Showing up for Black Lives in UMBC Communities

A guide for White and non-Black UMBC faculty and staff

“We believe that public colleges and universities are obligated to help end inequity and to promote social justice. We draw on the leadership and wisdom of our students, faculty, and staff, many of whom confront these issues every day through their teaching, research, and activism.” —USM Statement on Structural Racism and the Killing of George Floyd

Why post this guide now?

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on May 25, 2020, has re-ignited protests, demonstrations, and public outcry around structural racism and state-sanctioned violence in the United States. UMBC proudly includes advancing social justice work as part of our vision. It is our responsibility to uphold this important piece of our foundational values in our words and actions, including in response to current events.

Additionally, UMBC Campus Life’s Mosaic Center has issued this Community Call to Action:

“We call Retrievers of all ethnicities, national origins, races, genders, belief systems and class backgrounds to join in allyship and advocacy toward the dismantling of anti-blackness in all forms now and in the future. Let’s educate and re-educate ourselves so we can shift our words and actions.”

As colleagues, teachers, friends, and community members we must answer this call. This is particularly the case for non-Black members of our community, as Black members of our UMBC community have long worked to educate non-Black people about anti-Black racism.

Often, non-Black allies want to help and support the Black people they care about, but are unsure of what to say or do. This page provides clear and concrete ways for UMBC faculty and staff to support Black members of our community. It provides suggestions for showing up as a responsible ally in a work context, and tips for how to care for yourself in this intense and stressful time.

Click on the links below to navigate through the guide:

How to Help: Acknowledge

How to Help: Offer Support

How to Help: Take Action

Self-Care for Allies

Guidance on Making Statements in Support of Black Community Members

UMBC Resources for Allies

Office of Equity and Civil Rights: UMBC’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights (ECR) is responsible for promoting and coordinating the University’s core values of inclusive excellence and equity, and has primary responsibility for managing UMBC’s efforts related to Title IX and civil rights issues. The office ensures compliance with sexual misconduct and non-discrimination laws, regulations, and policies through prompt, fair investigations, education and training, and outreach and engagement. Complaints regarding issues of racial equity and inclusion can be filed online here.

Center for Democracy and Civic Life: The Center for Democracy and Civic Life supports people in developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to create just and inclusive communities. Our work builds from the premise that people can develop power to enact change by organizing in everyday settings as well as at the level of communities, institutions, and systems. We offer workshops, conversation series, immersive programs, and courses, and provide coaching and consultation for students, faculty, and staff.

Employee Assistance Program: UMBC’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides short-term counseling services for employees and dependents to address concerns such as marital, relationship, and family problems; stress, anxiety and depression; grief and loss; job pressures; and substance abuse. The EAP also offers work-life solutions and legal support to UMBC employees.

The Mosaic Center: The Mosaic Center is dedicated to creating an environment that supports cross-cultural education and collaboration at UMBC. The Center is a safe and inclusive space for students and staff of all backgrounds. Mosaic staff strive to develop innovative programs and initiatives that celebrate cultural diversity, equality, and social justice.

The Shriver Center: The Shriver Center seeks to address critical social challenges by bridging campus and community through engaged scholarship and applied learning. The Shriver Center strives to lead meaningful social change through transformational higher education and community partnerships.

STRIDE: STRIDE is a peer to peer education program at UMBC in which highly respected faculty work within their communities to raise awareness about implicit biases and strategize best practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusively excellent professoriate.