After intense backlash from the community over an announcement that she would join the board of for-profit prison management company CoreCivic, Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover announced today that she will not join the board.
CoreCivic had announced Glover’s new role with the organization in a news release Thursday afternoon. In the release, