Barron to host June 29 Town Hall on race and bias

June 25, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron will host a virtual Town Hall event at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 29, at LiveEvents to highlight the elements outlined in his June 10 message and the University’s planned efforts to fight ignorance and intolerance, model inclusivity and embrace diversity. 

Joining him for the event will be: 

  • The co-chairs of the Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety: 

  • Danielle M. Conway, dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law at Dickinson Law; 

  • Clarence E. Lang, Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts and professor of African American studies; and 

  • Elizabeth Seymour, chair of the University Faculty Senate and associate teaching professor of anthropology, communications, history and women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Penn State Altoona. 

  • Brandon Short, Penn State Board of Trustee, chair for the Board of Trustee oversight group on racism, bias and community safety; and 

  • Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for educational equity. 

Barron will provide the campus community with an overview of the University’s initiatives and the establishment of the new commission. The co-chairs will join to discuss their commitments to the commission, talk about their experiences and describe the qualities they are seeking as they search for committee members and community participants. 

Barron announced the commission, along with the Student Code of Conduct Task Force, in a letter to the entire University community on June 23.  

Barron’s call for nominations to the co-chairs received a significant response from the community. To continue the opportunity for engagement, the University has established a new website — Action Together: Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Penn State ( Moving forward, the Penn State community can utilize the new website to put forward nominations and share ideas and input. All suggestions will be provided to the co-chairs. The site will also serve as a resource for updates to the community on the progress of these efforts.  

Whitehurst will also highlight a new series of diversity roundtable discussions titled, “Toward Racial Equity at Penn State: Social Difference, Social Equity and Social Change.” The first of these discussions, “Race, Our Campus Climate and Workplace,” will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 30 at


Last Updated April 15, 2021