Save Mizzou's Social Justice Centers and Ensure Representation for Minorities

Save Mizzou's Social Justice Centers and Ensure Representation for Minorities

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Frank Danielson started this petition to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Diversity Initiatives Dr. B. Sharrence Russell and

There has been a change proposed by Dr. Maurice Gipson to restructure Mizzou's Social Justice Centers: the Multicultural Center, LQBTQIA+ Resource Center, Women’s Center and Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. With only ten months worth of experience at Mizzou and little to no interaction with the students he will disenfranchise, Dr. Gipson decided to restructure these centers and fire all center coordinators. These coordinators are a part of each community they represent and have been integral to advocating for their students rights, supporting their mental and emotional health, and making Mizzou a hospitable place for marginalized students with their understanding of their unique struggles. Dr. Gipson sees no value in this and intends to combine all of their jobs in to one, task based, position. In the best possible scenario, only one of these communities will retain the representation and advocacy they are entitled to. This obviously cannot stand. Not only is it insulting to all of the students within these marginalized communities to treat them as a monolith, it also perpetuates their oppression. This move will make Mizzou starkly less hospitable for every LGBTQ+ student, every student of color and every female student. Vital resources for our success and the heart of our communities will be gone.

In light of plans to restructure The University of Missouri's Social Justice Centers and concerns about the threat of an appalling elimination of representation of marginalized communities through the removal of established center coordinators, signees demand the following:


First, that all plans, including current plans to restructure and future plans, be made with input and majority consent of the coordinators of Mizzou’s RSVP Center, Multicultural Center, LQBTQIA+ Resource Center, Women’s Center and Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center; Lisa Crader, Donald Gilliam, Eli Kean, Danielle Palomo, and Velma Buckner respectively.

No plans regarding the restructuring of the Social Justice Centers devised by Dr. Gipson and/or Dr. Russell will come to fruition without the majority consent of the aforementioned coordinators.  


Second, if plans are to be made for an individual center that will not affect other centers it must be made with the input and majority consent of the center coordinator and student organizations within that center as well as any organizations with representatives that may be effected.

Third, all Inclusion, Diversity and Equity staff must be required to meet with each center and its organizations once per semester to ensure that they are thoroughly familiar with their inner workings, communities and goals. This way we can ensure more staff to center cohesion and that all ideas proposed by staff are well informed.

Above all, we demand full transparency regarding any decisions regarding the aforementioned social justice centers from Dr. Gipson, Dr. Russell and whoever may hold their positions in the future.

 

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