McCormack Racial Equity Task Force (MRET)

The McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce (M-RET) is a McCormack Graduate School deans office initiative to promote racial equity and justice at the college.

Message from Dean David Cash & Associate Dean Rita Kiki Edozie (1/18/21)

Dear McCormack Community,

Good morning on this day celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since the last time we celebrated MLK day, so much of our world has shifted and been shaken, exposing deep ugliness and marvelous grace.  Perhaps not since his time, has our nation been as confronted by our history of deeply seated and tense race relations.  We have seen racial disparity and injustice in George Floyd’s murder and its aftermath; in the disparate health and economic impacts of COVID; in the questioning of the validity of legitimate votes, especially in Black communities; and in the recent siege of the US Capitol.

Today’s events resonate back to 1964, when our namesake, John W. McCormack, helped President Johnson shepherd through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a step toward equity, and a monumental task of building coalitions and unity. He and President Johnson brought together Democrats and Republicans, northern liberals, southern conservatives, and much of the movement led by MLK.  At the signing of the bill, you can see King behind LBJ, and John McCormack to the right. 

Four years later, in the midst of societal turmoil not dissimilar to now, on the night before he was assassinated, MLK gave his speech with the famous portion of his vision from the “mountaintop”. A less cited section of that speech speaks volumes today, giving us guidance in this fractious time:

"Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity....

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation."

Over five decades ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. fought and died for freedom, equity and justice.  With our works at the McCormack Graduate School, let us rise up with renewed determination, to carry on that legacy.

With determination,

David & Kiki
Co-Chairs, McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce

Comprised of co-chairs Dean David Cash and Associate Dean Rita Kiki Edozie as well as twenty-four faculty members, students, and staff drawn from the college’s departments and institutes/centers; the taskforce seeks to understand racial and ethnic disparities and the reasons they exist at the college. To overcome barriers in diversity, equity and inclusion at the college, the taskforce will generate data and information about race and ethnicity with the purpose of establishing a shared, progressive vision of a diverse, fair, and inclusive academic environment and workplace.

The taskforce will position McCormack Graduate School to better identify leadership, act, and increase accountability around issues of racial equity at the college. To this end, the taskforce has embarked on four major tasks including

i) increasing hiring among faculty, students, and staff of color;
ii) improving McCormack’s racial and cross-cutting cultural workplace environment;
iii) promoting on campus and off campus racial equity awareness through outreach and programming;
iv) diversifying McCormack’s graduate education and undergraduate curricula.

McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce (MRET) Members

Rita Kiki Edozie, Professor and Associate Dean, McCormack Graduate School
David Cash, Dean, McCormack Graduate School

Faculty Subcommittee
Maria Ivanova, Associate Professor of Global Governance and Graduate Program Director, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Karen Ross, Assistant Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance
Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
Susan R. Crandall, Director, Center for Social Policy and Clinical Professor, Public Policy and Public Affairs
Len Fishman, Director, Gerontology Institute
Carolyne Arnold, Associate Professor, Department of Gerontology
Kyungmin Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Gerontology
Michael Johnson, Professor and Chair, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs
Eben Weitzman, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Darren Kew, Associate Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance; Executive Director of Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development

Student Subcommittee
Esther Rogers, MPA Student/Alumni, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs
Ellen Mador, MPA Student, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs
Margaret Hassey, PhD Student, Global Governance and Human Security
Sudeshna Chatterjee, PhD Student, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Krystal-Gayle O’Neill, PhD Student, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Leena Maqsood, PhD Student, Global Governance and Human Security
Hannah Brown, PhD Student, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Nike Ojelabi, PhD Student, Public Policy and Public Affairs
Chantel Fields, PhD Student, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs
Denise Muro, PhD Student, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance

Staff Subcommittee
Jarling Ho, Program Manager, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration
Muna Killingback, Assistant Program Director, Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy
Jamie Tull, College Business Coordinator, McCormack Graduate School Dean's Office
Robert Turner, Research Fellow, McCormack Graduate School Dean's Office

Past Events

Micro-Aggression in the Workplace Workshop  - December 3, 2020

Micro-Aggression in the Workplace Workshop keynote speakers Prof. Darren, Phd Student Chidima, and Prof. Edozie

An interactive session where MRet explored Micro-aggression in the workplace. The discussion was led and moderated by professor and associate dean Rita Kiki Edozie, doctoral student, Chidimma Ozor, MSW, MA, and associate professor Darren Kew.


Event Resources:
Microaggressions and Their Impact Powerpoint