Anti-Racism Taskforce

At Cummings School, the Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) was formed in July 2020 and charged with addressing racism in all facets of the work done at Cummings School.  Since then, it has taken steps to address implicit bias and the underrepresentation of marginalized communities in veterinary medicine.

Our Statement

The Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) at Cummings School was created to advocate for an inclusive community supporting students and employees of all races and ethnicities across all aspects of our community as well as in our daily lives. Thus, we also condemn any expression or form of discrimination in its broader sense, which includes gender identification, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, disability/ability status, religion, nationality, and age.  We will work towards providing the means to pursue a campus free of hate and racism. We will take action to prevent racism at Cummings School and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment.

As planned, the ARTF was sunset in June of 2021 but, the work we began will continue through established offices and committees.

Anti-Racism Task Force Members

Meet the members of the ARTF who remain dedicated to moving the Cummings School community forward to a place of active anti-racism.

Faculty
Ramon Almela (Clinical Sciences)

 

Hellen Amuguni (IDGH)

Stephanie Borns-Weil  (Clinical Sciences)

 
Staff
Seana Dowling-Guyer (Center for Animals & Public Policy)

 

Jean Johnson (IDGH)

Suzanne Ukpong (Office of Student Affairs)

 
House Officer
Jenelle Francis (Clinical Sciences)
 
DVM students
Cora Evans V23

 

Ananya Mahalingam-Dhing V22

Kassidy Fortune V24

 
Postdoctoral scholar
Kate Sawatzki (IDGH)
 
Chair
Flo Tseng (IDGH, Asst. Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Climate)
 
Staff Support
Nancy Meyer

 

Actions completed to date:

  • Developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan for Cummings School based on recommendations from the university's anti-racism workstreams and feedback from our DEI survey. The DEI Strategic Plan was presented to Cummings School’s Senior Leadership team in August 2021.
  • Developed and executed training sessions on implicit biases, microaggressions, and going from bystander to ally.
  • Provided suggestions for ways to improve recruiting and retention of underrepresented students, as well as recruiting and support of students from Minority Serving Institutions and HBCUs.
  • Contributed to the revision of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Handbook as it relates to the faculty hiring process.
  • Funded 10 staff, 10 faculty, and 10 students to participate in the Purdue University Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion in the Veterinary Profession.
  • Reviewed and prioritized recommendations from the university anti-racism workstreams.
  • Surveyed campus to explore our community’s thoughts and experiences related to race and racism at our school.
  • Celebrated Juneteenth with a month of Black history facts and participation in the University’s Day of Reflection, Commitment, and Action towards Racial Justice. Cummings School hosted a session titled "Uplifting Black Voices in Veterinary Medicine" and co-sponsored a discussion titled "Long Time Coming - A Conversation with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on Racial Reckoning in America”.
  • Provided timely opportunities to gather in a safe place to share feelings and experiences in response to current events.
Dr. Florian Tseng posing for a portrait

 

“I'm encouraged by the strides that the school has taken so far towards providing equity and justice for marginalized members of our community but realize that this important work needs an ongoing commitment from all of us at Cummings School,” said Florina Tseng, chair of the ARTF and Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Climate. Read Dr. Tseng's bio