Office of the President
March 11, 2021
Tags Community Messages

Land Acknowledgement Working Group

From the President

Dear Members of the Brown Community,

Brown is committed to developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between the University, the Native and Indigenous Peoples of this region, and the land on which Brown is situated. We are also committed to engaging in meaningful relationships with local Native and Indigenous peoples connected to this land, increasing our understanding of the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples, and reflecting on what this may mean for Brown University and our community. I am writing to share that we have formed a Land Acknowledgement Working Group to engage in this important work.

The Working Group will be responsible for developing recommendations as to how Brown can best acknowledge the land connected to local Indigenous Peoples and the University, and our shared history related to these spaces. This important work will be completed through consultation with local Native and Indigenous Peoples, as well as members of Brown’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and other partners, with the goal of recognizing and respecting Indigenous Peoples, their input and knowledge. This work will be closely tied to the second phase of Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which will launch later this spring.

Given that careful and comprehensive deliberation is inherent to this process, the Working Group will be responsible for producing an interim status report on the group’s progress by December 31, 2021. Russell Carey, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy, and Rae Gould, Associate Director of the University’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative, will co-chair this working group, which will be composed of the following members, representing faculty, staff and students:

  • Kimonee Burke, Graduate Student
  • Cass Cliatt, Vice President for Communications
  • Shontay Delalue, Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity
  • Sherente Harris, Undergraduate Student
  • Robert Preucel, Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
  • Marisa Quinn, Chief of Staff to the Provost

Olugbenga Joseph, Assistant to the President for Special Projects, will staff the working group. 

This work is part of the work we continue to do together as a community to create a more fully diverse and inclusive Brown. 


Christina H. Paxson