Southern Methodist University

Community Conversation: Changing the Culture at SMU

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Even before the death of George Floyd sparked outrage across the country in May, students at SMU in Dallas said they knew what racism felt like. They said they knew because they had experienced it on campus. NBC 5 covered their concerns in June.

Those experiences came to a head in June when students took to social media expressing concern, heartache and calls for change on the campus.

Since then, the university has appointed Maria Dixon-Hall as Chief Diversity Officer. The university said this was a direct action to address the students' concerns.

The university’s president, Gerald Turner, and Dixon-Hall joined NBC 5 Today anchor Laura Harris for a community conversation detailing the changes the university is working to make immediately and over time with the help of the newly formed Black Unity Forum, which is made of several groups of people from campus, and their action plan to move the university forward to ensure students and faculty feel SMU is a safe place for them to be.

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