Roadmap 2020 Task Force Leadership Updates

Seeking input on the recommendations of the Roadmap 2020 Task Force

Dear Johns Hopkins Community, 

We write to update you regarding the efforts now underway to chart a course for the next iteration of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, which since 2016 has been our university’s guiding document and accountability framework for advancing equitable opportunity and inclusive excellence.

Last summer we began a process for renewing and updating these commitments with the convening of the Roadmap 2020 Task Force, and we have now reached a key milestone in that process, with the presentation of the Task Force’s many innovative recommendations.

Today, we are asking for feedback on these recommendations from the broader university community as we embark upon the next stage of the process—shaping and prioritizing these 65 recommendations into an ambitious set of university goals and accountability mechanisms for the next five years.

We are profoundly grateful for the work and contributions of the Roadmap 2020 Task Force to bring us to this juncture.

As we shared at the launch of the Task Force last summer, our goal was to build on the foundation laid by the initial Roadmap with a frank assessment of the effectiveness of our strategies and any gaps in our approach, and then to consider new approaches for ensuring our university community is a place that achieves excellence by welcoming and supporting the full and diverse scope of people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences.

The Task Force and its seven working groups, comprising 162 faculty, students, staff, and neighbors from our surrounding communities, focused their efforts on these priority areas: student success, faculty diversity, pathways to staff advancement, training and development, alumni engagement, community engagement, and institutional accountability. The participants held numerous open listening sessions and brought together diverse perspectives to discuss both shortcomings and opportunities and to generate a wide range of ideas for moving us further faster.

The Task Force’s full set of 65 recommendations is now available here, and we invite your comment, feedback, and ideas as we work with the divisions and other key stakeholders over the summer to craft a set of common and measurable objectives for the university as a whole. We plan to post a full draft of the updated Roadmap for comment at the start of the fall semester, with a final document to follow in October.

Thank you for your continued engagement in this critical work for our institution.


Ronald J. Daniels

Sunil Kumar
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Katrina Caldwell
Vice Provost for Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer

Update on the Roadmap 2020 Task Force & Roadmap Progress Report

Dear Johns Hopkins Community,

Since we launched the Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion five years ago, our aim has been to build a university community that is a place of true equity and inclusion, one that welcomes the full and diverse scope of people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences and supports them so they may thrive here at Hopkins and beyond.

This work is foundational to our community, and it has taken on ever greater urgency in these past few months as the nation continues to grapple with the impact of systemic racism and the brutal reality of violence against Black and brown Americans. The police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, joined the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others as yet another chapter in a devastating summer of recurring police violence that has unleashed protests across the nation. We share in the profound sadness and anger in our community.

It is clear that the anti-racist, equity-seeking, and inclusive values we espouse must continue to guide our capacity to support our community and our efforts to achieve concrete and tangible change in our institution. The JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion and our newly created Roadmap 2020 Task Force are essential parts of this deepening commitment. 

We write today to share an update on the task force and its membership and to release the latest Roadmap progress report for 2019–20.

Roadmap 2020 Task Force

As we announced previously, the Roadmap 2020 Task Force is charged with reviewing and assessing the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion and developing a set of recommendations for our next five years, with measurable goals and accountabilities that will help us identify and build on successes and act to address areas where improvement is necessary.

For the task force to succeed, it must draw upon the perspectives and experiences of a wide-ranging representation of stakeholders from across our institution, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as the broader Baltimore community. We were fortunate to have had significant interest from so many at all levels of our institution. In partnership with the co-chairs, Katrina Caldwell, vice provost and chief diversity officer; Ashley Llorens, chair of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council; and Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, after significant consultation with our deans and colleagues from across our divisions, we are delighted to share that so many have agreed to serve in this important capacity. The current membership roster is available on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website and will be updated as more participants are confirmed.

In addition to the core members, the task force structure will consist of theme-based working groups to enable the core task force members to gather a broad range of perspectives and surface ideas in a way that promotes inclusion and transparency as they shape their final recommendations to leadership. The co-chairs will share more information on the themes and a call for applications to the work groups during the week of September 17.

