Retriever Rise is a framework that elevates the university’s social justice work and was created to implement the 2020-2021 Inclusion Council Recommendations. It is designed to be intersectional—addressing many aspects of diversity and equity work—while also understanding that sometimes social justice work requires us to name and focus on a particular issue at a particular moment.
While the UMBC has a long-standing commitment to social justice, the 2016 murder of Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising the followed inspired a new focus on racial justice through community activism, research, scholarship, and teaching. In addition, UMBC was compelled to respond to and participate in the racial reckoning following George Flloyd’s murder in 2020. This renewed racial justice movement was the basis for the formation of the Inclusion Council and the beginning of its project to create the recommendations. Their work was honed by the clarity brought on by the pandemic including new understandings of inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and a rise in anti-asian violence. The Inclusion Council workgroups were directly inspired by a series of social justice related town halls hosted by the university.
Retriever Rise should evoke a call to action—knowing that this work is about more than talk—achieving equity and ending injustice are only possible through engaged and sustained activism. A working group of the Inclusion Council selected the name for its connections to historical anti-oppression movements and its emphasis on moving forward and elevating campus’s ongoing efforts.
Retriever Rise Timeline
- April 8, 2022 – First meeting of the Implementation Team.
- March 2, 2022 – Release of the 2020-2021 Inclusion Council Reports and Recommendations and formation of the Implementation Team.
- September 2021 – April 2022 – Leadership comment period. Review and approval by Inclusion Council
- June 10, 2021 – Presentation of the 2020-2021 Inclusion Council Reports and Recommendations to university leadership
- June 30, 2020 – Establishment of the Inclusion Council