Point Park University’s (PPU) Student Government Association (SGA) announced on Mar. 7 that the school’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) will cease to exist at the end of the semester.
“The mission of the Office for Equity and Inclusion is to wholeheartedly foster institutional equity, diversity, and inclusion by raising awareness and implementing strategies and tools to shift mindsets,” the OEI website reads in part.
A Shelby County Schools (SCS) equity audit revealed that Black students had higher graduation rates than their White and Hispanic peers for the past three years. Even when broken down by gender, both Black males and females graduated at higher rates than their White and Hispanic counterparts, respectively. The Shelby County Board of Education reviewed this information on Tuesday. The University of Memphis’ Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREC) conducted the audit, relying on data from SCS and the Tennessee Department of Education (TNDOE).
SCS Equity Officer Michael Lowe gave a presentation on the audit during the Tuesday board meeting. He noted that SCS didn’t actually receive the white paper of the entire audit report. Instead, the presentation was based on CREC’s executive summary of the report. The Tennessee Star requested the full audit report from Shelby County Board of Education Chair Miska Clay Bibbs. She didn’t respond by press time.
A “Race Discussion Guide” issued by the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) emphasizes its focus on the role and reality of White people. The Office of Equity and Inclusion created the guide with the purpose of helping UTC students, faculty, and staff navigate conversations on race.
In the 7 pages of information offered, the guide exclusively referenced White people no less than 17 times. Many of those references were linked to assumptions about White people or relationships with White people. Nowhere in the guide does it mention any other group of people by their skin color, such as Black individuals.