Our Commitment to Our Black Students
On June 6, Father Jenkins reflected to the Notre Dame community, “Let us ask for justice, for an end to the legacy of racism, for an end to violence in our streets and in our hearts, and for the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”
We the staff of the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development (CCD) stand in solidarity and mourning following the senseless killings and ongoing injustice levied against Black men and women, including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. They represent only the most recent victims of the systemic racism that continues to poison our communities near and far.
As part of the Division of Student Affairs' commitment to walk together for justice and equality in our community, we are called upon to take action on behalf of others, especially when we are in positions of privilege. Our staff commits to addressing these inequities including, but not limited to, implicit bias in the application and interview process, barriers to access for jobs and internship opportunities, and pervasive ignorance of the Black employment experience.
Looking inward, we answer the call to action by taking on the personal and collective responsibility to advocate for and support Black Notre Dame students. In the fall of 2019, we established a Diversity & Inclusion Working Group to expand the responsibility of diversity and inclusion programming and services as a department-wide priority. Initiatives stemming from this working group include:
- Recruiting employers to participate in a Diversity & Inclusion Showcase, our CCD electronic resource designed to raise awareness of employers dedicated to equity and diversity in the workplace. Sponsorship funds raised through this effort will be allocated to professional development funding in collaboration with the Office of Student Enrichment.
- Launching a student-led Career Development Diversity Newsletter in the 2020 Fall Semester which will more effectively communicate networking, jobs, and professional development opportunities.
- Hosting a diversity and inclusion recruitment event in conjunction with the 2020 Fall Career Fair.
However, this is not enough. We realize our pledge will require frequent assessment and realignment. To achieve this, we commit to:
- Requiring ongoing staff training in addition to the University’s existing required offerings.
- Creating a webpage with centralized resources for our diverse students, including: key events, peer-led discussions focused on diversity, a forum in which students of color can express their concerns on access to opportunities or issues that impact their career advancement, and diversity in the workplace tools.
- Deepening relationships and opening new communication channels with the Black undergraduate and graduate student populations to better understand challenges they face and respond appropriately.
- Developing and facilitating workshops/discussions focused on substantive and authentic issues related to diversity in the workplace; collaborating with various campus diversity groups, partner employers, and Black alumni.
This is our commitment. We will walk the walk alongside our Black students and empower them to discern, discover, and pursue meaningful careers to be a force for good in the world.