William & Mary Stands Against Racism

July 21, 2020

As the executive leadership team of the University Advancement team at William & Mary, we share profound concern about the divisions in our society. The murder of innocent people of color reflects a legacy of hatred, systemic racism and violence that must be broken.

We stand with the Black community and all people who have endured abuse, discrimination and mistreatment. Your lives matter.

This is a declaration of our shared commitment to ensure the William & Mary University Advancement team is an even more inclusive, supportive and welcoming community where discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. We are guided by our university’s vision, mission, and values  in seeking to create a community where “all who come here, belong here.”  As our university values state clearly, “William & Mary is a community that fosters deep human connection. We reflect on the lessons of history to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. We engage diverse perspectives and seek wisdom in bridging differences. Together, we are unceasing in our efforts to make a meaningful difference in our communities, the state, the nation, and the world.”

As leaders, we want to make clear:

  • We will not tolerate discrimination of any kind based on age, ancestry, citizenship, color, gender, political persuasion, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other classification protected by law.
  • Any form of bullying, harassment, intimidation or threat—whether verbal, physical or visual—based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination.  Whenever we witness these acts, we will call them out and intervene.
  • We commit to cultivating a culture where employees, alumni, donors and volunteers feel safe to express themselves, share creative and intellectual work, and take independent action to deepen our collective capacity to be even more inclusive, welcoming and self-aware.
  • We do this in good faith and with positive intent, listening and adjusting as we gain insight from the course of action outlined below and we seek to “call in” diverse perspectives rather than “call out” someone. We may not always agree with one another but we agree to listen to and learn from one another.

During our For the Bold campaign, we were able to prove the power of our community to unite together toward common cause.  Building on that powerful movement, we commit to five specific actions.

  1. We will educate and orient ourselves to be even more authentic, effective advocates and allies of diversity and inclusion with greater self-awareness of our inherent biases.
  2. We will require our staff to participate in programs designed to deepen our awareness and capacity to act in even more inclusive and welcoming ways.
  3. As we develop content and programming, we will continue to create opportunities that bring to light these issues to generate greater awareness and dialogue amongst the W&M community.
  4. Our University Advancement policies, practices and culture will be re-examined to eliminate any implicit bias and unconscious discrimination.
  5. We will accelerate the work of our inclusion initiatives team and our fundraising efforts to advance diversity & inclusion across campus.

We hope these efforts further enable the university’s capacity to amplify the many voices in our William & Mary community who oppose discrimination and share in our desire to foster a culture of belonging where all feel included, supported and welcomed. In so doing, we can empower and inspire William & Mary alumni, donors, volunteers and friends to be a force for good in the world.

Signed by the University Advancement Executive Leadership Team

  • Matthew T. Lambert, Vice President
  • Mark Begly, Associate Vice President
  • Dan Frezza, Associate Vice President
  • Heather Golden, Associate Vice President
  • Earl T. Granger, III, Associate Vice President
  • Marilyn Midyette, Associate Vice President