COVID-19 Precautions Continue for Spring Semester

Salisbury University Inaugural Anti-Racism Summit

  • Date: Friday, February 5, 2021
  • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

The Summit will be virtual and is open only to SU students, faculty, and staff.

Registration Closed

To request disability accommodation(s) for this event, please contact Belinda Poole at bdpoole@salisbury.edu. Please make your request by Monday, February 1st to allow sufficient time to secure the requested accommodation(s).

Impetus and Rationale for the Summit

  • The Summit is part of a broader institutional effort to be intentional about “talking” about racism and its effects on SU and organizational systems in general; “teaching” concepts and solutions for positive social change that address institutional, structural, and interpersonal racism; and “doing” the necessary and difficult work personally and collectively to improve race relations at SU and in our various communities.
  • This event connects directly to the University Strategic Plan. Strategy 2.1.4. states, "Expand educational opportunities and training for students that support the development of an understanding of equity, anti-racist behavior, bystander response and diversity."

  • Societal and institutional circumstances contribute to the need for the event:
    • historical, recent, current, and anticipated social and civil unrest in the United States related to racial injustice, police brutality towards people of color (particularly Black males), social injustice, White privilege, and increases in hate crimes and intimidation related to White nationalism;
    • perceived and real concerns among students and employees about historical and current racial injustice and White privilege; and
    • discontent among some faculty related to the lack of advancement of a required diversity course integrated into General Education.
  • The Summit fulfills a recommendation included in the June 2020 Faculty Learning Communities’(FLCs) Anti-Racism Statement.
  • Finally, the Summit is an appropriate “next step” to building on SU’s 2019’s 400 Years of Resilience Series which educated the campus community on the effects of racism that sustained slavery in America and the resilience and accomplishments of African Americans post-slavery

Summit Goals

  • Continue “courageous conversations” related to race, racism, healing, and reconciliation;
  • Deepen campus conversations related to concepts of: structural, institutional, and interpersonal racism; White supremacy and White nationalism in America; and White privilege;
  • Develop and/or share strategies for becoming anti-racist individuals and an anti-racist university; and
  • Set the stage for anti-racist activities after the Summit.

Inaugural Presenters

Dr. Rondall Allen headshot

Dr. Rondall Allen

Dr. Rondall E. Allen is the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Dr. Allen has over 30 years of experience in the profession of pharmacy. The last 17 years have been in academia. He has practiced in a variety of settings to include community pharmacy, acute care, ambulatory care, and the pharmaceutical industry. As a clinician, he developed and implemented two outpatient anticoagulation clinics in which he managed patients with deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli, atrial fibrillation and other clotting disorders.

Dr. Rondall Allen headshot

Cherie Dawson Edwards poses for picture
Cherie Dawson Edwards poses for picture

Dr. Cherie Dawson-Edwards

Dr. Cherie Dawson-Edwards serves as Associate Dean for Diversity, Engagement, Culture & Climate (DECC) and an Associate Professor of the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville. She also directs the A&S Social Change program. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Dawson-Edwards is a National Board Member for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and serves on the Executive Committee of American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY).


Brian Flores Headshot

Dr. Brian M Flores

Dr. Brian M Flores is an assistant professor in the Department of Early and Elementary Education and Director of the May Literacy Center. He teaches about literacy education, and his research interests include literacy practices, identify, and culturally sustaining pedagogical practices.

Brian Flores Headshot

Terri Jett Headshot
Terri Jett Headshot

Dr. Terri Jett

Dr. Terri Jett is a Professor of Political Science and Special Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusivity at Butler University. Dr. Jett is also an affiliate faculty member of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Program and the Faculty Director for the Butler University Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement. Her research focus is on the post-Civil Rights Movement experiences of African Americans in rural communities in the southern U.S. and she is currently writing on the recent discrimination settlements of Black, Native American, Women and Latino farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture for discrimination and revisiting the conversation that James Baldwin held with Margaret Mead on race 50 years ago.


Dr. James King headshot

Dr. James King

Dr. James King is a Professor of English at Salisbury University. Prior to joining SU in 2007, Dr. King taught in SUNY and CUNY systems in New York, as well as a private college, Bard College at Simon's Rock. Dr. King’s distinguished honors include a Fulbright Scholar (Ghana 2010), Fulbright-Hays recipient (2015, Amanokrom, Ghana), and a Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana, Legon. Dr. King received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University, master’s degree from Queen’s College, and Ph.D. degree from City University of New York Graduate Center. Dr. King is also President of Tamasco Development Project, a non-profit organization purposed to assist in the renovation of Tamasco Senior High School, Tamale, Ghana and the support of its students, faculty and staff.

