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Task Force on Antiracism

McGovern College faculty, staff, and students:

I am pleased to announce that I am appointing a Task Force on Antiracism for the McGovern College of the Arts. This appointment follows from the numerous discussions that we have held over the past two months on the subject of how to make the McGovern College a place in which all members of our diverse community feel at home--one in which our values, culture, and policies reflect the true nature of the organization we all seek to create--and on how to best integrate our work on antiracism into the structural fabric and identity of the College. The Task Force on Antiracism is a tangible result of the advice I have received during those discussions.


The Task Force will be chaired by Michael Ray Charles, Hugh Roy and Lillie Franz Cullen Distinguished Professor in the School of Art. Prof. Charles has devoted much of his art, and much of his career at multiple institutions, to questions of culture, equity, and diversity, and he brings this wealth of experience to his role as Task Force Chair. He has already been making plans for how to organize the Task Force and setting meeting agendas.

I know the Task Force will be successful, and I know that service on the Task Force will be a meaningful exeprience for all of those involved with it, with Michael Ray at the helm. I thank Michael Ray for his service to the McGovern College in this capacity and, even more importantly, for his valuable advice and guidance these last couple of months.


I thank as well our faculty, staff, and students who have committed their time and expertise to service on the Task Force. Task Force members are as follows:

  • Monique Abioye, Academic Advisor, McGovern College of the Arts
  • Lisa Angrisani, Executive Assistant to the Dean, McGovern College of the Arts
  • Alejandro Basulto, graduate student, Moores School of Music
  • Rachel Bush, Instructional Associate Professor, School of Theatre & Dance
  • Ashley DeWalt, Director, Marketing and Communications, McGovern College of the Arts
  • Fleurette Fernando, Instructional Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership Program
  • Nicole Kenley-Miller, Production Manager, Moores Opera Center, Moores School of Music
  • Tim Koozin, Professor, Moores School of Music
  • Tonasha Laws, Office Coordinator, Moores School of Music
  • Rick Lowe, Professor, School of Art
  • Noe Marmolejo, Associate Professor, Moores School of Music
  • Steven Matijcio, Director and Chief Curator, Blaffer Art Museum
  • Anna Mayer, Assistant Professor, School of Art
  • Delilah Montoya, Professor, School of Art
  • Laura Moreno, graduate student, School of Theatre & Dance
  • Melissa Noble, Managing Director, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts
  • Adam Noble, Associate Professor, School of Theatre & Dance
  • Melanie Sonnenberg, Professor, Moores School of Music
  • Karen Stokes, Professor, School of Theatre & Dance
  • Roberto Tejada, Professor, School of Art
  • Sixto Wagan, Director, Center for Art and Social Engagement
  • Madelyn Washington, Performing Arts Librarian, University Libraries
  • Jack Young, Professor, School of Theatre & Dance


I am charging the Task Force on Antiracism with achieving two primary outcomes:

  1. A decision on whether the Task Force will be folded into the bylaws as a standing committee in the College, with elected members; and what the structure of, and representation on, such a committee will be.

  2. A comprehensive five-year strategic plan for achieving diversity and equity in the McGovern College of the Arts. The plan will outline achievable metrics as well as required resources, and it will address areas including (but not limited to) culture and climate, recruitment and retention, and curriculum. Items such as College policy, search and hiring procedures, and support structures for faculty, staff, and students all might be addressed as part of the plan.

Again I am grateful to every member of the McGovern community for guiding and advising me on how we can achieve the culture we seek and how to make the McGovern College the organization that every one of us will be proud to be a member of. Diversity and equity are central facets of any such culture and, indeed, must be central to the identity of any major visual and performing arts college.

My vision, which I know all of you share, is for the McGovern College to be a leader at the University of Houston and nationally in creating, supporting, and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture that informs our research, teaching, and service. I thank all of you for your commitment to that vision and to the work we have set out to do.

Andrew Davis