A Message from President Julio Frenk

July 2, 2020

To the University of Miami Community:

Yesterday we announced a series of steps we will take to put our values into practice and build on a culture of belonging where every person is valued and has the opportunity to add value. One of those steps is the creation of a Cabinet-level position to advance racial justice efforts across the institution.

Today, I am delighted to announce that I have invited Dr. Donald Spivey, Distinguished Professor of History, to serve as Special Advisor to the President on Racial Justice, and he has accepted. Professor Spivey is one of our most accomplished faculty members, whose command of issues related to racial justice, extensive scholarship on the history of the Black community in the United States, administrative experience, and commitment to mentoring students and colleagues alike make him the ideal candidate to take on this new role.

Professor Spivey served in various action organizations in the 1960s and beyond and worked over the years to increase the number of Black faculty and students at the University of Miami. His team-taught course on “The Sixties” is one of the most popular on campus, enriching both our culture and the intellectual life of the University. A member of our faculty since 1993, he has lectured throughout the country and been a frequent commentator in the media on the Black experience and the civil rights movement.

Born and reared in Chicago, Professor Spivey attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received his B.A. “with distinction in history” and M.A. in history, then went on to earn his Ph.D. in history at the University of California at Davis. His field is late nineteenth- and twentieth-century America, with specialization in African American history, sport, labor, music, and education.

Professor Spivey has received numerous recognitions including the Faculty Senate Award for Outstanding Teaching; Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity; selection as a “Top Black Educator of South Florida” by Legacy Magazine; the Robert Peterson Recognition Award for his book, If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy “Satchel” Paige; Cooper Fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Ronald McDonald House “Twelve Good Men Award” for Distinguished Community Service in Miami. He also served on the Search Committee for Historian of the United States House of Representatives.

Please join me in thanking Professor Spivey for adding the role of Special Advisor to the President on Racial Justice to his distinguished record of service, and for his leadership and continued commitment to making the University of Miami a beacon for our local and global communities.
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