ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — University President Dr. Dennis R. DePerro will ask the Board of Trustees to approve a resolution in support of Black Lives Matter at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3, Tom Missel, St. Bonaventure’s chief communications officer, told TAPinto Greater Olean Wednesday.

Missel also said DePerro will change the name of the President’s Equity and Inclusion Committee to the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and name new leadership for the group this summer.

"During this past month, Chris Brown has voluntarily stepped up to lead things while I consult with various campus constituents to determine the leadership of the commission and DEI for the future," DePerro said."I plan to make an announcement shortly."

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At St. Bonaventure, Brown is executive director of Student Success and of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program.

The President’s Equity and Inclusion Committee was established by interim SBU President Andrew Roth as a result of the university's 2016 Strategic Plan and its purpose was to recommend actions and strategies to the president and administration that would advance equity and inclusion.

DePerro said the commission will become more active and focus institutionally, reporting to him on a monthly basis. The name change resulted from a listening tour he conducted.

"In my listening tour this past month, it is clear to me that we need a clear action plan, change, accountability, and that all issues related to diversity need to be at the top of the docket,” he said.

DePerro plans to attend the City of Olean’s July 9 and 16 town hall meetings on Black Lives Matter, Missel said. He was unable to attend the first session, which was held Tuesday.

The Olean Common Council on June 23 approved a resolution that affirmed the city’s support for Black Lives Matter, condemned “the systematic and structural racism that has afflicted black Americans for centuries,” and affirmed the city’s support for individuals who have peacefully protested in Olean in response to the killing of George Floyd.

Olean's Lincoln Park was the site of two events: a Black Lives Matter rally on May 31 and a candlelight vigil on June 6. Individuals marched through the city on June 3, and a Juneteenth Black Lives Matter rally took place in the city’s Franchot Park on June 19.

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