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Baylor University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1311 S 5th St
Waco, Texas 76706
(800) 229-5678
Email address
School Information
Baylor University, a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship.
General Information
Baylor University has undertaken a systematic effort to implement the principles of anti-racism and diversity, equity, and inclusion in its functions. President Livingstone announced numerous policies after the death of George Floyd, including DEI scholarships, increased non-white enrollment, solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and mandatory DEI training for faculty, staff, and students. They are required to undergo a 40-minute interactive diversity class. Baylor employs multiple professors who are outspoken in their support of anti-racism, including Kerri Fisher, who decries oppressive social systems and white privilege, and Greg Garrett, who defends and advocates critical race theory. Baylor has also taken symbolic gestures including acknowledgement of its historical connection to slavery and the Confederacy and addressing systemic racism on campus. The university’s library also provides an anti-racist guide with various literature on the subject. More literature from the Department of Multicultural Affairs promotes a book asking white students to “stop hiding [their] privilege and use it for social change.” The Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is most outspoken in its support for anti-racism, denouncing white supremacy, systemic oppression, and microaggressions. Other programs and departments have struck similar tones in conjunction with university-wide statements. More information can be found below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The College of Arts and Sciences states that in order to "increase and strengthen student support for Diversity and Belonging, the College of Arts & Sciences has made major efforts to recruit and retain students from diverse backgrounds."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • In response to the death of George Floyd, President Livingstone announced a required annual "diversity training for all current students, faculty and staff." "Equipping students for worldwide leadership and service requires that we – and they – recognize the depth of our own innate biases and prejudices, that we more readily name them and more ably and wisely resist them."
  • On November 11, 2020, Baylor required its students, staff, and faculty to complete a 40 minute "diversity training" video. The video covers aspects of "racial injustice."
  • In the fall of 2021, Baylor required its students to complete a "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion course." This courses "includes videos, text, and quizzes to check progress." The Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX Office said the course would take "around 40 minutes to complete." This course differs from 2020's required video due to its interactive nature. The email to students said that "Baylor University has made an institutional commitment to require annual diversity education training for all students, faculty and staff."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The unified Arts and Sciences core curriculum at Baylor (implemented Fall 2019) includes "diversity & multicultural requirements within various elements of the core; each common course, and five of the nine distribution lists, include explicit diversity requirements and expectations as part of their approved course objectives."
  • The College of Arts and Sciences states that "[a]ll of the A&S common core courses contain D&B [Diversity & Belonging] components." Additionally, there are "D&B requirements also built into some of the Distribution Lists (DL)" and "[of] the nine DLs, five have D&B expectations/requirements: Communication and Media, Contemporary Social Issues, Fine Arts/Performing Arts, Foreign Language and Cultures, and Literature in Context."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Kerri Fisher, a lecturer and diversity educator at Baylor, said "The Work of identifying racist attitudes and behaviors is not only uncomfortable, but also never-ending." She is a co-chair of the "Race Equity Work Team in Baylor's Diana R. Garland School of Social Work." She claims that "Recognizing white privilege and oppressive social systems isn't enough to sustain cultural humility." In a recent interview, "Fisher outlined the process for achieving cultural humility, anti-racist and anti-oppressive attitudes..."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • In June 2020, President Livingstone endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement. She called it "more than just a catchphrase, a rallying cry or social media tactic to garner support for protestors. It is a social movement to help people understand that once Black lives begin to matter; all lives will truly matter."
  • Greg Garrett, professor of English, "argues that Critical Race Theory is not increasing racist ideology in schools, but is instead promoting the recognition of America's racial history and working to combat institutionalized racism within American society."
Program and Research Funding
  • The university said, "Scholarships are available to students who demonstrate commitment to advancing racial equality and diversity." Available scholarships include the MA Awards (awarded by the Department of Multicultural Affairs).
  • Baylor offers a "research opportunity in Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media." The only listed opportunity is a post in "critical race theory."
  • Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, American Studies Department Chair and Professor, offers research opportunities for students in journalism and states the following: "Critical Race Theory (CRT) and framing are the overarching concepts that I use throughout my research agenda. I have addressed media framing of various issues, including people of color, women and political candidates. My most recent works focus on Black Twitter narratives, political memes and the framing of women and people of color on social media platforms."
  • The Baylor McNair Scholars Program aims to "prepare low-income, first generation and other underrepresented students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and capacities necessary to successfully navigate a path to a Ph.D. program following graduation from Baylor." Additionally, as of September 2022, "the U.S. Department of Education has renewed Baylor University’s five-year grant [$261,888 each year] for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which prepares high-achieving college students from diverse backgrounds for doctoral studies."
