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Brigham Young University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
D-155 ASB, Campus Dr
Provo, Utah 84604
Phone
(801) 422-4636
Email address
admissions@byu.edu
School Information
"The mission of Brigham Young University — founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life... A BYU education should be spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character building, leading to lifelong learning and service." The university enrolls over 33,500 students and has over 180 undergraduate majors, over 100 undergraduate minors, over 80 master's programs, and over 30 doctoral programs. (Source: https://www.byu.edu/about) (Source: https://www.byu.edu/facts-figures)
General Information
BYU has established a committee on Race, Equity, and Belonging. The committee aims to "understand both the subtle and overt ways that racism may impact individual thought and interactions, organizational units, processes, policies, practices, procedures, and operations.” The committee is now submitting its recommendation to the university president to promote equity. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The committee recommended the university "Design and implement a race-conscious recruitment strategy to attract more BIPOC student applicants to BYU." The committee also recommended the university "Invite the Office of the General Counsel to evaluate the legal parameters of a race-conscious admissions model for BYU, in the interest of pursuing an enriched environment for the student body."
  • The Department of Psychology at BYU stated that it would "collaborate with the FHSS Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion Committee (DCI) to promote the recruitment, training, retention, and mentoring of underrepresented groups."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The Department of Psychology at BYU stated that for faculty, it would "commission ongoing training from experts on a variety of diversity issues, using multiple venues and delivery methods (including faculty meetings, select readings, and group retreats)."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The committee recommended the university "Commit to changes to general education, religion, and elective courses that educate students on race, unity, and diversity."
  • BYU Sociology 112 professor assigned a Critical Race Theory activity by having her students conduct a “Revealing Whiteness Activity.” The assignment cited “White Fragility” author Robin DiAngelo’s work on Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, and definition of “Whiteness” as unequivocal facts.
  • The Department of Psychology at BYU stated that it would "ensure that psychology majors have training in diversity and inclusion by including a module on prejudice, biases, discrimination, and racism in all introductory PSYCH 111 courses." Additionally, the Department said it would "provide required courses that directly focus on cultural diversity and gender issues."
  • In 2021, BYU's Dean of Undergraduate Education, Susan S. Rugh, stated that “The need for more courses in diversity and inclusion in general education was a primary driver in the decision to launch a GE [General Education] redesign in 2018.”
  • In response to the recommendations from a report conducted by the Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging, BYU's President stated that "Some of them, such as making curricular changes to general education, religion and elective courses that educate students on race, unity and diversity, as well as establishing college-wide statements on race and belonging, are already in process."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The committee recommended the university "Develop and implement extensive diversity and inclusion training programs and resources for faculty, staff, and administrators. This training would be facilitated by the Office of Diversity and Belonging."
  • The Department of Psychology at BYU stated that for faculty, it would "provide instruction on implementing learning outcomes and curriculum related to diversity, inclusion, and equity."
Program and Research Funding
  • An anti-racist activation program focused on educating students on the history of racism and white supremacy in the United States, “A Long Talk About the Uncomfortable Truth,” met with BYU athletics teams and coaches in October 2021 to “help participants become not just non-racist, but actively anti-racist.”
  • The Department of Psychology at BYU stated that for faculty, it would "produce scholarship on diversity issues, endorsing the contributions of several faculty members whose research is directly focused on racism, multiculturalism, and gender studies."
  • In 2022, the College of Humanities at BYU held a humanities and social justice creative works competition with the theme of "The Humanities, Belonging, and the Gospel." A $750 prize was awarded for first place.
Resources
  • Brigham Young University's race committee has recommended the university "Create a central Office of Diversity and Belonging at the university charged with strategic planning and implementation of initiatives to assist students and employees with issues related to race, equity, and belonging."
  • On February 3, 2021, BYU hosted a panel discussion on the Kennedy Center’s Book of the Semester, “How to Be An Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • The Anti-Racism Club at BYU seeks to "enable BYU students to better follow Christ's admonition to love our neighbor through learning about racial inequality."
  • The College of Humanities at BYU links to a variety of "Allyship Resources."
  • On January 18, 2023, BYU hosted a lecture titled "The Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity" which explored the "little- known history of the Brown Church: a prophetic ecclesial community of Latinas/os which has contested racial and social injustice in Latin America and the United States for the past 500 years." The lecture featured Robert Chao Romero, an associate professor in the UCLA departments of Chicana/o Studies and Central America Studies, and Asian American Studies.
  • BYU News published an article titled "What sacred texts and traditions teach us about social justice" and reported on a panel of religious scholars who met on BYU campus to "discuss how their religious texts and traditions inform their community’s understanding of social justice."
Symbolic Actions
  • BYU's committee aims to "understand both the subtle and overt ways that racism may impact individual thought and interactions, organizational units, processes, policies, practices, procedures, and operations.” The committee is now submitting its recommendation to the university president to promote equity.
  • The committee also recommended the university "Create a new position of vice president for diversity and belonging who reports directly to the president, is a member of the President’s Council, and who oversees the Office of Diversity and Belonging."
  • The committee recommended that the university "Encourage colleges and departments to adopt statements on race, equity, and belonging that can be used in college and department operations and communications."
  • The committee recommended the university "Establish a standing university committee dedicated to advancing racial understanding, enhancing equity, and promoting belonging for BIPOC communities at BYU."
Last updated April 2nd, 2024
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