Three from Harrisburg named to Penn State initiatives on racism and intolerance

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- Shaun Gabbidon, distinguished professor of criminal justice in the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs; Roderick Lee, associate professor of information systems in the college's School of Business Administration; and Juan Castro, university police sergeant at Penn State Harrisburg; have been appointed to Penn State committees supporting President Eric Barron’s commitment to address both the immediate issues and longstanding problems of racism, bias and intolerance.

Barron announced the convening of several task forces in his June 10 message to the Penn State Community.

Lee will sit on the Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety. This commission is tasked with examining and deploying University resources to address the profound social issues related to racism and bias that are pervasive in the nation, and specifically at Penn State. An important aspect of the commission’s work is to make concrete recommendations that will promote and support the safety of faculty, staff and students who are confronted by racism and bias on Penn State campuses.

Castro is a member of a task force to initiate a full review of the Student Code of Conduct, with the goal of improving the code and ensuring that the Penn State community has a full understanding of its purpose and provisions, including the role of restorative justice.

In addition to these appointments, Gabbidon was appointed to serve on the University’s on-going Task Force on Policing and Communities of Color. The task force, which was recently reconvened by President Barron in light of current events, is a town-gown task force examining the relationship between law enforcement and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the Penn State community.

About the appointments, Chancellor John M. Mason said, “In addition to our campus efforts – including the recent creation of the Council for Racial/Ethnic Diversity and the ongoing work of the Diversity and Educational Equity Committee and other campus groups – we are pleased that faculty and staff from Penn State Harrisburg are also actively participating in University-wide efforts to combat intolerance, racial injustice and bias.”