Back to Basics: American University Installs New Plan to Teach Anti Racism and Diversity (Watch)

Last year, AU students blocked traffic in the tunnel of Bender Arena to protest the treatment of students of color and seek support.

*American University in Washington. D. C., has announced plans to insert an Anti-racism Plan on the campus after Black students said they feel alienated and unsafe after student Taylor Dumpson, and AU’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was targeted with bananas hanging from nooses last year.  A survey identified only a third of African American students feel the school is inclusive juxtaposed to 70% of their white student peers, according to an announcement by officials on Tuesday.

First up in the plan will be a required course on diversity for all entering freshman. The course is aimed at prevention, and hopefully, will offer a two-pronged education emphasis that will discourage predators and at the same time teach potential victims how to defend themselves.

“We’re transparent about the fact that a number of our students of color don’t feel like they belong,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the university’s president, said to NBC Washington. “That’s a cultural issue that we need to work on.”

It seems a bit weird that such a class is even necessary. But the university has a past with racist incidents beyond the noose and bananas referenced earlier, which shows the course is not a bad idea. Of course that won’t stop us from wondering who will teach it and what specifically will the curriculum entail? 

In fact, the class, called “American University Experience 2,” is already offered at the school; but now, with the school’s new Plan, it will be revised to reflect the university’s new, more diversity-driven goals come Spring 2019.

NewsOne reports that…

At first glance, the plan appears to be a multi-pronged, collective action. The school is pouring $121 million over the next two years into teaching campus community members about equality, officials said. They will hire more professors of color, change processes for reporting hate incidents, offer grants for “inclusion-promoting” community projects and scholarships for underrepresented groups and veterans.

RELATED: AU Student Protesters Block Traffic in Bender Tunnel to demand support for students of color

In the video below, university president Burwell says, “I hope you will keep us accountable to this Plan.”

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