Foley Named Special Advisor to President Livingstone
In early June, Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., communicated to the Baylor Family an ongoing University focus on engaging in important conversations related to race, violence and injustices. Thereafter, Livingstone appointed Malcolm Foley as special advisor to the president for equity and campus engagement.
In this role on the President’s Council, Foley is working closely and collaboratively with people across the University to develop initiatives that promote and build a caring and inclusive campus community. He was also named director of the Black church studies program at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
A Silver Spring, Maryland, native, Foley is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Baylor’s department of religion, studying Christian history. His research and dissertation examine African American Protestants’ responses to lynching from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Foley is the director of discipleship at Mosaic Waco, a local church, where he serves with his wife Desiree. He was a student regent on the Baylor Board of Regents from 2018 to 2020.
“As we continue conversations related to race and injustices as a University, I recognize the need to coordinate and institutionalize such important work, as well as include diverse backgrounds and viewpoints within our senior leadership team,” Livingstone said. “In this joint role, Mr. Foley will facilitate engagement and interaction with and among the many diverse members of our campus community and work collaboratively to develop initiatives designed to foster a welcoming and inclusive campus for all.”
Foley earned a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies with a second major in finance and a minor in classics from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School, where his studies focused on the theology of the early and medieval church.
“My intended purpose in this role is to see wounds healed and to see the unheard heard. It is my hope to do whatever I can to move from conversation to action in order to create a just and equitable Baylor community in which every member of the Baylor Family is loved and lifted up, especially those who are marginalized. Christ summarized the Law in two commands, and this position shall be an exercise in obeying the latter: intentionally loving our neighbors, brothers and sisters wisely and well,” Foley said.
As part of the University’s efforts to intently engage in racial conciliation conversations, Foley joined Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, MA ’01, MSEd ’98, professor and chair of journalism, public relations and new media, and Dr. Greg Garrett, professor of English, for two Conversation Series events hosted by Livingstone during the summer.
Foley also was named to the 26-member Commission on Historic Campus Representations, established in late June as part of a unanimously passed Baylor Board of Regents resolution that acknowledged the University’s historical connections to slavery and the Confederacy. The Commission will develop a set of observations for consideration by the Board of Regents and administration about how to best communicate and reflect the complete history of Baylor for current and future generations.
Racial Equity Institute Groundwater Training
Throughout the fall, Baylor is collaborating with The Racial Equity Institute to deliver a series of Groundwater trainings to the Division of Student Life and University leaders, faculty and staff. During the workshops, organizers use stories and data to demonstrate the racially structured society in which we live. The Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater Approach is designed to help participants move away from a focus on personal bigotry and bias by presenting a historical, cultural and structural analysis of racism. Under the leadership of the Cooper and Waco Foundations, more than 250 of Waco’s city leaders have attended these trainings since 2016, including the city manager, deputy city manager, city attorney, city secretary, outgoing police chief, interim police chief, four out of the five current members of the city council and Mayor Kyle Deaver BBA ’86, JD ’93.