Students gathering around Smith and Carlos statue.
Derrick Liu/ BY-NC-SA 4.0

Working to Combat Systemic Racism at SJSU

The heartbreak, outrage and protests following the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020 served as a tipping point for our campus community. These horrific incidents, as well as other recent attacks against Black/African American individuals as well as the rise in anti-Asian violence in our nation, are a call to action for San José State University, and we have vowed to develop actionable plans and commit to eliminate systemic racism on our campus in both the short-term and long-term. Learn here about SJSU’s immediate steps—as well as intermediate and long-term plans—to create permanent organizational change with regard to systemic racism on our campus.

SJSU community members sitting on the lawn during a protest.

SJSU’s Actions on Systemic Racism

SJSU aspires to be a fully-inclusive, anti-racist, multi-cultural organization. To that end, we are taking immediate steps toward tangible change while, at the same time, implementing longer-term strategies to change those policies and practices that currently form the foundation for institutional and systemic racism.

SJSU community members sitting on the lawn during a protest.

Transforming Communities: A Movement to Racial Justice

San José State is launching "Transforming Communities: A Movement to Racial Justice," a visionary annual event designed to catalyze change in our community. SJSU is sending out a call for programming in order to bring together community, non-profits, organizations, schools, and businesses focused on creating a more racially just and equitable city and county.

Join the movement & submit your program

SJSU’s Initiatives, Activities and Programs

In order to build organizational capacity on making progress on addressing systemic racism at SJSU, there will be initiatives that span across the institution. However, for organizational change to happen at a basic operational level, many initiatives need to be tailored specifically to the needs, daily responsibilities, daily activities, and arenas of work and education of everyone in our Spartan community.

Messages on Systemic Racism From President Papazian

President Papazian continues to make announcements and offer updates related to the university’s efforts to address systemic racism on campus.

Student reading an article on his laptop while studying.


Many resources are available on racism, including external resources as well as campus resources. We can glean incredible understanding through the testimonials, novels, short stories, and even poems from a variety of modern and classical writers.

Questions, Comments, Connections

SJSU’s commitment to addressing institutional and systemic racism is daunting and necessary. Creating permanent organizational change with short term actions, as well as intermediate and long-term needs investment from leadership, but also from the entire SJSU community. Should you have questions, comments, concerns, or need to connect with individuals and organizations planning and implementing these actions, do contact us.

Contact the Office of Diversity