Justice, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

The Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF), composed of members of the faculty, staff and students from both campuses, as well as community members, launched in March 2022 and was charged by President Guiyou Huang to recommend and take meaningful actions to dismantle racism and further the University’s justice, inclusion, diversity, and equity (JIDE) efforts. The ARTF’s first objective is to identify anti-racism initiatives and advise/support the creation of the University's Diversity Plan.

Access and Inclusion

  • Kishor Kapale (Chair), Professor/Chair-Physics
  • Carl Ervin, Director-Office of Justice, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
  • Winter Unverzagt, Student - Vice President of DEI/ Student Government Association


  • Rebekah Buchanan (Co-Chair), Professor-English
  • Jim LaPrad (Co-Chair), Professor/Director-School of Education
  • Barry McCrary, Professor-Law Enforcement and Justice Administration

Effective and Sustained Communication

  • Alisha Looney (Chair), Interim VP of Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations
  • Jeff Hamer, Community Member
  • Ted Renner, Interim Director-Facilities Management
  • Derek Watts, Director-Public Safety

Student Success and Retention

  • Tracy Davis (Co-Chair), Professor-Counselor Education
  • Tim Johnson (Co-Chair), Academic Advisor-University Advising and Academic Support
  • Merrill Cole, Professor-English
  • Fiifi Godwyll, Student-Cybersecurity

Faculty and Staff Retention and Promotion

  • Lorette Oden (Chair), Professor/Dean-Centennial Honors College
  • Katy Valentin, Director-Multicultural Center
  • Andrea Henderson, Community Member

Past Members of the ARTF

  • Devon Bradley, Student – Information Systems
  • Jalen Carlos, Student – Political Science
  • Ariahnna Hightower, Student - Vice President of DEI/ Student Government Association
  • Rob Jeter, WIU Head Men’s Basketball Coach
  • Jerel Jones, Community Member - City of Macomb Chief of Police
  • Johna Lawens, Student – Student Affairs
  • Hector Maymi-Sugranes, Professor/Dean – University Libraries
  • Heather Mcllvaine-Newsad, Professor - Sociology and Anthropology
  • Michelle Narvaez, Student – Art; Foreign Languages and Cultures
  • MaCherie Placide, Professor – Political Science
  • Curtis Pointer, Student – College Student Personnel
  • Sterling Saddler, Assistant to the President for Diversity & Inclusion – Co-chair ARTF
  • Darcie Shinberger, Assistant VP for University Communications and Marketing
  • Shaozhong Zhang, Assistant Professor - Chemistry

Q: ARTF sounds fancy, but what does it do? For example, if a professor makes a remark, would this be reported to the task force? Is this an issue for the TF? Or the job opportunities are different on campus for minority students – is this addressed by the TF?

A: ARTF stands for Anti-Racism Task Force. The charge of the task force is to identify initiatives that will address racism at WIU and within the community.

Questions/concerns/incidents that are brought to the attention of the ARTF will be directed to the new Director of the Office of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JDEI), as well as to the Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) office.

Job opportunities on campus are open to all applicants. However, this is one of the areas that one of the sub-committees may further explore as they develop recommendations.

Q: How will the DEI Office and ARTF work together? What exactly is the ARTF doing, and what will the DEI office do?

A: ARTF, which will be a part of the newly-established JDEI office, will identify issues/concerns, and work with DEI and others to recommend change, etc. The ARTF and the JDEI Office will collaborate to identify initiatives to address racism and provide recommendations to effectively implement the initiatives.

Q: Do you have a generalized goal? Hear a lot of "what I think" but what is the goal of the ARTF? When will the central goal/mission come out?

A: The central goal/mission of the ARTF is to identify initiatives to address issues associated to racism at WIU and within the community. The ARTF sub committees will continue to meet throughout the summer to strategically plan and determine their next steps and course of action.

Q: Are there other groups that are doing things that the ARTF needs to work with?

A: The ARTF will work with different groups across campus, as well as into the Macomb community to address DEI issues and initiatives.

Q: How will we know what's being done/is being done? How will faculty know what needs to change, or will change?

A: The ARTF will provide updates via email and/or release on wiu.edu/news and also the DEI news web page , as well as present to constituency groups, such as Faculty Senate, SGA and others as necessary.

Q: What are you doing to recruit underserved populations?

A: This is one of the areas that the Faculty & Staff: Hiring, Retention and Promotion sub- committees will address.

Q: What retention efforts does the university have for people of color? What resources are there to help?

A: This will require further research by the task force and discussing with various departments and individuals at WIU.

Q: How will you share information?

A: We will continue to share via email, Monday announcements, social media, home page, via website (wiu.edu/dei), etc.

Q: I know the ARTF is advocating for students/people of color on campus. Are you going to advocate for all students (disabilities, LGBTQ)? Do you have a platform for all underserved populations? What culture shift is going to happen to ensure all students are represented?

A: The charge of this specific task force is to identify initiatives associated to racism at WIU an in the community. Although this is the charge of the task force, we do advocate for all students. However, there may be other entities/units on campus that address disabilities and LGBTQA+ issues.

Q: Can the ARTF address discrepencies/disporportionalities – e.g. Black students written up more and for much less than white students in the res halls (this student is an RA and witnessed this firsthand). Will the ARTF get this data? Can we get it? How can we address?

A: The ARTF will need to research such issues in order for the sub-committees to identify initiatives or make recommendations to address these issues.

Download the WIU Equity Plan - May 2024 (pdf)


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