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Purpose and Mission Statement

The BYU Committee on Race, Equity & Belonging is united and deeply committed to realizing the recent call to action and reflecting the united declaration of leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the NAACP that educational institutions “review processes, [policies], and organizational attitudes regarding racism and root them out.” In his charge to the committee, President Kevin J Worthen acknowledged the historic nature of the committee’s commission and the transformative potential of the work we are asked to undertake in accomplishing this declaration and call to action at BYU. Racism—whether implicit or overt, whether individual or institutional—is a highly destructive and complex feature of our society. Indeed, it is a sin, with consequences that detrimentally impact the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of BYU students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Rooting out racism, healing its wounds, and building bridges of understanding is the responsibility of every member of the BYU community. That effort begins with understanding and living the two greatest commandments given to us by the Master Healer, Jesus Christ: to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 22:35–39). In this spirit of love, we will address racism, promote equity, and enhance belonging at BYU by:

  • Listening to our beloved Black BYU community to understand how racism has frustrated, and continues to frustrate their experiences at BYU;
  • Inviting the input of all of our beloved Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) at BYU as well as those committed to ridding BYU of racism through the establishment of racial equity and belonging;
  • Conducting a thorough quantitative and qualitative review of how processes, policies, practices, procedures, operations, and attitudes impact our BIPOC communities at BYU;
  • Identifying the issues that negatively impact the prosperity of our BIPOC communities at BYU;
  • Drawing on the expertise of individual faculty and administrators within BYU to understand both the subtle and overt ways that racism may impact individual thought and interactions, organizational units, processes, policies, practices, procedures, and operations;
  • Creating, prioritizing, and presenting a comprehensive set of recommendations that will assist BYU to advance racial understanding, enhance equity, and promote belonging, and that will have a significant and enduring positive impact on the prosperity of our BIPOC communities at BYU.

In accomplishing its purpose and mission, the committee is committed to transparency and will maintain consistent communication with the BYU community concerning its progress. We also recognize our charge extends beyond a single time frame or set of recommendations; therefore, we seek to launch an iterative process that will require consistent attention to create and maintain a racially equitable campus. The committee eagerly looks forward to assisting to “root out [racism],” at BYU so that every member of our BYU community “might have life, and have it ‘more abundantly.’”

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July 2020