The Task Force to Confront Structural Racism (TFCSR) is a group that, while open to all, is spearheaded by White faculty, staff and student leadership, who are using their power and privilege to push for anti-racist, concrete, and structural change through an intentionally transparent form of community organizing at St. Olaf College.
About the TFCSR
The Task Force to Confront Structural Racism at St. Olaf formed in June 2020 in response to email letters written by Dr. Michelle Gibbs [Theater] and Dr. Lisa Moore [Social Work and Family Studies]. Their letters detailed the racism they both faced as Black women at the college on an individual, institutional, and structural level. Their letters do not stand alone but join a history of naming and pushing against racism at St. Olaf. This Task Force to Confront Structural Racism looks to interrupt racism at St. Olaf at all levels with a particular interest in pushing for structural change.
- This is a group that is organizing to push for structural change. This is not an educational group about anti-racism. Please pursue this type of learning in other spaces.
- This group is open to anyone, but it is spearheaded by white faculty and staff members who will take full accountability for its actions. We will seek advice from the whole faculty and staff about plans we wish to advance, but will be most interested in feedback from non-white faculty, staff, and students. Such feedback will be treated with confidentiality when requested. The members of TFCSR recognize that building relationships based on trust will take time and self work. These conversations will be ongoing.
- Students are integral to the task force’s organizing, planning, and implementation of our action items. We recognize that faculty and staff are in a position of power over students. We also recognize there is a power differential between faculty and staff and in this space we will strive to minimize this reality. Therefore, faculty and staff members will be full participants in leading this group and therefore accountable for all actions equally, including student contributions.
- The work of this group will be transparent and accessible to anyone.
How to get involved
The members of TFCSR recognize the inherent tension in our desire to hold White staff, faculty, and students accountable for taking up this work in an effort to relieve the constant labor of education and move to change by BIPOC staff, faculty, and students, and our desire to listen to BIPOC voices as we design our action plan. The members of TFCSR recognize that building relationships based on trust will take time and self work. These conversations will be ongoing. To this end, the Overarching Organization and Logistics Subcommittee has developed the following proposal as a first attempt to establish equitable collaboration with BIPOC faculty, staff, and students. Just this month a new subcommittee called the BIPOC Students subcommittee was formed – interested BIPOC students should contact Kelly Figueroa-Ray firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in touch with the co-chairs.