Dr. James King headshot

Kathy Obear headshot
Kathy Obear headshot

Dr. Kathy Obear

Dr. Kathy Obear will be the Inaugural Keynote Speaker sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Obear is president of the Center for Transformation and Change and is nationally recognized as an expert in helping leaders, change agents, and facilitators develop the capacity to create equitable, inclusive, and racially/socially just organizations. Dr. Obear is also a co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute, an intensive professional development experience to deepen capacity to dismantle dynamics of racism and white supremacy in ourselves and in our organizations.


Damani White Lewis

Dr. Damani White-Lewis

Dr. Damani White-Lewis is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education at the University of Maryland College Park. He studies racial inequities in postsecondary faculty careers and STEM departments using theories and methods from organizational behavior and social psychology. Dr. White-Lewis' research has appeared in prominent education and science journals, such as The Journal of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, and Biomed Central [BMC] Proceedings.

Damani White Lewis

Thea Williamson headshot
Thea Williamson headshot

Dr. Thea Williamson

Dr. Thea Williamson is an assistant professor of literacy at Salisbury University. She has taught English and rhetoric at secondary and collegiate levels and worked with diverse learners in classrooms and after-school programs. Her research about secondary English Language Arts teaching and learning in diverse contexts applies theoretical perspectives that highlight the importance of critical theories of literacy and language. Her current research project examines how youth in their everyday interactions bring Spanish into supposedly monolingual spaces like a mainstream English class, exploring how race shapes what individuals and institutions value about language in school.


Other Inaugural Summit Speakers

Charles A. Wight headshot

  • Dr. Charles A. Wight
  • University President

Dr. Karen Olmstead headshot

  • Dr. Karen Olmstead
  • Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dr. Dane Foust headshot

  • Dr. Dane Foust
  • Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Kacie Cassar headshot

  • Kacie Cassar
  • President, Graduate Student Council
  • History, Fulton School of Liberal Arts

David McCreary headshot

  • David McCreary
  • President, Student Government Association
  • Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution, Fulton School of Liberal Arts

Inaugural Summit Moderators

Dr. Jennifer Jewell Headshot
Dr. Jennifer Jewell Headshot

Dr. Jennifer Jewell

Dr. Jennifer Jewell is Professor and Director of the School of Social Work. Dr. Jewell’s research interests include social media and digital technologies in social work, diversity and inclusion, social work education and technology, and civil discourse in prisons.


Dr. Konstantine Kyriacopoulos headshot

Dr. Konstantine Kyriacopoulos

Dr. Konstantine Kyriacopoulos is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early and Elementary Education of the Seidel School of Education at Salisbury University. He was an elementary school teacher in a mixed grades classroom, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, in Seattle Public School before going into graduate school.

Dr. Konstantine Kyriacopoulos headshot

Dr. Wallace Southerland headshot
Dr. Wallace Southerland headshot

Dr. Wallace Southerland

Dr. Wallace Southerland is the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. In addition, Dr. Southerland is a staff facilitator of the Promise Faculty Learning Community, a coordinator of SU’s University Mosaic Mentoring Program, and has provided coordinating leadership for this year’s inaugural summit.


Joan Williams headshot

Joan Williams

Joan Williams is the Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. Prior to joining SU, Joan served as the director of diversity and institutional equity at the University of North Alabama (UNA) since 2013. She has held multiple titles there, including coordinator of at-risk student advising, counselor, Title IX coordinator, and First-Year Experience and study skills instructor.

Joan Williams headshot

The Inaugural Anti-Racism Summit Program

  • Remarks and Reflections from University Officials
  • SU Student Spoken Word and Dance Performance
    Choreographer: Bryette Washington
    Sound: “The Beauty Within” by Amaiya McNeil
    Performer: Kamryn Tross
  • Keynote Presentation by Dr. Kathy Obear
  • Topical Sessions
    • Unpacking anti-racist language and concepts
    • Historical context of racism and implications on institutions of education, healthcare, criminal justice, and law enforcement
    • Action steps to being an anti-racist individual and campus
  • Updates on University initiatives related to diversity and inclusion