Oklahoma Baptist University stands resolutely against injustice and racial inequalities. We stand against injustice and racism because both mar the image of God imprinted upon all human beings. In light of the murder of George Floyd and the events of the past two weeks in our nation, we have had numerous alumni reach out to us, sharing concerns about their time as students on Bison Hill and challenges that arose for them regarding race while students on campus. We are grateful for their voices. In the midst of processing the horrors of racial disparity over the past two weeks, we likewise became aware of a social media post from a student which was shared on Twitter and was highly racially offensive. We are horrified at this most recent social media incident. The student has been placed under disciplinary action today.
OBU is determined to make a difference and we are resolved to make a change. We are pledging to improve the experience for students of all races, ethnicities, and places of origin while under our care at OBU. Our desire is that our University will become not only a place for racial understanding, but a safe and hospitable space where our students and employees are truly united, sharing life’s journey through the common bonds of university life as we press forward to see the Lordship of Jesus exemplified in our community.
As such, we are taking the following steps in the continual process of improving racial equality on our campus:
- Regular required diversity training for all students and employees, including a study of the history of racism in this nation and the ways in which it manifests today.
- Regular meetings with diverse groups of students scheduled with the administration to voice and address concerns of racial inequalities, among other concerns.
- Support systems implemented on campus specifically for our African American students as well as all members of our diverse student population.
- Safe and clear lines of communication for students to access administrators quickly with concerns about racial issues on campus.
Our commitment to address discrimination and racism must be continual and unwavering. Our attentiveness to the sin of systemic racism and discrimination will require prayer, commitment, and compassion. It will require us to continue to work together. Where we have failed as an institution in the past, we sincerely apologize. We were wrong. Those of us who carry the banner forward for OBU today will strive to make things right and to create something remarkable and special together on Bison Hill.