine Forum.

    Demand 3. Students & Black alumni should guide the selection of art for the University.

    Code: Yellow 

    Point of Contact: John Kiralla
    Senior Vice President for Marketing, Communications, and External Communications; JKiralla@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: The committee will begin meeting in Fall 2020 with reconstituted membership. 

    • Current artwork will be removed in UH in Fall 2020.  
    • A project proposal will be requested by the end of Fall 2020.
    • Implementation of the project will begin by Spring 2021.

    Comments: The university is in agreement that public spaces on campus need to reflect LMU’s diverse community and history in a more inclusive way.  The Committee will identify leaders for the Inclusive History and Images Project to engage members of the LMU community, including #BlackatLMU students, in the project design,  Student representation, including Black student representation, will also be increased on the university committee that guides the selection of arts and images, and will oversee this project.    

    Reference Sept 4 Letter:

    • The membership of the Committee on Public Arts and Images will be expanded to be more comprehensively inclusive.
    • Plans to replace artwork in high impact public spaces will be accelerated. Artwork presently displayed in University Hall will be removed until replacements can be installed.
    • The university will launch an Inclusive History and Images Project to recognize LMU’s diverse stories, gathering images from the LMU archives, inviting alumni to share their memories, photos, and perspectives on LMU and exploring the Jesuit history and legacy in Los Angeles, with the leadership and support of the Jesuit Community.

    UPDATE April 2023: Spring 2023: IHIP will expand its role to include serving as a curator, i.e. inviting black alums to do a residency.

    UPDATE December 2021:  A student representative has been included on the Public Arts and Images Committee.  Artwork has been removed from University Hall.  The Inclusive History and Images Project (IHIP) has been developing the infrastructure to support its work this fall. 

    UPDATE March 29, 2021:  The Steering Committee for the Inclusive History and Images Project has been formed and a student representative from #BlackatLMU is invited to participate. 

    UPDATE January 28, 2021:  The proposal for the Inclusive History and Images Project was approved and the steering committee, co-led by Fr. Michael Engh, SJ (LMU Chancellor) and Dean Bryant Keith Alexander (CFA),  is in the process of being formed, including with undergraduate and graduate student representation.

    UPDATE April 27, 2021:  More information is available on the Inclusive History and Images website.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: The Public Arts and Images Committee will be expanded to be more inclusive beginning with its December meeting, and will include representation of ASLMU and GSLMU.  Representatives from #BlackatLMU will be invited to participate.

    A proposal for the Inclusive History and Images Project will be presented to the Public Arts and Images Committee at their December 2020 meeting.

    Demand 4. Double the Office of Black Student Services’ budget by 2023.

    Code: Yellow

    Point of Contact: Dr. Kawanna Leggett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; kawanna.leggett@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Progress report April 2021

    Comments: The university intends to expand the OBSS budget but does not yet know by what amount. The SVP for the Office of Student Affairs  will discuss enrollment-based needs of Black students with #BLackatLMU and PBLAC as part of the process for making determinations for the appropriate additions to the OBSS budget on an annual basis, consistent with the enrollments and budget for other units within Ethnic and Intercultural Services (EIS).

    Reference Sept 4:  As the enrollment of Black students increases, the Office of Black Student Services’ (OBSS) budget will be increased appropriately.

    UPDATE April 2023:  SA currently doesn’t have additional operating budget to give, but will review in next internal budget exercise

    UPDATE December 2021: The EIS budget has increased with funding for an increased number of students participating in the 2021 summer TLC program and a staff person dedicated to the Mbongi space.  Further analysis of the OBSS budget will be completed, but needs to be considered in the context of allocation of EIS resources overall.  

    UPDATE April 27, 2021:  Budgets for AY2021-22 have not yet been released and Fall 2021 enrollments are not yet known.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020: Progress update will be provided in April 2021, as noted.

    Demand 5. Establish a national Pan-Hellenic council.

    Code: N/A 

    Point of Contact: N/A 

    Timeline: N/A 

    Comments: Student leaders indicated in August 2020 that this demand was resolved.  A new Black Greek Council will be initiated beginning in the Fall 2021 semester.

    Demand 6. Increase engagement with Black community organizations.

    Code: Green 

    Point of Contact: Dr. Kawanna Leggett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; kawanna.leggett@lmu.edu

    Timeline: Anticipated start date is Fall 2021. 

    Comments: Proposal under review.

    Reference Sept 4:  Creation of a new Center for Service and Action (CSA) position to create service and justice opportunities with Black community-based organizations (CBOs) in Los Angeles. A search will commence pending hiring approval. 

    UPDATE November 23, 2020:  In progress.  More details are forthcoming.

    UPDATE: January 28, 2021:  A position (Associate Director for Community Engagement) in the Center for Service and Action that will focus on partnerships with Black community-based organizations has been approved and posted.  The search committee has been formed.  

    UPDATE March 29, 2021:  The search process is underway for an Assistant Director, Center for Service and Action.

    UPDATE April 27, 2021: Search process completed. New Associate Director will begin in early May.

    UPDATE December 2021: The Associate Director for Community Engagement position oriented on the creation of service and justice opportunities with Black community-based organizations for students at LMU has been filled.


    RE: The financial charge for organizations to meet on campus (framed as working with BCLA’s Department of Engaged Learning).

    Code: Green

    Additional Point of Contact: Trevor Wiseman, Associate Vice President of Administration

    Timeline: To be put into effect when Conferences and Scheduling Services reopens.

    Comments: The fee structure for organizations to meet on campus reflects actual costs that the university must cover in providing space and associated services, including staff time and cleaning services.  So, the funds must come from somewhere, since these are real costs.  The university commits to formalizing a process to financially support and help offset these expenses.  #BlackatLMU will identify student(s) to provide feedback and consultation as the process is developed.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: The university will explore approaches for providing additional support for offsetting fees for co-sponsored activities with faculty working with CBOs in Los Angeles. 

    UPDATE December 2021:  No changes to report.  The campus remains closed to visitors, except under narrowly defined circumstances, as outlined on the LMU Together website.

    UPDATE November 23, 2020:  The process for committing financial support has been completed.  Each year, once Conferences and Scheduling Services has met 50% of its net revenue goals for the year, a limited line of “credit” will be activated to help offset fees for events that are co-sponsored and hosted by LMU faculty. 

  • Demand 1. Update curriculum to include additional diversity/anti-racism core class for undergrads.

    Code: Yellow

    Point of Contact: Dr. Anthony Perron, Core Director and Associate Professor of History; APerron@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Progress reports each semester: November 2020 and April 2021.

    Comments: The curriculum is the primary responsibility of the faculty and curricular changes require faculty approval to adopt and implement.  Faculty leaders are committed to anti-racism and will lead efforts to examine curricular implications and opportunities.  The University Core Curriculum Committee is exploring a core curricular response to systemic racism.      

    Additional point person: Emelyn dela Peña, VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    LMU will pursue a number of administrative strategies to support change in this area: 

    • LMU will use DEI data as part of its regular Academic Program Review (APR) process through which the faculty regularly updates and modifies department curricula.


    • Use of data in APR processes beginning Fall 2020 
    • Progress report April 2021  

    Reference Sept 4 Letter:  The Academic Program Review Committee and Provost’s Office will collaborate to include an examination of DEI issues in programs and curriculum as part of regular academic program review processes.

    • LMU will provide relevant data, logistical support, and resources to support curricular revisions and pedagogical support (see Sept 4 reference below)


    • Beginning Fall 2020
    • Progress report November 2020

    Reference Sept 4 Letter:  Support for faculty in incorporating anti-racism into pedagogy and curriculum has been developed in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Office of Mission and Ministry: CTE offers drop-in four-session series for fall 2020, as well as two Faculty Learning Communities (e.g., Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, and Thinking Toward the Third University: Anti-Racist and Anti-Imperialist Pedagogies).

    A 10-hour online January workshop series is under development by faculty for faculty, to offer an intensive peer-driven opportunity to delve further into anti-racism and decolonization in the curriculum. 

    UPDATE August 2022: The FDIV proposal, Studies in American Diversity, was approved by 76% of TT faculty. The new Director of the Core hopes to have some programming ahead of the next core application cycle  to make sure folks know about the amended criterion. Further decolonization of the curriculum is planned as part of the strategic plan’s spotlight initiative on Learning for Justice, Inclusion, and Transformation.

