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Abigail Lo '23

ARS Nova participant Abigail Lo.

Major: Theatre Performance and Humanitarian Studies

Bio: Abigail Lo is a sophomore double majoring in Theatre Performance and Humanitarian Studies and double minoring in Peace and Justice Studies and Political Science. They've acted on-stage and assisted with design and construction backstage on many theatre shows, and they’ve taken on many leadership positions in CCEL programs. Their dreams for the future involve either acting in New York City or working at an NGO in transitional justice.

Mentor: Ms. Vanessa Rotondo
Abstract: On June 29, 2020, President Joseph M. McShane, S.J. released the Fordham University Action Plan to address racism and educate for justice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing protests. We will investigate the development process of this plan, evaluate the effects of the plan on the Fordham community, and propose amendments to the plan. By conducting interviews with Fordham students, faculty, staff, and administrators from diverse backgrounds, we aim to compile their knowledge of racism in the Fordham community and specifically of the Fordham University Action Plan into a cohesive synopsis that mirrors the Fordham community at large. When reaching out to the Fordham community, many either declined to be interviewed or expressed fear about how their words would be distributed, demonstrating a pervasive threat of retribution at Fordham that we seek to counteract with this project. A common theme was that the anti-racist rhetoric Fordham espouses often does not feel backed up by concrete actions, or any actions taken by Fordham administration or in specific departments are not shared with the broader Fordham community. Many interviewees also felt that Residential Life or Student Affairs should take on a more active role in ensuring the physical and emotional safety of BIPOC students. We hope that this project will encourage discussion about anti-racism at Fordham, and how we can continue on the journey towards following the Jesuit mission.