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HNU Anti-Racism Pledge

We are committed to evaluating how we live up to our institution’s social justice mission

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HNU Anti-Racism Pledge

Holy Names University is committed to evaluating how we live up to our institution’s social justice mission, how our community members experience it, and how we can expand it so that we can co-create an anti-racist institution.

In support of these goals, the President’s Cabinet commits to the following Anti-Racism Pledge:

We recognize that institutional racism in the form of policy, micro-aggressions, and silence disproportionally impacts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Therefore, we commit to expanding our social justice mission to become an actively anti-racist institution. We also recognize that systems of oppression are perpetuated both by specific actions and by inaction and passivity. As educators and allies, we will address the root causes of the inequities that result from institutionally racist policies and practices. Drawing upon the SNJM Core Value of dedication to justice we choose not to accept these conditions as they exist, and to accept the responsibility for changing them.

In keeping with this pledge, we commit to:

Reflection: As individuals and as a leadership team, we commit to ongoing critical self-reflection and to engaging in the personal and collective work of becoming anti-racist.

Dialogue: Understanding that centering the voices of our students, faculty, and staff, particularly communities of color, is essential to these efforts, we commit to creating opportunities for dialogue through quarterly forums, listening sessions, and the creation of the “Towards Justice and Peace” speaker series that will bring together the HNU and broader Oakland community to explore critical issues.

Concrete Action: In recognition that reflection must lead us to action, we share some of the Cabinet initiatives underway that will support our work to be an actively anti-racist institution.

  • Develop an advisory group to audit institutional policies, identify practices that structurally reproduce discrimination and racism, and suggest revisions to those practices for future implementation
  • Work with the faculty admissions committee to address the recommendation to transition the temporary test-optional admissions policy adapted for COVID-19 to a permanent change effective with the fall 2021 class
  • Centralize the reporting of bias, harassment, and discrimination through the development of a process that robustly addresses documented incidents, communicates action steps with meaningful sanctions, and defines support and follow-up for those who were impacted by the incidents
  • Establish specific diversity and inclusion protocols for all faculty and staff searches; require every search committee to complete anti-bias training before they begin their work

This is not an exhaustive list, rather a sample of the action items in a larger Cabinet Anti-Racism Action Plan that is in development. You can expect regular updates, as well as opportunities to engage in this work. We invite the HNU campus community and the broader community to join us and welcome your feedback and participation in these efforts. It’s only when we truly listen to one another that we can make meaningful progress.


The HNU President’s Cabinet

Mike Groener, President

Mary Boivin-McGhee, Vice President for University Advancement

Sonia Caltvedt, Director of Marketing and Communications

Luis Guerra, Vice President for Facilities & Events 

John Hofmann, Chief of Staff to the President

Rob Kinnard, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Laura Lyndon, Vice President for Student Affairs 

Elizabeth O’Brien, Vice President of Enrollment Management

Sr. Carol Sellman, Vice President for Mission Integration

Sheila Smith McKoy, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

William Wanker, Chief Technology Officer

three Holy Names University students walking together away from campus building


We encourage our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to join us in signing our Anti-Racism Pledge, committing to self-reflection, and taking action that supports an actively anti-racist campus, community, and society.

Take the Pledge