The Coalition of Black Organizations and Clubs (CBOC), since the release of its Statement of Actionable Items in mid-June, has worked diligently (interorganizationally and with the University’s administration) to see that each of the enumerated demands are scrupulously assessed, reassessed and resolved. It is important to note, however, that these demands are the subject of ongoing dialogue and that none of the terms of these dialogues are conclusive. The Coalition will continue to engage the University in pursuit of “livability and survivability” for its Black student body and relay the settlements of those engagements with the whole of its constituency. We hope that this observation and the democratization of this crucial information can force a high degree of transparency from both the University and this Coalition. Accessing the myriad historical legacies of black activism at Emory University (and more broadly), we intend to open-source this project as one that, above all else, emanates from the community. 

Attached are the University’s responses to the demand letter and promissory commitments to exhaustively address our grievances.

University Responses to CBOC’s Statement of Actionable Items

  1. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “issue a public apology for the
    University’s history of racist violence, particularly towards its Black student populations,” the University has agreed to formally acknowledge its culpability in the persistence of anti-blackness through a new statement of regret and a commitment to host frequent interscholastic conferences about the entanglement of slavery and academia. 

  2. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “undedicate residential spaces and other University properties to Confederate slave holders,” the University has agreed to continue the “ongoing” dialogues about memorialization, further exploring the legacies of these Confederate slave holders, with the hopes that this research can better inform the deliberations of the “University Committee on Naming Honors.” The University has also agreed to reevaluate the constitution of this committee. More concrete deliberations are to begin during the Fall 2020 semester.

  3. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “reassess the ways in which EPD and APD affect Emory’s learning and residential environments and immediately take actions to 1) disarm Emory Police, and 2) defund the Emory Police Department, reallocating subsidized funding to better equipped crises-prepared professionals,” the University has pledged to “Engage a third-party facilitator to help address issues of policing… Develop a plan that clearly defines the role of EPD within the university context… Create a broad community advisory group that will provide feedback on overall safety and security issues within the campus and assist in implementing all recommendations related to policing.”

  4. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “reassess its policies on Open Expression to better prosecute student experiences of rhetorical discrimination by the University’s faculty,” the University has assured (and reassured) CBOC that the revision of this campus policy has been the purpose of a number of ongoing initiatives and that the process of revision would “commence no later than June 2020 and will result in action during the Fall 2020 semester.”

  5. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “provide frequent diversity and sensitivity training to better verse faculty in the nuances of issues of identity (including, but not limited to issues of race, gender, sexuality, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.),” the University informed CBOC that diversity training is being better integrated into the on-boarding process for new faculty and that the University is committed to sponsoring faculty participation in programming aimed at professional development and accountability.

  6. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “establish a suretyship with this Coalition to guarantee the protection and preservation of designated Black spaces,” President-Elect Fenves assured CBOC that the preservation and renovation of designated Black spaces is of high priority to his administration.

  7. In response to CBOC’s demand that the University “acknowledge AND resolve all the demands of Black students issued since 1969,” the University pledged to better archive these historic demands for the purposes of review and deliberation and to engage the alumni who were involved in their composition and submission.

As we continue this partnership with the University, we will continue to prioritize feedback and insights as to the present, and historical, experiences of Black and Non-Black People of Color at Emory, and will seek to meaningfully include them in our advocacies.

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