Who We Are

USF Black Employee Steering Committee

The USF Black Employee Steering Committee developed organically after Dr. Hordge-Freeman sent a unified letter written in close collaboration with members of the USF Black Faculty & Staff Association and currently endorsed by over 100 USF Black employees at USF. The original Call to Action letter was written to signal the group’s solidarity with USF Black faculty, staff and students who were experiencing the ravages of both COVID-19 and processing the horrific and systemic murders of unarmed Black men and women in the United States.

Shortly after, a Steering Committee comprised of 30 Black faculty and staff from the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota campuses was assembled. This committee formed four sub-committees to elaborate upon what they refer to as the interlocking priorities of anti-racism: salary parity, HR and hiring practices, professional development and institutional support. Within the span of just three weeks, the sub-committees met and crafted a document with clear goals, objectives and action items (both immediate and long-term) to address systemic anti-Black racism. Read their abridged final report.

In August 2020, the Steering Committee met with President Currall, Provost Wilcox and Chief Human Resources Officer Angela Sklenka to discuss the feasibility of these priorities and to discuss steps forward. Since their meeting, several new programs, practices and policies are being reviewed. Learn about the Enlightenment Workshop Series, an event series co-organized by the BESC.

OUr members

  • Fenda Akiwumi (chair, Institutional Support Sub-committee)
  • Stephen Aikens
  • Dawn Brown
  • Marie Byrd
  • Deirdre Cobb-Roberts
  • Kelly Cowart (Salary Equity Sub-committee)
  • Denise Davis-Cotton (co-chair, Hiring & Human Resources Sub-committee)
  • Darren Gambrell
  • Anthea Henderson
  • Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman (convener)
  • Antoinette Jackson
  • Walter Jennings
  • Geveryl Johnson (co-chair, Professional Development Sub-committee)
  • Jean Kabongo
  • Lisa Knight
  • Michelle McNulty (Salary Equity Sub-committee)
  • Carlos Moreira (co-chairs, Hiring & Human Resources Sub-committee)
  • Kristofer Newsome
  • Max Owens
  • Antonia Robinson
  • Geveryl Robinson
  • Cheryl Rodriguez
  • Ruthmae Sears (co-chair, Professional Development Sub-committee)
  • Tangela Serls
  • Christopher Simmons
  • Latosha Thomas
  • Maya Trotz
  • Dylan Wilkes

Read BESC's Statement of Solidarity with the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) Community.