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The FJN was developed to create and maintain an inviting and supportive virtual and physical space for racialized and minoritized faculty that is responsive to their unique social, cultural, academic and professional development needs and interests.

History of the Faculty Justice Network

During the summer of 2020, in response to students who had authored a letter calling on the university to improve its retention of Black and Brown faculty, President Gee convened an Academic Work Group focused on what WVU could do better to create and support a thriving community of Black and Brown faculty.

Informed by findings from a pilot study of faculty of color at WVU conducted by the Provost’s Office, and research conducted by the Faculty Senate Committee on Equity and Inclusion regarding the underrepresentation of Black and Brown faculty at WVU, it was determined that priority should be given to the development and institutionalization of a faculty of color network whose primary objective would be to

  • foster connections between its members,
  • be responsive to the expressed social, cultural, academic, and professional development needs of its members, and
  • curate a culturally-reflective physical space on campus where its members can sponsor both culturally-responsive professional and community development programming, regularly interact with each other, and support critical connections with both professional staff and students from their racial/ethnic groups.

In January of 2021, development of the network commenced, and an advisory team of faculty from racially minoritized groups was convened. One of the first items discussed was the official name of the network.

Naming Ourselves

The Academic Work Group that endorsed the development of this network referred to it as the faculty of color network. However, after discussing resistance to terms like ‘people of color, faculty of color, and BIPOC,’ as well as the frustrations of fitting non-white-identifying faculty into contested color-based categories, the advisory team determined that the network’s name should reflect where its attention was centered—and that was on justice. In this context, justice had to do with positive on-and-off campus experiences, belonging—community, equity and thriving among faculty who have, or who are likely to experience(d) racial and cultural isolation, disenfranchisement, and social and professional stifling. The advisory team found the title Faculty J(us)tice Network (FJN) befitting and liberating. The parenthetical ‘us’ was also perceived as a creative way to signal to targeted faculty that the FJN is here and aims to be responsive to their needs, interests, and concerns.

Meet the Advisory Team

Get to know our team (professionally and personally).

Amena Anderson

WVU ADVANCE/Assistant Professor & Assistant Director

Linda Alexander

Senior Associate Dean Academic Student and Faculty Affairs

Amy Alvarez

Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of English

W. Constinia Charbonnette

Assistant Professor and Director of Strategic Initiatives, School of Public Health

Damien Clement

Associate Dean, Honors College

Lupe Davidson

Associate Dean for Social Justice, Faculty Development, and Innovation; and Woodburn Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Gregory Epps

HSC- Program Director

Cathy Jasper

Office of the Provost, Executive Assistant

Whitney Tyree

2nd Year Phd Student in Sociology

Aisury Vasquez

Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Diversity Outreach Coordinator

Xinyu Zhang

Fundamentals of Engineering, Teaching Assistant Professor

Partners and On Campus Resources

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