The work of the task force will begin in earnest with a retreat, co-hosted by the Diversity Leadership Council, on September 10, and will continue throughout the year. We have asked the task force to produce preliminary recommendations this spring to be shared with the community for input. The final report, which will incorporate community feedback, will be shared with leadership by June. The recommendations will then be presented to the board of trustees for its consideration and endorsement, with the final report released to the community in fall 2021. Along the way, there will be numerous opportunities for input from the community, among them: two leadership town halls, one this month to kick off the process and one in early 2021 to discuss preliminary recommendations; and a series of listening sessions focused on strategic priorities beginning in October, as well as an open comment period before the full report is finalized. As always, we hope you contribute your ideas, insights, and feedback at any time via the ODI website.

We are deeply appreciative of all those who have agreed to serve as members of the task force and everyone who will be part of the working groups. Like any serious effort to make lasting and meaningful change, this will require an investment of time, thought, and energy that we know is hard at any moment but especially in our current one, as we continue to weather the strains of this pandemic and the ongoing turmoil and grief over racial injustice.

Third Annual Roadmap Progress Report

In that same spirit, we recognize the time and effort of so many people across this institution that undergird and have advanced the aims of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion over the past five years and with ever greater urgency and intention in this challenging moment. As our own history has shown us, meaningful progress requires us both to be persistent and to hold ourselves accountable.

Since the 2016 launch of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, we have embedded that transparency and accountability into our efforts, releasing regular, public reports. This collection and communication of data embodies our belief that systemic change demands an articulation of values, accompanied by a clear action plan and the willingness to shine a light on both our accomplishments and the areas in which we have fallen short. We continued this practice over the summer with the release of our facultystaff, and graduate student composition reports and today with the publication of our third annual progress report on the Roadmap

Among the progress and the key challenges of the past year are:

  • Bolstered by the $1.8 billion gift from alumnus and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2018, the university had already seen a dramatic upward trajectory in the diversity of the incoming freshman class with the percentage of underrepresented racial minorities (URM) increasing from 14.9% to 32.5% between 2010 and 2019, and the percentage of students eligible for Pell grants increasing from 11.1% to 19.1% in that time. And our ability to announce permanently need-blind admissions while meeting full demonstrated need and eliminating federal loans, for example, led to an unprecedented one-year jump in the number of Pell-eligible students, from 15.4% to 19.1% for the class entering in fall 2019. At the same time, the percentage of undergraduate students on the Homewood campus identifying as underrepresented minorities increased from 25.0% to 27.4%, and those who were among the first generation in their families to attend college increased from 11.9% to 15.1%.
  • The composition reports we now regularly publish regarding Hopkins faculty, staff, and graduate students have established a track record against which we are able to measure progress in the recruitment and retention of diverse populations. In the 2019–20 academic year, we released our third report on Faculty Composition, second on Graduate Student Diversity, and second on Staff Composition—reports that show there has been growth over several years in the number of female and URM affiliates.
  • The HopkinsLocal economic inclusion initiative has driven substantial investments in the Baltimore community by focusing on local and minority-owned businesses and city residents when Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System build, hire, and buy. As the initiative entered its second phase, we increased our goals and deepened our community connections, including through the creation of an advisory council of community leaders, officials, and entrepreneurs who are helping to shape the program’s next steps.
  • The loss of university leaders in two key areas—the Office of Institutional Equity and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion—was a setback to the pace and consistency of our work last year. However, nationwide searches yielded strong candidates for both positions, and we were thrilled to welcome Katrina Caldwell as our second vice provost and chief diversity officer and Shanon Shumpert as vice provost for institutional equity this summer.

In the coming months, you will hear more from the task force and its co-chairs as they keep the community apprised of their progress and also seek every opportunity for engagement and input from the community. The task force co-chairs will also post regular updates and share information about upcoming sessions and engagement opportunities on the task force website. 

We hope you will be able to join us for a town hall at 9 a.m. on September 18 where we will introduce the Roadmap 2020 Task Force and the opportunities for the community to be involved, and start a broader conversation around our most recent Roadmap Progress Report and Composition reports and the work that lies ahead. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will provide more details on the event in the weeks ahead.

Johns Hopkins remains firmly committed to the values of our Roadmap and to the renewal of that commitment at this critical juncture in our collective history. We thank you in advance for your persistence and your courage in confronting the challenges we face together and engaging in the kind of hard, daily work required to make and sustain real change.


Ronald J. Daniels       

Sunil Kumar
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Advancing equity and inclusion at Johns Hopkins

Dear Johns Hopkins Community: 

In this moment of national reckoning with racist violence and structural racism it is clear that as individuals, as a university, and as a society, we are faced with both an imperative and an opportunity to act. Sadly, that pain and impact reverberated again this week when a racist symbol was found on a construction site in an off-campus lab facility and Johns Hopkins unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms condemned such an act of hate and the legacy of racial oppression that it embodies.

We hope—indeed, we believe—that we will look back upon this era as a watershed in the advancement of true equity and inclusion. But to do so, we must redouble our commitment to listen attentively, deliberate thoughtfully, and act with urgency to address issues of historical and present-day racial injustice. 

In recent weeks, we have taken some important initial steps on each of these paths in candid and sometimes hard conversations, formal and informal, with our Black students, staff, and faculty; in taking time off to commemorate Juneteenth; and in pausing the establishment of a campus police department to develop alternatives for public safety. But we also have spent this time wrestling with what should come next—how to hold fast to the progress we have made while also pursuing solutions to dismantle systemic racism, advance equity, and increase diverse representation at Johns Hopkins.

As a community, we lived through a painfully similar moment several years ago, when a series of incidents of police violence resulting in the deaths of Black people across the country—including Freddie Gray in our own city in 2015—shone a piercing light on the brutal injustices upon which this nation was built and which continue to shape the present for Black and Brown Americans.  

At that time and in the years since, we were rightly called upon by our city and our faculty, staff, and students to acknowledge and enlarge Johns Hopkins’ role in advancing equity and inclusion, and together we did so—through the creation of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, which took an expansive approach to new programs and accountabilities to address the inequities faced by underrepresented and historically marginalized members of our community. We also launched HopkinsLocal, our Baltimore-based economic inclusion effort that has provided jobs for hundreds of Baltimore’s citizens, and a series of public educational initiatives, such as Vision for Baltimore for K-8 citywide vision screening and glasses, and P-Tech for integrated high school, community college, and career support, among other community programs.  

The Roadmap established a strong foundation. Under its comprehensive framework, we created mechanisms for transparency and accountability, including regular faculty, staff, and graduate student composition reports, with 2019 data to be released this month. We have increased the diversity of undergraduate students and staff across our institution, as well as faculty and graduate or PhD students in a number of departments. We have instituted revised search practices, unconscious bias training, and a new discrimination and harassment policy, and supported mentoring and pipeline programs across the divisions. Last week, we welcomed the university’s second vice provost and chief diversity officer, Katrina Caldwell. 

Our progress over the last five years is real and measurable, but we know that it is not sufficient. This moment demands that we deepen our resolve and act with even greater urgency. We must fill the gaps we know persist, explore new areas for improvement, and expand our scope for change.

To get us started, we stand ready to move forward along four paths. We will:  Create a 2020 Task Force to review the current Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion and make new recommendations for the institution;  Launch a scholarly initiative to understand and acknowledge our institution’s past history of discrimination on a number of different grounds, focused first and foremost on race; Establish a committee to develop principles and a process for reexamining the naming of buildings and programs across Johns Hopkins; and Expand our anti-racist and inclusion training and education tools.  Roadmap 2020 Task Force. We have asked three of the university’s leaders—Katrina Caldwell, vice provost and chief diversity officer; Ashley Llorens, chair of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council; and Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing—to steward a Roadmap 2020 task force to re-assess the first JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion and ultimately provide a set of new commitments, goals, and accountabilities for the next Roadmap

This task force will be composed of faculty, students, and staff from across the institution. Together, they will undertake a series of listening sessions and will develop a set of recommendations for our next five years, with measurable goals and accountabilities, including but not limited to areas such as internal promotion and professional development; anti-racism education and training for students, faculty, and staff; and effective climate assessments. Where our progress has been insufficient, we need advice on new approaches and collaborations within and beyond our academic community aimed at ensuring more concrete progress in the years to come. These recommendations will not only fuel revisions to the JHU Roadmap and divisional diversity plans but also shape the university’s strategic priorities that follow the 10x2020.

Initiative to Understand and Acknowledge Johns Hopkins History. At an institution like Johns Hopkins, forged in the aftermath of the Civil War and implicated in the failed project of Reconstruction and the segregated society that followed, it is critical not only to chart a path for the future but also to understand, acknowledge, and grapple with the role of racism and other types of discrimination in our history. Hopkins Retrospective was launched in 2013 as a corollary to the commissioning of a new history of the university, and has encompassed a number of initiatives to support historical research, exhibits, and campus displays with respect to race and diversity. Hopkins Retrospective also has worked to capture and digitize the university’s unique voices and pioneers through oral histories of underrepresented minority, women, and first-generation students, faculty, and staff, and through collaboration with the Black Faculty and Staff Association on the Indispensable Role of Blacks at Johns Hopkins

This fall we are launching a new initiative aimed at more deeply understanding and reconciling the university’s own history of discrimination, both overt and subtle, from its founding to the present day. The SNF Agora Institute will shepherd this effort, which will be led by Martha Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and professor of history. In collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Martha will oversee a number of different activities that seek to develop a more complete and textured understanding of our institution through commissioned research, art exhibitions, student seminars, workshops, and public lectures.

Committee to Establish Principles on Naming. At the same time, we see and hear the need to address questions regarding the legacy of individuals whose names or iconography adorn buildings and programs at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, and to develop a set of principles and a process for evaluating how we acknowledge, and respond to, conduct that we regard as antithetical to our values. In recent years, our institution and its divisions have taken steps to contextualize rather than erase these parts of our history. As we’ve acknowledged previously with regard to Johns Hopkins President Isaiah Bowman (1935-48), a leading scholar and government adviser who was also an avowed racist and anti-Semite, it is critical that we confront our past as we seek better and more just decisions for our community and our society.  

As the university and its divisions consider growing calls to rename facilities and programs, we will undertake a deliberative process for developing thoughtful principles and procedures at an institutional level that can then be applied with rigor to specific cases—principles for considering whether renaming or contextualization is the more appropriate response, and for ensuring that historical memory can be kindled so that we don’t lose sight of the lessons of the past. Among our challenges is how to acknowledge the contributions of individuals in our history without excusing conduct that we regard as repugnant.  

To address these questions, we have asked Tony Anderson, university trustee; Larry Jackson, professor of history and English and director of the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts; and Karen Horton, professor and director of the Department of Radiology, to lead a cross-institutional advisory committee composed of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and trustees from Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. Their work will commence this summer, and a report will be completed in October. The committee will welcome and engage divergent views and provide meaningful opportunities for community feedback.

Inclusion and Anti-Racism Training and Education Tools. Finally, we know that our community is seeking opportunities for continued dialogue, healing, and understanding. This summer, the university will work to strengthen our suite of inclusion and anti-racism training and education tools for leaders, managers, and the university community at large, and Katrina Caldwell and Sherita Golden, vice president and chief diversity officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine, will collaborate to deepen diversity awareness training and education across our institution. We also share for your information a link to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s collection of Racial Discussion Resources offered for the benefit of us all on the website of the JHM Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity.

Our leaders welcome and will continue to be in dialogue about racial injustice and equity at events such as the upcoming Candid Conversation with the Hopkins Diaspora and BFSA on July 14, and we hope these tools support you to do the same. 

Taken as a whole, we believe these steps will move us forward, sustain and deepen efforts already underway, and embody the inclusivity we seek to build together. We know progress on these issues requires not merely our present focus but regular attention, discussion, and action over an extended period of time.

We are grateful to this community for the ways in which it has supported and advocated for each other over the years, and especially during this anguished and pivotal moment, and for showing our institution that change is both necessary and possible. 


Ronald J. Daniels 

Sunil Kumar 
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs