Pennsylvania Senator Art Haywood Unveils ‘ENOUGH Report’ to Address On-Campus Racism

ENOUGH ReportImage via Pennsylvania Senate Democrats

WEST CHESTER, PA — A new report detailing the traumatic experiences of hate and harassment on Pennsylvania state university campuses is prompting calls for systemic change. The ENOUGH Report, released by Senator Art Haywood (D-4) in partnership with Chad Dion Lassiter, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), sheds light on the racial disparities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and outlines concrete steps to combat this issue.

The report comes in the wake of a SpotlightPA investigation in August 2020 titled “Condemn, Discuss, Repeat,” which exposed the rampant racism at PASSHE schools. Sparking widespread outrage, the exposé led to a student and alumni-led campaign, supported by Senator Haywood, that demanded reforms.

The campaign’s efforts bore fruit when PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein responded favorably, leading to the launch of the “ENOUGH: Listening Tour.” This initiative provided a platform for Black and Brown students to share their experiences, aiming to foster progress and ensure a discrimination-free learning environment. Despite some strides, the report underscores the need for ongoing work to eradicate racism’s detrimental impact on academic achievement for Students of Color in Pennsylvania’s schools.

“This effort has become even more urgent since the US Supreme Court put our nation in reverse by ending affirmative action in college admissions,” said Senator Haywood. “College admissions officers and recruiters are being told to wear the same blinders that prevented them from seeing Black talent for centuries.”

The ENOUGH Report goes beyond simply documenting these experiences, offering an overview of the Listening Tour timeline and outlining specific actions universities can take to address the issues identified. It also emphasizes the importance of creating a learning environment free from discrimination, a goal Senator Haywood says was a driving force behind the tour.

Executive Director Lassiter echoed Haywood’s sentiments, stating, “One of the takeaways from this report is that while more and more students of color are attending schools in the state system, they often feel isolated, alienated, and unsupported. They face microaggressions and discrimination from other students, faculty, and sometimes the surrounding community.”

Among the report’s recommendations are the development of a standard code of conduct that explicitly prohibits racial harassment, standardized processes for incident reporting and response, and best practices for retaining students of color. It also calls for each campus to create a Title VI office to enforce anti-discrimination regulations.

The PHRC has pledged its support, partnering with PASSHE to provide training and outreach to staff and students. As Pennsylvania grapples with these challenges, the ENOUGH Report serves as a crucial step towards achieving educational equity in the state’s higher education system. Its findings and recommendations underscore the urgent need for systemic change, driving home the message that, when it comes to on-campus racism, enough is indeed enough.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.