2022 Annual Report

Combating Anti-Black Racism (CABR)

This Report Chronicles the 2021-22 Academic Year


Our Framework and Progress

Commencement McNeil, Loury
After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Arcadia University marshaled a significant force surrounding Combatting Anti-Black Racism (CABR).

Charged by President Nair to create change “beyond this racial moment,” the Anti-Black Racism Initiatives were established as a framework for addressing issues at Arcadia University. A core team of staff and faculty met weekly and served as project managers over grouped initiatives. Working groups comprised students, staff, faculty, and alums who exhibited tireless efforts to examine current policies and procedures, pedagogical approaches, and individual exploration of implicit biases to increase self-awareness of preconceptions and prejudices.

Transformative change occurs with the commitment of senior leadership. President Nair has modeled the commitment to “radical change” by representing a diverse cabinet.  As we move forward, with the collaboration of the Faculty Senate, the AEDI office, and the Staff Council, the next chapter of CABR will encompass Arcadia’s global identity with an emphasis on the interaction of race and globalization. Arcadia University’s focus on Social Justice will become a model for other universities that engage in the work of creating transformative change. 

We are excited to share the major achievements of focused, dedicated work over the past two years in the following report.


Combating Anti-Black Racism (CABR)

Arcadia compiled initiatives and established milestones to represent an essential and complex mix of efforts that require sustained focus, collaboration, and courage to impact systemic change through Anti-Black Racism Initiatives. We established the ABRI committee to include all members of our University community — from prospective and current students to faculty and staff, alumni to leadership, donors, friends, and neighbors. To better align with the vision in the Arcadia2025 Adaptive Strategy, these initiatives called for a more actionable name that would better serve the institution’s efforts toward Combating Anti-Black Racism (CABR).

At A Glance

Diversity Liaisons of the University connecting to the Office of Accessibility, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Group debrief sessions engaged in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) programming

Initiatives identified by alumni and the community to combat anti-Black racism

grant secured by the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action from the Kellogg Foundation


Arcadia’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Mission

No endeavor will better serve humanity than cultivating leaders who can create systemic change at Arcadia and ultimately pursue real and lasting social justice throughout our society and our global community.

Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Establishing the Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (AEDI)

The Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (AEDI) was established to provide leadership for creating an environment of equity and inclusion. To help us deliver these crucial changes in our community, we are creating an AEDI Liaison role to embed the work more broadly and deeply. Liaisons will pay close attention to the pedagogical, programmatic, and practical CABR/JEDI issues at the unit level. This team works on modeling Acadia’s lived values and engages the Adaptive Strategy to achieve our efforts.

McNeil Appointed AVP for Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
As part of Arcadia’s commitment and vision, the University is pleased to announce that Dr. Angela McNeil has been appointed the new Assistant Vice President for Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, effective June 1, 2021.
For Some at Arcadia, Service Means Introspection, Mutual Aid, Community

What does service mean to you? How does it inspire you to act? For some at Arcadia University, service means introspection, mutual aid, and community. This year, the Arcadia University community partnered with the Food and Wellness Network (FAWN) to address food insecurity in West Philadelphia.

On the Importance of Establishing CASAA

For me, as a 30-year veteran of Arcadia, CASAA has been both a professional and personal dream for more than 15 years that has finally been realized. To finally have some type of formalized Center that addresses and researches the need for equity and the ills of racism shows me the progress that Arcadia is working toward in the world of DEI.

Dr. Doreen Loury, Founding Executive Director of CASAA

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of Pan-African Studies

Resources in Action

Arcadia Launches the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA)

Arcadia established the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA) as an interdisciplinary academic center that will bring together individuals from the University, the local community, and the wider world to shape the thinking and mindset about racism across the globe. The Center is located at 2035 Church Road, sharing space with the Humanities Research Lab and the Pan African Studies program. This community space provides a platform to bring together diverse minds to conduct research and develop best practices that will enable Arcadia to be a leading advocate of antiracist thought and endeavor toward ensuring racial justice and equity.

Founding and Associate Director of the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action

The founding director and associate director of Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA), Dr. Doreen Loury and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, respectively, answer questions about the importance of CASAA, how the Center plans to engage with the community, and how it plans to shape the thinking and mindset about racism across the globe.

Arcadia ran a Q&A series with Drs. Loury and Varlack on the importance of establishing CASAA. 

Part I

Part II

Part III

Office of Equity and Civil Rights

OECR is committed to promoting, supporting, and providing resources to sustain a living, learning, and working environment of diversity, equality, fairness, inclusion, and respect where all members of the University community are valued.

Arcadia’s LOVE Program

The LOVE Pilot Program serves as a much-needed space for Arcadia students to explore issues of identity, racism, and systemic discrimination, and to examine their role within society as change agents. The program is built upon the learning goals of the Pluralism course (a requirement in the curriculum pre-dating AUC), the current Global Connections and Crossing Boundaries aspects of the AUC Curriculum, and emerging tenets of JEDI work in the context of anti-black racism initiatives on campus. The hope is that this work will build a foundation for addressing anti-racism on campus and in the wider community for students, staff, and faculty and provide opportunities to develop future curricular initiatives on campus.

Development in CABR and JEDI Framework

Following a year of progression on its ABRI, Arcadia University faculty and staff examined curriculum, scholarship, and professional development this summer in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) as well as ABRI frameworks (see below).

The Hate You Give

For my Capstone…I chose to write about #TheHateUGive by Angie Thomas and the urgency of amplifying Black voices. Let me take you through the journey of my writing process, research, and then a sneak peek of what my project will look like come April!
Daijah Patton '22

English major, Secondary Education minor

Students at
the Center

Maya Johnson Joins Arcadia as Assistant Director of Counseling / Diversity Initiatives

In January 2022, Maya Johnson, M.S., LPC, joined Arcadia University as assistant director of Counseling/Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. Her role includes working with Counseling Services and campus partners—staff, faculty, and students—to identify and develop strategies to best support students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse identities, with an emphasis on supporting Black students. She also provides counseling services as part of the clinical staff. The University also retained TimelyMD, which provides access to a wide range of life experiences and identities as our students seek counselors who meet their specific needs.

Social Action and Justice Education Fellowship Program
Addressing the nationwide lack of diversity and cultural competency in the teaching profession, Arcadia’s Social Action and Justice Education (SAJE) Fellowship prepares students to serve as classroom teachers, provide mentorship in diverse communities, and lead schools, programs, and educational opportunities geared toward social justice. Arcadia’s SAJE Fellowship expands dual enrollment and enhances mentorship opportunities for participating students, and increases pathways for students of color. Each SAJE fellow will earn a bachelor’s degree aligned with Arcadia’s Secondary Education track, leading to certification in Biology, Chemistry, English, General Science, Mathematics, or Social Studies.
Pan African Studies minor
The Pan African Studies minor at Arcadia is based on the idea of Arcadia’s attention to graduating well-rounded, intellectually astute students and the University’s focus on global studies. With a range of courses in disciplines such as Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, English, Modern Languages and Culture, International Studies, and more, the five-course minor offers students a great opportunity to use their critical thinking to both analyze and interpret the historical landscape of the Pan African sociopolitical world, to learn about the contributions of people of African descent to various human conditions and the vast development of their identities of resistance, and to understand the interconnected nature of national and global movements that have been shaped by a direct relationship with or reaction to people of African descent.
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM)
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring (CTLM) works to energize and amplify faculty, staff, and student efforts to support Arcadia’s inclusive pedagogies and adaptive strategies. The CTLM serves the needs of all members of the Arcadia community––faculty, staff, and student peer educators––who are responsible for delivering transformative learning experiences. The CTLM Director and Faculty, Staff, and Student CTLM Fellows work to lead teaching, learning collaboratively, and mentoring discussions and innovations on campus, shape academic continuity processes and plans, and plan innovative teaching, learning, and mentoring initiatives in the coming academic year.
Arcadia Recognizes Juneteenth National Independence Day Act