    UPDATE December 2021:  The inclusion of learning outcomes related to DEI and anti-racism for the curriculum and co-curriculum are part of the key performance indicators for the Learning for Justice, Inclusion, and Transformation spotlight initiative as part of the university’s strategic plan. Specifically, the inclusion of a subject/discipline specific learning outcome related to DEI/anti-racism, will begin with the university core curriculum.

    UPDATE April 27, 2021: In a report from the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) on the LMU Core Review sent out to LMU faculty on March 29, 2021, the UCCC included a report on steps taken and next steps planned as part of the core review process.  These include steps towards decolonizing the core, suspending proposals for [American Diversity] FDIV courses to review FDIV course descriptions, learning outcomes, and goals, to define characteristics of FDIV courses and approval criteria.  In addition, the next phase of Core curriculum review (Spring 2021-Spring 2022) includes a review of the goals and learning outcomes for the core as a whole including addressing the broader question, “What changes do we need to make to the Core’s overarching goals and learning outcomes in order to call out our commitment to anti-racist approaches to curriculum and pedagogy?” Note that any proposed changes to the core curriculum require continued close collaboration with the Faculty Senate and will go to the full faculty for a vote.

    The university has funded the implementation of seven “Teaching for Justice” college- and school- specific pedagogy workshop series (March-April 2021) led by peer faculty facilitators (BCLA: Julia Lee; SCSE: Brendan Smith; CBA Julian St Clair; SFTV Tara Pixley; CFA Arnab Banerji; SoE Maia Hoskin; LLS Katherine Pratt) under the leadership of Drs. Mairead Sullivan (WGST) and Jennifer Williams (AFAM). 

    The Academic Program Review (APR) process has revised its criteria so that DEI is now included in all academic program document reviews.

    UPDATE March 29, 2021:  A “Teaching for Justice” workshop series has been initiated for a small group of faculty in each college and school, including LLS.  A total of 6 workshops (six sessions each) is led by a faculty facilitator between March 19 - April 29, with anti-oppressive pedagogies tailored to content appropriate for each college and school. 

    UPDATE February 18, 2021:  #BlackatLMU students, Yolana Nosakhare, Jolie Brownell, and Kioni Shropshire-Maina, with the support of Prof. Marne Campbell (Chair, AFAM studies), and the co-chairs of the Common Book Program, John Jackson (Head, Outreach & Communications, William H. Hannon Library) and Mia Watson (Director, Academic Resource Center) will develop a collection for publication with the Harriet Tubman Press.  The Harriet Tubman press is an imprint of TSEHAI Publishers (with Elias Wondimu) and the Marymount Institute Press at LMU.  The resulting publication will be used as the Common Book, which is assigned to all incoming students.

    UPDATE January 28, 2021: A Spring CTE anti-racism workshop series has been created with five different topics and sessions.  The Spring 2021 workshop series will be piloted in the Spring, before May 2021 with a full complement of workshops to be offered prior to the Fall 2021 semester.

    UPDATE November 4, 2020: On October 27, 2020, the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) sent a message to the faculty stating that the UCCC will no longer accept proposals for Studies in American Diversity beginning November 1, 2020 in response to #BlackatLMU and BFSA demands to decolonize the core curriculum.  The UCCC has begun a review of this requirement and will bring a set of recommendations to the Faculty Senate, “mapping out concrete steps to decolonize Studies in American Diversity by emphasizing anti-racism.”

    UPDATES November 23, 2020: 

    1. The UCCC has submitted recommendations to the Faculty Senate for review.  They are currently engaged in considering how best to include racial justice and its connection to LMU’s mission and identity in the Core Curriculum.  A subcommittee has been formed to work specifically on the recommendations for how to revise the Studies in American Diversity requirement to decolonize the curriculum and to emphasize anti-racism.

      a. A joint meeting of the Dean’s Council and Associates Deans will be held  in December 2020 to discuss proposed changes and issues related to the LMU Core curriculum.

    2. For the Fall CTE workshop series on anti-racism, a total of 79 faculty participated in these 4 CTE sessions.

      a. The Spring 2021 workshop series is being developed under the leadership of Professors Jennifer Williams (AFAM) and Mairead Sullivan (WGST).  A pilot workshop will be offered for each college/school during the Spring 2021 semester. 

    Demand 2. Allocate no less than $100m of upcoming Capital Campaign to fund Black initiatives.


