BRE highlights several priority areas in Strategic Report


Andrew Brinker

A view of Emerson’s campus buildings from the Boylston St. sidewalk.

By Adri Pray, Editor-at-large

On Monday, Interim President William Gilligan announced Beyond Racial Equity completed Emerson’s Strategic Review as part of its commitment to infuse equity, action, and social justice values across the institution.

Several priority areas were identified within the report, and were later reinforced through conversation with the BRE Project Team, the Making Emerson IDEAS Team, and select students from the Presidential Advisory Group for Community and Equity. Among those highlighted areas were commitments to initiatives related to values and culture, communication and collaboration, leadership, accessibility, retention, accountability, and community.

The email committed to further community engagement via frequent campus-wide discussions and will honor alumni and other Emerson community groups through reimagined communication circles.

Additionally, the college will reimagine the PAG to include a more diverse pool of Emerson voices, will create a standing Equity, Action, and Social Justice Committee comprised of the Board of Trustees and will engage key leadership positions within the college in trainings to reflect on leadership styles, intersectionality, and multiple forms of institutional bias. Emerson will also form a Retention Working Group focused on BIPOC, international, marginalized, and disabled students.

The college will also invest in more staff positions in Student Affairs and the SJC to improve access in the community, mental health initiatives, and honor the advocates of disability justice, and will invest in resources that track and inform the college that will hold it accountable to its values and aspirations.

Updates on these commitments will be posted regularly on Emerson’s Community Equity Action Plan website, and the Emerson community will be formally updated once a semester. Leadership roles associated with each facet of community development will be announced as they are appointed. Progress will be a collective responsibility, the email reads, but will be mainly spearheaded by the Vice President for Equity and Social Justice Shaya Gregory Poku and in consultation with the President’s Council, overseen by Gilligan.

“Positive institutional change takes all of us,” Gilligan wrote. “This will be a community-wide effort where your ideas and assistance will be critical to our success.”