Anti-Racism and Diversity Statement

Anti-Racism and Diversity Statement

This statement represents the views and opinions expressed by the Creighton University at Highlander team.

Dear Creighton University at Highlander partners/event attendees,

Creighton University at Highlander AcceleratorWe are a critical moment in history. For over four hundred years, Black Americans have understood viscerally the wide-ranging and long-term impacts of systemic racism on their health, wealth, education, freedom, and lives. It is now, with the deaths of James Scurlock, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, that non-Black people have been given a glimpse into the soul-crushing realities of the Black community.

The Creighton University at Highlander team stands in unapologetic solidarity with the Black community and affirms the value of Black lives. We stand in solidarity with those who are working to create a more equitable community and nation.

As our nation comes to understand the wide-ranging impacts of four hundred years of systemic racism, our team vows to actively engage in building a more equitable community that values Black lives. 

We aim to provide a more detailed plan of action to become a more intentionally anti-racist community of practice, but we believe that our movement towards being part of the betterment of our society include the following: 

  • Listen. As they are ready to speak (knowing that their hearts are heavy right now), we will actively work to re-form our community advisory board, prioritizing installing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) members.
  • And, listen some more. This summer, we are going to be conducting some community needs’ assessments. In these efforts, we will be seeking the guidance of—and following through with—the members of the Highlander and North Omaha communities.
  • Listen to learn and discern. Consistent with our Jesuit values, we aim to engage in the practice of discernment, after receiving evaluations/feedback from our community members. We will respond to this feedback with humility, and work to improve our practices.
  • Amplify Black Voices. In our planning for programming in the coming year, we commit to seeking out and showcasing the stories of Black students, community members, activists, and intellectuals.
  • Celebrate Black Joy and Arts-creation. In most of our events, we have included fun games and arts-creation opportunities. We will continue that work, and to seek the advice of Black artists for including more culturally-responsive arts expressions.
  • Co-create Black Futures. Adopting an asset-based, racial equity approach, we will partner with community members to co-develop free opportunities for capacity-building for the staff/leadership Black-serving community organizations.
  • Giving Black Bodies a Chance to Breathe. Recognizing that the real-time and virtual witnessing of the devaluing of Black lives has real psychological impacts, we plan to offer virtual wellness opportunities and healing spaces for BIPOC community members and community activists.

We will be honest. There is no roadmap for the journey we are taking. We are excited, we are scared. We know there will be uncomfortable moments, tearful moments, angry moments, but because we are a community of practice dedicated to social justice, we know that there is no other way to grow.

We aim to be transparent about our growth, and hope that we can inspire you to engage in your own personal journey. We have created a list of resources to help you get started. We will be periodically updating them throughout the school year. 

In solidarity, 

Creighton University at Highlander team 

Anti-Racism and Diversity Resources