The School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at TCNJ stands in solidarity with the College’s goal to become an anti-racist institution where Black Lives Matter. We want to foreground two statements: one from the Faculty and one from the Campus Diversity Council. These statements highlight the immediate need to reform our curriculum, policies and practices to become an anti-racist institution with a specific focus on anti-Black racism.
Toward this overarching goal, HSS Dean Jane Wong founded HSS’ Anti-Black Racism Task Force in academic year 2020-21. Dean Wong charged the Task Force with examining the HSS curriculum; the accessibility of, and success of BIPOC students in, our Signature Experiences; and the experience of BIPOC faculty, staff, and students in HSS toward the goal of advancing curricula, policies, practices, and actions that would create and further an inclusive, anti-racist HSS community that is free of bigotry and racism. In academic year 2020-21, the Task Force separated into four subcommittees (Assessment, Curriculum and Signature Experiences, Faculty, and Student Life), each of which focused on specific tasks. Each subcommittee made progress toward achieving its goals (see https://hss.tcnj.edu/hss-anti-black-racism-task-force/).
Beginning Academic Year 2021-22, Dean Wong renamed the HSS Anti-Black Racism Task Force the HSS Anti-Black Racism Committee. Beginning Academic Year 2023-23, the Committee and Dean Wong changed its name to the Committee Against Anti-Black Racism to make clear our stance against anti-black racism. The Committee’s work will be ongoing although its members serve three-year renewable terms.
The charge of the Committee Against Anti-Black Racism is to investigate and develop models for decolonizing the HSS curriculum across different levels: advising courses; courses in the discipline; the structure of the major; and School-level courses/structures. The Committee Against Anti-Black Racism also advises and supports Departments in their efforts to implement curricular changes. Lastly, the HSS Committee Against Anti-Black Racism works with the Liberal Learning Council to incorporate anti-racist and intersectional approaches into HSS’ Liberal Learning courses.
In academic year, 2021-2022, the Committee focused on curricular transformation toward decolonizing the curriculum and supporting Departments and faculty in doing this work with their curricula. The CAABR developed anti-racism learning goals that were presented to the Departments of African American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for initial feedback.
This academic year, 2022-2023, the CAABR revised the learning goals based on the feedback received and compiled a list of best practices for incorporating anti-black racism content and pedagogy into the curriculum. In January 2023, the CAABR presented the learning goals to the HSS faculty at an all school meeting. The Committee is continuing this work to center BIPOC students and their experiences, prepare all our students to build a just society, and demonstrate our values.
Events on Campus supported by the CAABR:
African American Studies 50th Anniversary Gala
Division of Inclusive Excellence Events
Stay tuned for future events!