Juneteenth was first observed in 1865 to recognize the day the news of emancipation reached those enslaved in Galveston, Texas — two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This national holiday commemorates African American freedom and culture while emphasizing education and achievement. We hope that staff members use this opportunity to learn more about the history behind the day and to reflect on our commitment to social justice.  The passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act established Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Arcadia University will observe this holiday by closing offices where possible. Offices and units essential to regular operations will remain open, and staff who are deemed essential personnel should work with their direct supervisor to take this holiday break another day.

Addressing Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion in Higher Ed

Arcadia is addressing the disconnect between institutions desiring to have diversity in their student bodies, but failing to deal with the lack of diversity at the executive level.
Dr. Alan Jansen

Former Resident Director of Arcadia Center in Cape Town, South Africa


Advancing the CABR National Discussion in Higher Ed

Arcadia’s CABR Efforts Featured in Nov. 9  Chronicle

Arcadia University is the feature of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Nov. 9 Race on Campus newsletter. The Chronicle spoke with President Nair, Provost Rutenbeck, and AVP for Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Angela McNeil, who are all quoted in the article.

President Ajay Nair served as a panelist for the Oct. 26, 2021 Chronicle of Higher Education webinar. Watch Full Webinar

Academics & Scholarship

Framework for CABR Curricular Infusion and Pedagogy
This framework is a living document and is grounded in the notion that we are all learners in this work. Dr. Christopher Varlack was the lead author of this document. Some of us bring to this work our lived experiences in anti-Black racism, and some of us bring our academic and professional experiences.  However, we are all in this process together. Furthermore, as our individual and collective knowledge and experiences grow with implementing this framework, we expect that the framework will be revised, will evolve, and will be enhanced as we learn more about the impact this framework will have in our teaching, scholarship, and service.
Transforming Education at Arcadia: The ABRI Curricular Infusion Pilot Program in Action

The ABRI Curricular Infusion Committee went straight to work in the Fall 2021 semester to conceptualize, refine, and enhance a framework for infusing the study of anti-Black racism into courses University-wide. Given the ever-evolving nature of racism and discrimination, the goal of the Committee was to develop a living document faculty and staff at Arcadia could use to engage students in important conversations regarding underdiversification in their respective fields of study; the centering of whiteness often resulting in the silencing or erasure of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices and experiences; the practices, policies, and traditions that contribute to systemic racism historically and in the modern world; and the nature of antiracist advocacy and action. Read a faculty perspective as Dr. Varlack talks Transforming Education at Arcadia: The ABRI Curricular Infusion Pilot Program in Action.

Microgrants for Scholarship and Antiracist Pedagogy
In efforts to advance scholarship on race, racism, and social justice in the past as well as in the contemporary world, the directors of the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA) at Arcadia University unveiled a new initiative—the CASAA Microgrants Program—in March 2022. As part of the institution’s investment in antiracist studies, the program would provide small grant awards to support individual and collaborative research projects that expand our understanding of race and racism across the globe, consider obstacles to racial equity in modern society, and probe strategies for achieving racial justice. Grants include:

Air Pollution and Environmental Racism in Philadelphia: Prash Naidu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Historical and Political Studies

COVID-19 Vaccination Experiences of Black Birthing People: Comfort Z. Olorunsaiye, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health

Dangerous Animals and Private Crime: Discriminatory Ontologies of Migration in U.S. Asylum Law: Hilary Parsons Dick, Associate Professor, Department of Historical and Political Studies

JLE Academy: Hip-Hop Education in Action: Stephen Tyson, Jr., Adjunct Professor, First-Year Seminars Program and Educational Leadership Graduate Student

Ghostly Images of Racism: Exploring Racism in Dark Tourism through the Lens of Ghost Criminology:

  • Favian A. Guertin-Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
  • Kevin D. Revier, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Training for NGOs:

  • Warren Haffar, Director, International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program
  • Allyson McCreery, Associate Director, International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program
  • Rachel Kuria, International Peace and Conflict Resolution Graduate Student
  • Tyanna Taylor, International Peace and Conflict Resolution Graduate Student
  • Samuel Wragg III, International Peace and Conflict Resolution Graduate Student
Department Spotlight: Biology
After President Nair challenged the University to innovate ways to embrace CABR and JEDI efforts, the Department of Biology established the first of its milestones, which have grown to nearly 30. The milestones include dedicating a research award to students underrepresented in Biology, increasing retention and the number of students in the major, and training on revised hiring practices within the department. Expanding research opportunities and discussing the importance of research begins during new student orientation for the Department.
Harper Jones '23

A Global Mindset: Discovering Theatrical Activism

After attending the exhibit, “Life Between Islands:  Caribbean-British Art 1950s-Now” at Tate Britain, Harper Jones ’23 reflected on her experience in “What Does It Mean To be Black in a White Dominated World?”, exploring how her identity as a Black woman relates to all Black people across the globe.

“Afro-Caribbean and Black people all over the world all basically kind of live a similar struggle. Hopefully, I’ll be able to explore that through artistic or theatrical activism in the near future to expand my exploration of identity.

If done properly, theatrical activism can lead an audience, even if they don’t understand the production, to leave the theater with a different mindset or perspective than they had coming in. I believe that theater and art can change the world.”

Harper Jones

Class of 2023

Culture & Community

Black Alumni Association

The Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University (BAAAU) promotes the presence, empowerment, and success of Arcadia Black alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members through professional, educational, social, and networking programs, as well as through philanthropic support and opportunities.

BAAAU serves as an advocacy organization for Black Arcadia alumni by fostering a sense of pride and commitment to the University. Upon graduation, all Black alumni automatically become part of the BAAAU family.

Arcadia Celebrates Life of Legendary Cremona Morrey

WURD attending event

Arcadia University celebrated the life of Cremona Morrey, a legendary resident and progenitor of some of Philadelphia’s most influential African-American families of the Cheltenham area. The special event screened the 25-minute WHYY documentary The Montiers: An American Story in Grey Towers Castle Korman Mirror Room. This was followed by a panel discussion led by Arcadia University students, including WHYY’s documentary producer Karen Smyles, Montier and Morrey family historian Joyce Mosley, and a presentation by the University’s L.O.V.E. Pilot ARTcadia working group to elevate Morrey’s legacy. A joint effort by AEDI and MarCom.

Listen as WURD broadcast live from the event. 

Egyptian Education Connection with STEM Initiatives
Egyptian delegates visited campus to learn more about Arcadia’s digital learning opportunities, including a new, online graduate STEM Education program for working teachers that includes global learning experiences and hands-on projects for educators to incorporate in their curriculum.
Campbell Chosen as Arcadia Public Art Resident Artist
Amir CampbellVisual artist Amir Campbell was selected as Arcadia University’s Public Art Resident Artist for 2022. Also known as Amiracle, Campbell was the lead artist for this year’s Arcadia Public Art Project and taught a cohort of students in the public art apprenticeship course (Entrepreneurship/Gallery Apprenticeship) this spring.

Black Lives Matter

I am motivated to become an educator because I want to be a role model for children who do and who also do not look like me. I want to instill a love of learning and realization of continual growth in students.
Desmond Daniels ’21, ’22M

Education PreK-4/Special Education PreK-8

Real Change, Real People

The dozens of Combating Anti-Black Racism Initiatives, with nearly 200 established milestones, represent an essential and complex mix of efforts that will require sustained focus, collaboration, and courage. They impact all members of our University community — from prospective and current students, to faculty and staff, alumni to leadership, and to donors, friends, and neighbors. Along with the vision laid out by the JEDI Commission, the CABRI work is anchored in the vision and aspirations embodied in the Arcadia 2025 Adaptive Strategy. Faculty and staff shared their perspectives on how far we have come, how far we still need to go, how they see their role, and why this work remains so important to all of us.

