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We Can Do Better.

We can do better: as Salem State’s mission is one of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, we must address the tragically present issue of social injustice that continues to happen in this country.

“We must not waver in our work to address the societal ills that affect our students and our campus. We must continue


diligently to create an environment in which our students, faculty and staff of color feel welcome, safe and valued—particularly the Black members of our campus community. I see the impact the recent (and past) injustices have had on our community. I worry about how we can ensure respect and create community when we’re physically distancing and wearing masks.

This is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the values of inclusivity, decency and the dignity of all people. We must uphold a standard of care and respect in both words and actions that lives up to our values and our institutional diversity statement, where we all commit that diversity is part of our mission, history, community, academics, and our future.”

John D. Keenan


Please reflect on the below statements released by the university and participate in the programming being offered. As a campus, we must continue to work together to truly become a community that is inclusive and caring.


Education and Training Opportunities to Support Black Healing and Address Anti-Blackness

While Salem State is proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we understand that being truly inclusive means being responsive to the transformative nature of what’s going on around us. In order to foster an ever-expanding awareness and care for our community, we are offering education and training opportunities to support Black healing and address anti-Blackness. These three programs starting in June for Salem State members to engage in reflection, build nurturing relationships, and step outside of our comfort zones to a place that will continue to move us towards inclusive excellence:

  • Healing Circles for the Black Community (with Black Employee Resource Group)
  • National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Listening Tables for the Salem State Community
  • Addressing and Disrupting Anti-Blackness Workshops

For more information about these programs, please complete this form or contact Nikki Pelonia, director of education and training, inclusive excellence. To learn additional information, including resources, please visit the inclusive excellence channel in Polaris.


Official Statements from University Leadership

We Denounce Acts of Bias or Hate on Our Campus
A message from Carla Panzella, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students and Sean Bennett, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion [July 8, 2020]


Supporting Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racism

A message from Sean Bennett, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion [July 2, 2020]


Reaffirming Our Commitment to Inclusivity, Decency and the Dignity of All People

A message from President Keenan to alumni and university supporters [June 4, 2020]

A Message from Salem State University Chief of Police Gene Labonte

"I recognize the trauma and pain that these senseless deaths cause the SSU community and our nation." [June 3, 2020]

We Can Do Better: Education and Training Opportunities to Support Black Healing and Address Anti-Blackness

Sign-up for the programs mentioned in President Keenan's statement, "We can do better" [June 2, 2020]

We Can Do Better.

A Message from President Keenan [May 31, 2020]


Report a Bias Incident

Salem State strives to both increase the diversity within our campus community and to create a welcoming environment for all members. We unequivocally denounce acts of bias or hate and pledge to respond in ways that reinforce our values, prioritize education and pursue personal accountability. The university defines a bias incident as any act, conduct or communication that reasonably is understood to demean, degrade, threaten or harass an individual or group based on an actual or perceived characteristic. Community members who witness or experience bias are encouraged to notify the university.

Report a bias incident. To learn more, contact our Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Sean Bennett.

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