In response to recent acts of racial violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery and others, Wilkes University has established the Racial Justice and Inclusion Fund. The fund was created to promote awareness of social justice, equity and diversity on campus through lectures, events, trainings and workshops.
In a message to the campus community, Wilkes Board of Trustees Chair Bill Miller wrote that the fund was formed by the trustees after a virtual town hall hosted by the University’s Multicultural Student Coalition. During the town hall, students and members of the campus community discussed the Black Lives Matter protests and shared their personal experiences with racism and inequity. Find a story about the town hall here.
“Wilkes University was founded upon the values of creating and nurturing diversity of thought, culture and beliefs. We have built a welcoming community that proudly invites students of all races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations and identities to learn and grow. These values are acknowledged in our motto Unity Amidst Diversity,” Miller wrote. “But we must do more. Through this fund, we are committing that Wilkes will act to combat racial violence, build allyship and provide resources to aid in these efforts.”
Various campus groups can apply for funding. An application process will be introduced as students return to classes this fall.
Personal contributions from trustees established the fund. To date, nearly $12,000 has been pledged. Members of the campus community and the community at large can contribute at www.wilkes.edu/racialjustice.
In addition, the University’s board or trustees will diversify its own membership, creating a group that is more representative of the Wilkes community with varying perspectives and expertise. They will also encourage future recruitment and hiring practices that attract well-qualified candidates who are more representative of the campus population.
“Together as trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and students at Wilkes, we will be a force for good, supporting those who face injustice, discrimination and violence,” said Miller.
About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts,
sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 45 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.