The Office of Equity and Inclusion is in solidarity with our black students, faculty, and staff against structural racism and white supremacy.
From University System of Maryland leadership:
This week, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, a brutal act that recalled other recent killings of black Americans. We acknowledge with one voice the structural racism that’s taking the lives of our fellow citizens, and we stand in solidarity as we speak out against racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, discrimination against our LGBTQ and immigrant communities, religious intolerance, and bigotry of any kind.
We are justly saddened, angered, and frustrated by these acts of brutality and the lack of action when black men and women are killed. Mindful of public health guidelines, we also affirm the right of our communities to protest safely and peacefully to address their legitimate concerns.
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.
We encourage all members of the USM community to seek support, if needed, and to involve themselves in addressing these challenges. We urge our students and colleagues not only to vote, but to help safeguard and improve our democracy.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will be listening to the voices of those who are too often silenced or ignored. When we gather together on campus once again, we will examine with greater resolve the racism and systemic inequities that so gravely endanger our minority communities. We are proud to be a part of a University System that believes in humanity, justice, and opportunity for all.
Please take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities during this difficult time.
This event, held on 5/13/2020, was the first of several opportunities the campus community will have to come together and discuss the implications of the changes in Title IX and the future of Title IX work in our community. The staff of the Office of Equity and Inclusion held a town hall discussion about the Title IX final rule. You can watch a recording of this discussion here. For more information about UMBC’s response to this rule, see our campus-wide message.
Updates from the Office of Equity and Inclusion
UMBC’s newly established Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) is responsible for promoting and coordinating the University’s core values of inclusive excellence and equity, and will have primary responsibility for managing UMBC’s efforts related to Title IX and civil rights issues. The office will ensure compliance with sexual misconduct and non-discrimination laws, regulations, and policies through prompt, fair investigations, education and training, and outreach and engagement.
The team has been focused on building its infrastructure while continuing to provide services to community members affected by discrimination and sexual misconduct. Our new director, Ariana Arnold, started on January 13, 2020, and has met with staff, faculty, and students across the UMBC community. We have also officially launched the new online reporting form for sexual misconduct and/or discrimination which permits anonymous reporting by students, faculty, and staff.
Nearly all students, faculty, and staff have completed the mandatory online and/or in-person training related to sexual misconduct in the last year. If you are a student and you have not completed the mandatory training, we encourage you to complete the Consent and Respect training as soon as possible so that you may register on time and optimize your course selection options. The Office of Equity and Inclusion will continue to develop and deliver regular mandatory training to all students, faculty, and staff to fulfill UMBC’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our campus community.
We are also welcoming the following new staff:
Ariana Wright Arnold joined us as the Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion effective January 13, 2020. Ariana joins UMBC after serving as Senior Associate General Counsel at Howard University, where she provided advice, counsel, and representation on employment, student rights and Title IX matters. She was previously a partner at Jackson Lewis P.C. in Baltimore, and prior to that spent eleven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Baltimore.
Mikhel Kushner joined the office on March 27 as the Title IX Coordinator. Mikhel has a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Mikhel joins us from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she served as the Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator. She is returning to the UMBC family as she was the first Director of the UMBC Women’s Center from 2000-2009.
B. Ever Hanna joined UMBC and OEI on February 25 as the Training and Case Manager. Ever holds a Juris Doctor from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Science from Boston University. They join us after serving as the Policy Director for End Rape on Campus, a national survivor advocacy organization. Prior to this, Ever was a social services coordinator and educator.
We will continue to provide updates throughout the coming months as we hire additional team members, fully launch the new OEI website, and increase the breadth of our training resources. We appreciate the support of the campus as we continue UMBC’s efforts to improve our response to sexual misconduct and discrimination and build a more inclusive community.