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University Equity and Inclusion



Red-green-orange gradient background featuring photos of people covered in the Professionally Black article

This year for Black History Month, we invited professionals and practitioners from around the university to share their experiences as Black professionals: the highs, lows, most impactful lessons and their advice to the next generation. Here is what they had to say.

Hend El-Buri, director of PantryRUN, left, helps prepare packages of food with student workers Shatiah Bulger, center, and Karyna Anderson. PHOTO CREDIT: Yolenni Torres

As grocery prices have increased in 2022, so have the numbers of students turning to the food pantry serving the Rutgers University–Newark community. “We've had a lot of new users,” says Hend El-Buri, director of PantryRUN. “Many are people who have never needed to ask for help.”

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When racist, antisemitic graffiti was spray painted at Scotch-Plains Fanwood High School in 2018, officials reached out to the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center at Rutgers-Newark to help address the hatred behind the vandalism.

The effort helped ease tensions, which had long existed in both towns, and resulted in heightened awareness of bias and discrimination. Since, the center has held several “racial healing circles” in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, guiding participants to discover what they share with people of diverse backgrounds.