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University of South Carolina seeks to enhance racial inclusion on campus

Updated: Jun. 18, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For the first time, the University of South Carolina has hired a vice president to lead their diversity, equity, and inclusion branch.

Julian Williams, who held the same position at George Mason University in Virginia, said he is excited to be bringing conversations about diversity into the larger fabric of campus.

“That’s one of the things our president Bob Caslen has said, ‘we are going to lead’…and that I think it’s an obligation the university has is to lead and to lead, specifically, in these moments.”

Williams, who is leading the charge with both students and faculty on new plans for the upcoming school year, said the school’s strategic plan for curriculum is “bold, ambitious” and “has many forward-looking goals as it relates to diversity and inclusion.”

That educational plan, which will be voted on this Friday, he said is not going to shy away from any of the tough discussions students need to have, especially when it comes to the past racial incidents on campus.

“We know that racism, hate, intolerance, and bias exist in the world…so that is also going to exist on our campus and I think we have a duty to educate through those moments…talking about privilege, microaggressions and those sorts of things that we have an obligation to make sure that students have a higher understanding of.”

Williams said he is hopeful and excited to lead this venture and wants to make sure the messages of equity and tolerance “live on all places of our campus.”

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