From July 1-10, 2020 (her first 10 days on the job), Chancellor Marks undertook a series of listening sessions on issues of equity, with a particular focus on racial justice. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni shared their perspectives in virtual meetings and written input. On this page you’ll find who participated, a summary of what they said, and the resulting commitments for action that Chancellor Marks announced on July 20.
The Equity Task Force was formed in October 2020 as a result of Chancellor Marks' Equity Listening Sessions in order to address longer-term issues requiring significant analysis and further work. Chaired by Antwan Jefferson, Associate Clinical Professor, School of Education and Human Development and John Ronquillo, Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, the task force will work over the 2020-2021 academic year to delve into the core of our challenges, including structural barriers to hiring and promoting underrepresented faculty and staff. It will bring together faculty, staff and students to explore a host of issues – including how to close the achievement gap, what it means to be a Hispanic Serving Institution, how to create a culture of belonging, whether our policies are contributing to equity, and how we might diversify the curriculum -- and recommend an ambitious action plan and investment priorities. Members of the Equity Task Force can be found here.
“The brave voices of those who participated in the equity listening sessions shaped my perspective on the path we need to travel together to create a more just, equitable, and belonging climate at CU Denver.”
– Chancellor Marks, July 2020
In 20 listening sessions over 10 days, Chancellor Marks met with 172 people and received dozens of emails sharing perspectives. Participants included students (all levels: undergraduate, master’s and doctoral), faculty, staff, and alumni from all eight schools and colleges as well as 60 university units.
Throughout the equity listening sessions, participants provided thoughtful, honest and passionate feedback. From the many comments and suggestions, a number of themes emerged. These provided the basis for the developing further actions and commitments.
Inspired by the ideas, experiences, and expertise shared by the CU Denver community on issues of equity and eliminating racism and injustice, Chancellor Marks has committed to a number of actions immediately and over the course of the 2020-21 academic year.