Dec. 9 town hall to discuss racism, bias, and community safety recommendations

University community invited to submit comments and questions to co-chairs of the Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias, and Community Safety and the Student Code of Conduct Task Force ahead of livestreamed event

A virtual town hall event will take place from 10 to 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 9, to discuss the recently released draft reports and recommendations of the Select Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias, and Community Safety and the Student Code of Conduct Task Force. Credit: Curtis Chan / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A virtual town hall event will take place from 10 to 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 9, to discuss the recently released draft reports and recommendations of the Select Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias, and Community Safety and the Student Code of Conduct Task Force. 

Both groups have worked to develop draft recommendations in response to Penn State President Eric J. Barron’s June 10 message, which incorporated a charge to help address both immediate and longstanding problems of racism, bias and intolerance inside and outside of the University. 

 The reports, accessible at the links below, have been posted on the Action Together website by the co-chairs of each group. 

The town hall event will be streamed live at and archived online for later viewing. The University community is invited to submit comments and questions in advance through an online form. The co-chairs and the president will receive all submissions — which can be made anonymously — and will consider these submissions in shaping the discussion at the virtual town hall event. 

The 19-member select commission and the 26-member conduct code task force seek to convey to the University community their respective recommendations to build a more inclusive and equitable environment at Penn State. University leaders will work to develop an implementation plan based on the recommendations and responses from the Penn State community to achieve the goal of integrating diversity, equity and inclusion best practices throughout the University. The Board of Trustees has expressed a strong interest in moving the efforts forward. 

Barron will serve as the town hall event’s moderator. Joining him will be the co-chairs from both the presidential commission and the code task force, as well as additional task force members. 

Commission co-chairs are:  

  • Danielle M. Conway, dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law 

  • Clarence Lang, Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts, professor of African American studies 

  • Beth Seymour, chair, University Faculty Senate, associate teaching professor of anthropology, communications, history, and women's gender and sexuality studies, Penn State Altoona 

 Task force co-chairs are: 

  • Nyla Holland, dual undergraduate and graduate student, and president of Penn State Black Caucus 

  • Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, founder and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at Penn State Law 

 Additional task force members joining are: 

  • Tamla J. Lewis, associate general counsel  

  • Danny Shaha, assistant vice president for Student Affairs 

To view the reports, or to comment on aspects of the recommendations, visit the Action Together website


Last Updated December 14, 2020