  • Baylor's Trailblazer Scholars Program is described as follows: "As part of Baylor’s commitment to listen, learn and take actionable steps regarding racial healing and justice in America, the Trailblazer Scholars Program also reflects the University’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community." The Program launched in July 2020, received an initial $5 million from the University, and since then, "the Baylor Family collectively has given more than $2 million in gifts and pledges."
  • College of Arts & Sciences faculty "have produced robust scholarship addressing issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and other areas of Diversity and Belonging" which has "contributed to the advancement of scholarly as well as public conversations on both national and international stages."
  • In June 2020, President Linda A. Livingstone issued a statement claiming that "Baylor University places a priority on enhancing diversity and equity across our campus and throughout our academic and operational divisions."
  • Baylor's library offers an "Anti-Racism" guide complete with books, scholarly articles, videos, and news sources.
  • The Department of Multicultural Affairs provides "Anti-Racism Resources," including the book "Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It for Social Change!" and the 1619 Project's podcast.
  • According to First Things journal, "In a letter to students, faculty, and staff, the president of Baylor University recommended a resource on race that encourages readers to assess their thoughts and feelings using Tema Okun's 'characteristics of white supremacy culture'—characteristics that include individualism, objectivity, linear thinking, and logic."
  • On July 27, 2022, the Baylor School of Social Work Team posted a blog titled "Is There a Place For Critical Race Theory in Social Work?" and stated that CRT "enables social workers to question their assumptions, admit their biases, and become intersectional and anti-oppressive practitioners."
  • In response to a Texas state official proposal to "eliminate tenure for new hires, revoke tenure of faculty who teach CRT (Critical Race Theory), and ban the teaching of CRT at public universities," the Baylor University Faculty Senate published a "Resolution to Support Tenure and Academic Freedom at Public Universities" which states that the Senate "supports faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and other public universities, whose expertise on 'race, gender justice, and critical race theory' should not be legislated out of academic classrooms." In addition, the Senate stated that it "believes faculty, not legislators, should determine the curricular matters and research agendas of faculty teaching, publishing, and conducting research at their respective public universities."
  • Baylor's School of Social Work published a list of "scholarly" resources on race and ethnicity which includes several titles that discuss Critical Race Theory.
  • The Selected Publications portion of Assistant Professor (School of Social Work) Brianna Lemmons' bio-page includes "Game changers: A critical race theory analysis of the economic, social, and political factors impacting black fatherhood and family formation" by Lemmons, B.P., & Johnson.
  • Baylor's School of Social Work discusses the "Importance of Critical Race Theory in the Field of Social Work" and states the following: "Critical race theory provides students with a lens to understand how race influences all aspects of society, including social work practice. Though the theory has received some criticism for being too pessimistic and deterministic, it can still be used as one of many lenses through which social problems are viewed."
  • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion provides resources on implicit bias and microaggressions and states the following: "If someone tells you about a microaggression they have experienced, believe them. They are trusting you and not believing their experience or belittling it can compound the harm."
  • Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning provides various resources on racism and asks the following question: "How should we articulate the spiritual disfigurement caused by our racialized society and then chart a course toward authentic racial reconciliation through the Body of Christ?"
  • In February of 2024, Baylor's Theological Seminary held an event titled "Time to Wake Up: Racism in the World Church," which was "the third of a three-year sequence of programs on confronting racism in the white church and seeking God’s justice."
Symbolic Actions
  • The Diana R. Garland School of Social Work released an "Antiracism statement." The school seeks to "produce ethical social work practitioners committed to anti-oppressive practice and the empowerment of all people." It adds, "we denounce white supremacy, systemic oppression, racism, microaggression and bigotry in any forms..." It is "committed to actively and humbly identify as and commit t to being an anti-racist academic unit of Baylor University." It is to be "reflected in the life and culture of the GSSW through our policies, programs, and practices as we continue to learn about racism and ethnic oppression."
  • The Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement, Malcom B. Foley, issued a statement claiming that "diversity and inclusion mean little without equity and accountability."
  • "In the summer of 2020, Baylor created the Commission on Historic Campus Representations in connection with a resolution by the Board of the Regents that acknowledged the University’s historical connections to slavery and the Confederacy."
  • President Livingstone issued a statement on May 29, 2020, calling for the country to "meaningfully address the systemic issues that allow [racist events] to happen again and again."
  • As of March 25, 2024, Baylor continues to maintain its Office of Diversity and Inclusion and states, "[We] seek to embody Christ’s teachings of love and inclusivity across boundaries of racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, religious, and other expressions of human difference."
  • On June 26, 2020, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved the “'Resolution on Racial Healing and Justice', acknowledging Baylor’s historical connections to slavery and the Confederacy and establishing the Commission on Historic Campus Representations." Several of the recommendations included providing descriptions of the historic ties to slavery on monuments and buildings where appropriate.  
Last updated March 26th, 2024
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