Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

A new report has uncovered a pattern of racism among schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The paper was created using findings from the “ENOUGH: Listening Tour to End Racism on PASSHE Campuses.” The tour was established by Pennsylvania State Senator Art Haywood in partnership with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission to understand students’ experiences with racism on campus, as well as identify methods to enact change.

“Ultimately, Pennsylvania’s leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students,” says Senator Haywood. “The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania’s Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required.”

From April 2022 to November 2023, the “ENOUGH: Listening Tour to End Racism on PASSHE Campuses” traveled to all 14 schools within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and gathered testimonials from students regarding incidents of racism they have experienced at their university. Upon the conclusion of the tour, the researchers identified six areas where universities can make efforts to eliminate racism on their campuses: ending racial harassment and speech; nurturing and retaining students of color; organizing an incident reporting system; unveiling mandatory diversity training; generating mental health resources; and hiring faculty and staff of color.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors has included many of the listening tour’s recommendations in its diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plans. Going forward, Senator Haywood and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission will continue to monitor all Pennsylvania state universities to ensure their efforts to advance inclusion on their campuses are ongoing.

The full report, which includes numerous student testimonials about their personal experiences, can be found here.

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