    • To highlight Black initiatives and increasing support in upcoming Capital Campaign: Yellow
    • To allocate $100 million for the upcoming Capital Campaign: Red

    Point of Contact: John Kiralla, Senior Vice President for Marketing Communications and External Communications; JKiralla@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Regular updates will be provided. Next update will be scheduled for November 2020 with the goal of providing greater specificity in level of support.

    Comments: LMU commits to featuring anti-racism and DEI initiatives, and specifically Black initiatives, more prominently in its upcoming comprehensive campaign, currently in its “quiet” phase.  Philanthropy is voluntary, so specific areas of focus and target amounts must be aligned with the philanthropic capacity and interests of our donor pool. The amount of $100 million is not realistic with our current donors; however, the university commits to revising campaign goals to prioritize anti-racist, DEI, and Black initiatives with the aim of expanding our pool of potential donors. All specific campaign commitments and revised goal targets  will be evaluated in alignment with feasibility and capacity studies.

    Please note that our current campaign priorities, potentially with further refinement, support the goals of #BlackatLMU in the following ways:

    • Student Scholarships – We will seek scholarship support to increase the overall number of Black students enrolled at LMU.  Currently, the population of students identifying as African American is about 7%; with all students identifying as Black, the population is closer to 9%.  Our goal is to increase the representation and support given to Black students through several additional scholarships per year, representing a greater endowment commitment.  While this will increase the overall Black student population, the goal is to also make the cost of attendance more attainable for Black students; to grow the number of traditionally underserved transfer students, with particular attention to Black transfer students; and to create endowed study abroad scholarships that include aid for Black and other traditionally underserved students.

      Note:  Analyses are underway to estimate the level of support for scholarship funds that can be raised, for both yearly commitments, as well as total endowment support.

    • Faculty Hiring – We will seek endowed chairs and professorships in select focus areas of interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching. One of the intended focus areas, “Promoting Racial Equality,” provides an excellent opportunity for hiring multiple Black faculty members at the endowed chair/endowed professor level.  Each of the other focus areas – “Restoring Civil Discourse,” “Eliminating Homelessness,” “Achieving a Sustainable Future,” “Reducing Income Inequality,” and “Managing Migration’s Impacts” – intersects with questions of diversity, equality, and race in ways that make all of these potentially fertile ground for recruiting more Black faculty.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter:  Exploration of the development of a fundraising plan with University Advancement to provide additional support for Black initiatives. 

    UPDATE August 2022: DEI VP dela Pena meets bi-weekly with executive director of Major Gifts to discuss DEI fundraising, with particular focus on LAA and AAAA scholarships

    UPDATE December 2021: UA has hired an Executive Director to manage DEI fundraising and the campaign pillar of inclusivity and student success, with a dotted-line relationship to the DEI VP.  This provides infrastructure for focused fundraising for university DEI initiatives, including strategic plan priorities.  For instance, Spotlight Initiative 1 includes key performance indicators (KPIs) related to DEI-focused recruitment, retention, and representation issues, while spotlight initiative 5 includes a KPI to increase support for undergraduates with families making less than $100,000.

    UPDATE April 27, 2021:  The university has re-evaluated its campaign priorities, putting inclusivity and student scholarships as its first priority and campaign pillar.  UA has a new Senior Vice President, Peter Wilch, who will meet with #BlackatLMU and Umoja leaders on 4/28/21, along with members of his team. 

    UPDATE 11/23/20:  The university is actively engaging with trustees and donors engaged in campaign planning and are revising the university’s case for support, which serves as the framework for the comprehensive fundraising campaign.  Progress thus far has focused on reformulating the campaign’s themes and prioritizing anti-racist, DEI, and Black community needs. While further discussions and refinements are forthcoming, early progress reveals that student inclusivity is an emerging new theme associated with increased emphasis on making an LMU education more accessible and affordable through DEI-focused scholarship programs.

    Next Steps:  University Advancement will provide a revised case statement in March 2021, and then work to develop supportive frameworks that detail priorities referenced in the final/approved case.
    UPDATE 3/29/21: University Advancement will be creating two positions, Director of Black Student Success and Diversity Initiatives and Director of Latinx Student Success and Diversity Initiatives (note titles are not finalized).  UA has also been revising their case statement guiding the comprehensive campaign to include DEI as one of three major priority areas for revision, which will assist in efforts to increase fundraising for Black students as well.

