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For some of us, the Civil War is the distant past, yet for many others, its legacy continues to shape every aspect of our lives today. As our country and community reckon with the long history and potency of racism, we are obligated to understand how slavery and the Confederacy have shaped TCU’s past and continue to inform our present practices.

Fitzhugh Lee inspecting Texas Guard soldiers Texas Guards being reviewed by Gen. Fitzhugh Lee and Col. Alexander Easley in front of the Main Building on TCU’s Waco campus around 1899. Photo: TCU Special Collections

To illuminate the future, we must accept a difficult journey that will connect each of us to the generations before. It is time to address our complicated shared history in order to move forward together as a united human family.

We cannot undo the past. But what better place to learn from the past than at a university? Every new day brings a chance to do better.


“Our study of TCU’s history will provide critical perspective, deepen understanding and result in recommendations for action and healing.”

Frederick Gooding, Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of African American Studies in the John V. Roach Honors College | chair, Race and Reconciliation Initiative

The Charge

Starting with the fall 2020 semester, the Race and Reconciliation Initiative (RRI) will commit its first year to research focusing primarily on Black Americans and TCU’s experiences with racism, slavery and the Confederacy. Other identities will be addressed in year two. This academic endeavor will draw upon a number of our existing programs to raise awareness of racism and inequality, helping us work toward a campus culture where everyone is respected and valued.

RRI also will immediately open channels of communication with the broader TCU community through the placement of signage next to the statue of Addison and Randolph Clark, TCU’s founders, both to signal the start of the initiative and to encourage continued community engagement. In recognizing that this is merely the first step of many, a final report and recommendations from the first year of inquiry will include modeling how to explore other identities in the university’s shared history.

This academic endeavor will commit its first year to research focusing primarily on Black Americans and TCU’s experiences with racism, slavery and the Confederacy. Other identities will be addressed in year two.

Through the RRI, TCU will align with more than 60 universities worldwide as part of the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium, a movement designed for sharing research and strategies through semi-annual gatherings. Ultimately, the RRI helps the university embrace an active role in understanding and healing our community.

Committee Members

  • Tosin Alao
    Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Susan E. Anderson, Ed.D.
    College of Education
  • Jean Marie Brown, M.S.
  • Leslie Epke, M.A., M.B.A.
    Graduate Student Representative
  • Alan Gallay, Ph.D.
  • Frederick Gooding, Jr., Ph.D
    John V. Roach Honors College
  • Lynn Hampton, Ph.D.
    John V. Roach Honors College
  • Clifford E. Harrell
  • J. Bryan King, M.B.A.
    TCU Board of Trustees
  • Scott Kurashige, Ph.D.
    Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Jacque Lambiase, Ph.D.
    Strategic Communications
  • Adam W. McKinney, M.F.A.
  • Trung Nguyen, Ed.D.
    Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Sarah Robbins, Ph.D.
  • Tracy Renee Williams, M.S.
    TCU Board of Trustees and President, TCU National Alumni Board
  • Holly Ellman,
    Marketing and Communication
  • Alex Hidalgo, Ph.D.
  • Mary Saffell, M.L.S.
    Mary Couts Burnett Library
  • Claire Sanders, Ph.D.
    History and Office of the Provost
  • Karen Steele, Ph.D.
    English and Office of the Provost
  • Tracy Syler-Jones, M.B.A.
    Marketing and Communications
  • Aisha Torrey-Sawyer, M.Ed.
    Office of Diversity & Inclusion
  • Marcellis Perkins,
    College of Education

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at TCU

Fulfilling our mission to develop ethical leaders and critical thinkers in a global community depends on our ability to attract and retain students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds who thrive in our community. TCU continues efforts to build a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion strategy aligning with our core values to create a campus culture where everyone is respected and connected.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion