The Clock Tower Accords, adopted in October 2014 following a weeklong campus demonstration,
commit us to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in our community. This commitment
extends not only to our campus, but also, in the spirit of the Gospels, to our neighbors.
Student teach-ins were a regular part of the October 2014 campus demonstration.
From making a college education more accessible for students from underrepresented
groups to economic and community development in St. Louis city, these accords are
a tangible way for us to live out our mission.
African American Studies received an increase in its annual operating budget that
allows the program to provide greater research support to faculty, classroom support
to students, and additional collaborative programming support to other units (academic
The increased budget signals the importance of such programs as African American Studies
to addressing issues of race, poverty and inequity both on campus and in the larger
Beyond support of this academic unit, the Black Student Alliance received an upgrade
to its office space through a move to the Busch Student Center. The former Walter
Knoll Florist space is now the newly furnished home of BSA.
We made transfer students eligible for our Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship, and
African-American students now comprise the majority of transfer applicants and recipients.
We also expanded the scholarship to returning students.
We are currently assessing of the implications of the 2016 Fisher v. University of
Texas decision regarding race-conscious admissions programs on our scholarship programs
We have begun producing reports that provide up-to-date information about our racial
diversity benchmarks among a variety of populations.
In 2015-16, we hosted more than 110 workshops for admissions, financial aid and college
readiness, as well as other related events.
Admission now makes two annual visits to high schools with the highest underrepresented
minority populations in eight targeted metro areas.
To further advance our efforts, we added a new admission counselor in our Pre-College
and Access Programs Office, as well as a new assistant director for new students and
outreach in Student Financial Services Office.
We developed and presented a college readiness bridge program to Roosevelt High School,
located in Tower Grove East, in 2015. While the decision was made to not move forward
with a comprehensive program at this time — due to resource issues — we did host an
algebra-focused summer bridge program for RHS students on campus in June 2016.
We learned that the Normandy School District already has an active bridge program
with the University of Missouri=St. Louis and the non-profit A Better Family Life.
We have shared our bridge concept with both organizations.
To focus this effort, we have completed a needs assessment for schools and neighborhoods
within a geographic zone around our campus. Our next step will be to develop a collaborative
pipeline project, working with school leaders in the area. We expect to have this
plan completed by May 2017.
Since 2014, we have worked to develop new or enhance existing relationships with a
variety of organizations, including the NAACP and the Urban League of Metropolitan
St. Louis, as well as clergy organizations and churches in North St. Louis.
In summer and fall 2016, we held meetings with various partners to discuss co-locating
a community center in an area with other needed support services.
We have engaged a project manager through December 2016 to develop a concrete plan
and timeline for the community center effort.
We are convening a workgroup to select a pose and quote for a life-sized sculpture
of Martin Luther King Jr. in our Center for Global Citizenship to commemorate the
civil rights leader’s speech at SLU on Oct. 12, 1964. We expect that the concept will
be selected by January 2017.
We are convening workgroup to establish an annual juried art process for placement
of art in communities beyond SLU, and expect to announce a juried competition by March
In 2015, we hosted a “Jesuits and Race” symposium.
In 2016, we hosted a “Race, Faith and Justice” conference and a “African Americans
and the West” symposium, which included professional development sessions for local
middle and high school teachers.
For 2017, a conference on slavery is being planned. We will also co-sponsor and host
the Diversity Awareness Partnership’s next Annual Diversity Summit, one of the region's top diversity and inclusion professional
Our Office of Diversity and Community Engagement now funds and co-sponsors campus
conferences and symposia, as well as supports student and faculty travel to conferences.
The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement has invited or co-sponsored a number
of events addressing diversity, equity and inclusion issues. Speakers and performers
include: Elijah Anderson, MK Asante, Laverne Cox, George Fraser, Alison Harding, Ayesha
Hardison, Janet Mock, Diane Nash, Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou and Toniesha Taylor.
The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement also provides regular programming
support to diverse Chartered Student Organizations.
SLU received $10,000 gift to support its annual MLK Tribute in January, 2017.
In February 2017, the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement launched new Diversity Speaker Series Grants to help fund prominent speakers, presenters and performers.