    Demand 3. Hire at least 17 additional Black faculty and staff and retain current Black faculty & staff.

    • To goal of hiring additional Black faculty and staff and retaining them: Yellow
    • To specifically hiring 17 additional Black faculty within 2 years: Red

    Point of Contact: Dr. Tom Poon, Executive Vice President and Provost; Thomas.Poon@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Progress report on hiring will be issued each academic year, beginning with Spring 2022  (hiring freeze in 2020-21 will require a modified report).


    • LMU makes a commitment to engage in sustained efforts to significantly increase the ethnic diversity of the faculty, especially Black faculty. 
    • LMU has a longer term strategy for hiring more faculty, including Black faculty, within its comprehensive campaign (see above).  For both legal and budgetary reasons; however, the university will not be able to comply with both the number of Black faculty (17) and timeline of the demand (within 2 years), as well as the requirement to retain all Black faculty and staff.
    • Deans of all colleges/schools are committed to hiring Black faculty and are already engaged in budgetary analyses and active recruitment efforts in their areas.
    • Retention of Black faculty and staff is highly desirable and a goal shared by the university, although not fully within the university’s control.  The institutional membership for the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development (NCFDD) will assist in faculty retention.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter:

    • During the present hiring freeze, exceptions will be made for opportunity hires on a case-by-case basis.
    • Opportunity hire briefings are available for all units with any approved searches through Intercultural Affairs and Human Resources. This briefing includes the legal restrictions that serve as necessary parameters for LMU hiring strategies.
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) cluster-hire strategies will be discussed with colleges/schools pending full enrollment and reopening (post COVID-19).
    • Our anti-racist commitments will inform our selection of the interdisciplinary faculty clusters as part of the Capital Campaign. This will impact faculty hiring strategies for future interdisciplinary clusters.
    • The Provost’s Office will provide an institutional membership and develop coordinated programming for all faculty to access programs provided by the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development.

    UPDATE December 2021:  Hiring processes have been reinstated, with searches in every college/school.  Development of a number of DEI dashboards are also underway, which will include information on faculty, staff, and senior leadership demographic characteristics. 

    UPDATE 11/23/20: Exceptions to the hiring freeze have been approved in units and colleges/schools where there are vacancies to engage in hiring, including opportunity hiring, using salary savings and other strategies.


    RE: Reinstatement of furloughed positions for Black staff

    Code: Red

    Point of Contact: Lynne Scarboro, Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer

    Timeline: N/A

    Comments: Every effort will be made to bring back every furloughed staff member based on the availability of work.  However, these decisions are based on work availability under pandemic conditions, not race/ethnicity, so this demand cannot ever be realized.  LMU is unable to commit to “never furloughing Black staff” unless it commits to never furloughing any staff under any circumstances.  This demand also cannot be realized. Furloughs and other budget reduction measures result from declining revenues in a challenging, dynamic, and unpredictable higher education context and are necessary, albeit undesired, avenues to ensure the institution’s financial viability and survival.

    UPDATE 11/23/20: No additional comments.

    Demand 4. Integrate an “Anti-Racism” module into the current standing orientation program.

    Code: Green 

    Point of Contact: Dr. Kawanna Leggett, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs; kawanna.leggett@lmu.edu 

    Timeline: Completed 

    Comments: LMU has supported the development of a new anti-racism module as part of the orientation program, with special acknowledgment of the significant contributions of LMU undergraduate, Hannah Baker.  LMU commits to maintaining this module, evaluating its  effectiveness, and continuing the inclusion of Black students in the curriculum review and development process.

    Reference Sept 4 Letter: Orientation program modules were developed this summer for transfer students and new first year students on anti-racism; they are being implemented this fall 2020

    UPDATE August 2022: The Anti-Racism Workshop Series continues. DEI will begin campus-wide listening and planning sessions to create the next generation of DEI learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty. DEI will also create a series of self-study guides to be housed on our website. Target completion Spring 2023.

    UPDATE December 2021:  Expanded orientation sessions including a focus on anti-racism were implemented for entering first year an transfer students in Fall 2021.  Modules are reviewed and updated each year.

    UPDATE 11/23/20:  Anti-racism has been included in expanded online orientation training for all entering first year and transfer students.