Not passive players

Alison LaLond Wyant, Ed.D., Executive Director for Civic & Global Engagement

“Many students form their social consciousness in their college years. The groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 didn’t just affect young people. They weren’t passive players. Young people took on leadership in a renewed commitment to ending anti-Black racism. It was inspiring to watch on the news, but it was even more inspiring to witness right here at work. Arcadia students and young alumni amplified messages for Arcadia’s Black community with courage and vigor.”


A rising tide

Dr. Angela McNeil, Assistant Vice President for Access, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

“The significance of CABR is the collaborative approach to ensuring that policies, practices, and procedures are inclusive of creating an environment of belonging where everyone can thrive. The project-management structure and strategic approach will ensure systemic change that will enhance the experience and meet the needs of Black and other marginalized students while enhancing the educational experiences of all students. I hope that we continue to advance equity and antiracism strategies at Arcadia in creating the world in which we want to live.”

Brian Granata

We owe it to the students

Brian Granata, Director, Arcadia Athletics & Recreation

“Athletics has developed staff and student-athletes on key topics centered around JEDI, hazing prevention, sexual harassment education, and overall leadership development. No matter how many quality programs, educational trainings, or active work we did this year, Arcadia Athletics must continue to focus on the importance of CABR and JEDI in the years to come. We owe it to the faculty, staff, and students at Arcadia to renew and refocus our work, and to challenge ourselves to go deeper each year to make a lasting impact on the generations to come.”

Rebecca Kohn

Curricular infusion

Rebecca Kohn, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

“The work related to the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff members of color will be ongoing, as there are many opportunities for change.  We are also working with the chairs of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences on infusing anti-Black racism into their curricula. Each department starts at a different place and will likely take different paths during this process. I expect that curricular infusion will be ongoing and that we will be adjusting content, pedagogy, and creation of inclusive environments in important ways into the future.”

Radical Change Is Necessary

One of the many things I cherish about our community is our candor, especially in our most challenging moments. Hearing directly from our community helps our leadership teams serve to the best of our abilities. The CABR initiatives are only the beginning of Arcadia’s path toward radical change and reimagining the University. Our community leaders will help us coordinate campus engagement to develop new strategies and strengthen existing ones. We look forward to working with campus organizations to realize our full potential as an institution dedicated to justice.

President Ajay Nair

Impact Philanthropy

Diversity in Impact Philanthropy – Four Endowed Funds

Since June of 2019, Arcadia University has sharply diversified its donor base.  After nearly doubling the number of Black donors in FY21, we have also seen giving among Black donors triple.  Additionally, major gifts (defined as gifts of $50,000+) have also grown. 

Four new funds created by Black women or created in honor of Black women have now found a permanent home at Arcadia. Leading the way is Zandra Maffet ’67, who established the very first endowed scholarship established by a Black woman. Others soon followed.

In 2020, the Dr. Doreen E. Loury Endowed Scholarship was established by Lois Haber ’71 while Carolyn Hodges ’69 created a fund through a bequest intention. In 2021, the Jessie Lee (Bryant) Coleman ’75 Endowed Scholarship was established by Brigette A. Bryant to honor a family member.  The fund has been designated to the School of Education to celebrate the importance of education and Jessie Lee’s successful career as an educator in Philadelphia.

Until We Meet Again

About the CABR Annual Report

This 2021-22 report chronicles the momentum combating anti-Black Racism at Arcadia University. With an understanding of the major disruptions that are occurring within the world and higher education, we have built a community of practice to enable and articulate our shared passions and commitments.

Office of Access, Equity Diversity, and Inclusion

Grey Towers Castle, 2nd Floor, Room 102
215-517-2657 or 215- 572-8610

Email: aedi@arcadia.edu

Produced by University Marketing and Communications