Racial Injustice: Equity Issues at Illinois State University

Racial Injustice: Equity Issues at Illinois State University

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Niara Fitts started this petition to Illinois State University and

At Illinois State University we as minoritized students do not feel that the institution values us and they are not truly committed to diversity and inclusion as they claim. We are at risk of losing one of our valuable and important staff members due to the university’s violations of the equal pay act. This staff member goes by the name of Tamekia Bailey. She was formerly in the position of interim TRIO Program Director. She has been offered a promotion, but she declined due to inequities. This disvalues Tamekia which disvalues the university’s commitment to some of their core values (diversity and inclusion and respect). Tamekia has used her efforts to support retention of marginalized populations, she has actively increased TRIO’s visibility among the campus community, and she assisted in securing grant funding to help students' journey through college. Tamekia continuously creates new ways to aid in the success of TRIO participants and benefit the University as well. She has developed new creative ideas for the 6-year Umoja: Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony which celebrates underrepresented students. She has provided resources, connections and encouragement for first-generation students through the expansion of the 1st Generation Powerhouse Celebration and she has been an active member in TRIO Illinois State Chapter which shows how much she is passionate and dedicated to her students. If Tamekia leaves, what does that mean for us? If the University lets Tamekia leave, then how does the University really feel about us. If we lose Tamekia along with other staff members in the TRIO program, we will lose a second family and the overall program diminishes. The TRIO program genuinely cares about their students. They provide resources and connections that are not always offered to students and they have shown us things that we would have never experienced if it was not for the program. We are asking for your support to give Tamekia what she deserves and give the minoritized students what they need.  
 

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