Stand together and work for change.

Systemic racism cannot continue.

At Ohio Wesleyan University we are committed to doing all we can do to address issues of racial disparity on our campus, in our nation, and throughout our world.

We are outraged at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others. It is vitally important for us to acknowledge to one another and to the larger community that Black Lives Matter. The pain of some and the privilege of others is not acceptable. It is time for us to channel our outrage into action. Bigotry, oppression, and hatred must be replaced with understanding, kindness, and love.

We pledge to work tirelessly to prepare students to become engaged citizens and leaders who support equity, diversity, and inclusion for Black, African American, Latinx, indigenous, and other marginalized populations wherever injustice exists. We need to come together to learn each other’s cultures, understand each other’s fundamental needs and motivations, and evolve as a society into a community that recognizes the value of our differences and the potential for good that abides in our common humanity.

We recognize that these actions must include work to create meaningful and immediate change at OWU. For many years, we have supported diversity, equity, and inclusion in our declarations and documents; we must act more deeply and decisively in ways that lead to systemic change. Indeed, we must acknowledge the pain suffered by our Black students and students of color – today and in years past – as they have encountered and lived with racism on our campus.

We must act vigorously and immediately to end racism in every facet of university life.

Beginning immediately, we are launching an antiracism action plan to help provide the type of welcoming, accepting, and just environment that we want to epitomize the Ohio Wesleyan experience.

Systemic racism cannot continue. And together, we can help to ensure that it does not continue.

OWU Announces Antiracism Actions

In a June 16, 2020, statement to the Ohio Wesleyan University community, President Rock Jones announced the first set of actions in a new initiative to support diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus in ways intended to “create meaningful and immediate change.”

The initiative focuses on four areas: structure and policies, teaching and learning, recruiting and retaining students and employees, and campus climate. Further actions will be announced in the near future.”


Antiracism Statements from the OWU Community

Academic Affairs

Statement on behalf of Academic Affairs from Karlyn Crowley, Incoming Provost

"It is our value as a community to have rich, hard dialogue about pressing issues while also holding a space for one another’s common humanity. Yet how do we have these conversations when for some, the idea of “common humanity” feels like an empty promise."

Read the Full Statement

Alumni Association Board of Directors

Statement on behalf of the Alumni Association

"We are at a crucial moment in our country’s history—one which Ohio Wesleyan will use to further tenets of human rights and dignity on our campus, in our state and nation, and abroad."

Read the full statement


Statement on behalf of Ohio Wesleyan University Athletics from Doug Zipp, OWU Director of Athletics:

Our black and other marginalized populations of student-athletes, coaches, and staff are hurting right now. We want them to know we see them, hear them, and are here for them. We must stand against hatred and racial injustice together.

Read the full statement

Board of Trustees

Statement on behalf of the Ohio Wesleyan University Board of Trustees from John F. Milligan, Ph.D., Chair of the Board of Trustees

"Lasting change does not come without commitment. It does not come without hard work or without tackling uncomfortable truths head-on."

Read the full statement

University Chaplain

Statement on behalf of the Ohio Wesleyan University Chaplain's Office from Chad Johns, University Chaplain:

In what has already been a shockingly difficult year, may we each find the wisdom and the courage to examine our lives, to commit to antiracism, and to become, ever more truly, One OWU.

Read the full statement

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Statement on behalf of the Ohio Wesleyan University Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council:

“OWU members must welcome and devote themselves to diversity and unite to stop the institutionalized violence that our Black communities and other marginalized groups daily suffer.”

Read the full statement


Statement from the Ohio Wesleyan University Offices of Admission, Financial Aid, and University Communications:

“A college community is not truly educational unless its students contribute a wide variety of life experiences and perspectives to the campus setting.”

Read the full statement

Finance & Administration

Statement on behalf of the Ohio Wesleyan University Division of Finance & Administration:

As a division concerned primarily with business operations, we will pursue changes to how we do our business, in an effort to catalyze economic opportunity for persons of color.

Read the full statement

Public Safety

Statement on behalf of Ohio Wesleyan University Public Safety from Sean Bolender, Director of Public Safety:

“The Department of Public Safety hears you, and we are committed to improving ourselves and standing up against racism. We have a passion for keeping everyone safe, and we recognize this means more than protecting you physically; we will be part of the greater movement of creating an environment where our community can live without fear of being targeted or discriminated against.”

Read the full statement

Student Engagement and Success

Statement on behalf of the Ohio Wesleyan University Division of Student Engagement and Success:

“We are renewing our commitment to do everything we can to fight racial injustice; to educate ourselves and our community about equity, diversity, and inclusion matters; and to support a campus environment that honors the worth that every individual brings to our campus. We join our voices with countless others to proclaim that Black Lives Matter!”

Read the full statement

We Are Listening

As we build a community-wide plan to ensure flourishing for every member of the OWU community, we invite you to share your input.

We Are Listening Form