Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access; Student Affairs

Special event planned; Inclusion and Equity to hold online dialogue about race


The Clemson University Division of Inclusion and Equity is partnering with Clemson Libraries and the Office of Human Resources to present a special event for faculty, staff and students in response to the recent unrest across America.

A man in a suit stands and speaks in front of a classroom full of people sitting at desks.
Education programs that focus on inclusion and equity have been well attended and received. Clemson University police chief Greg Mullens speaks at a session held in 2018 titled “Let’s Talk About it” that was presented through a partnership with the Division of Inclusion and Equity, students and the Clemson University Police Department.

“Shaken by a tipping point in racial injustice, a global pandemic and economic devastation, the nation is calling for change,” said Moryah Jackson, director of diversity education. “The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black people, pave the way for what many argue are overdue conversations and action.”

The Division of Inclusion and Equity is inviting members of the Clemson community to watch a three-part documentary, “Race: The Power of an Illusion,” and explore its companion website before a June 17 online community dialogue about race moderated by director of student media Wanda Johnson-Stokes.

Johnson-Stokes believes watching the documentary will help participants shape some of their emotions about the complicated questions raised by recent events and open the floor to questions that could yield uncomfortable, yet authentic answers.

Head shot of Wanda Johnson-Stokes
Wanda Johnson-Stokes

“I’m honored and excited to be moderating this important event. Watching the documentary will give participants a point of reference without feeling like they’re entering uncharted territory,” said Johnson-Stokes.

“Race relations in America is anything but simple. It involves a confluence of systems and practices that pre-date even the very notion of a USA. I believe this kind of dialogue is welcomed at our high seminary of learning. Facing the truth isn’t always comfortable, but it is necessary if we want to see the changes many of our ancestors could only dream about.”

The three-part documentary can be watched anytime from Friday, June 5 through Tuesday, June 16, by using Clemson credentials to access it in the Clemson Libraries at this link.

The documentary’s companion website is also available.

The community dialogue scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on June 17 is limited to 300 Clemson faculty, staff and students. Users will need to authenticate in and join through this Zoom link:

Panelists for the community dialogue include Chris Cox, dean of Clemson University Libraries; Alesia Smith, chair of the Commission on the Black Experience; Curtis White, faculty development and diversity coordinator; and Rachel Wagner, assistant professor of higher education and student affairs.

“Dialogue can foster a culture based on trust and respect, which can lead to behaviors that improve decision-making, commitment to action, productivity, and stronger relationships,” said Jackson. “At Clemson University our core values are honesty, integrity and respect. We know we must put in the work to go further to advance equity and inclusion, and we look forward to advancing it together.”

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