The University of Pittsburgh announced plans last week to require all incoming first-year students to complete a new course on anti-Black racism. They will be automatically enrolled for the fall term, reports say.
The announcement by Provost Ann E. Cudd comes amid a time of deep reflection as the nation grapples with the racial and economic injustices against African Americans throughout society in the aftermath of the deaths from COVID-19 and the brutal killing of George Floyd.
“This summer, we have also spent considerable time reckoning with societal injustice in the form of police brutality and systemic anti-Black racism throughout society,” Cudd wrote in a letter to students Wednesday that also clarified updated covid-19 procedures, reports Trib Live. “We have heard from our Black students, as well as Black faculty and staff, that our campus is not the safe, inclusive and equitable place for all that we are committed to creating.”
The course, called Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology and Resistance, will be scheduled for one hour per week and graded on a satisfactory/no-credit basis, the report notes.
Senior Morgan Ottley told the news outlet the announcement was no surprise, culminating a summer packed with late nights of brainstorming, conversations with Black student leaders and other student groups and meetings with the university’s administrative leaders.
“This is something that should already exist,” Ottley, president of Pitt’s Black Action Society, says.
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Photo: Walter Bibikow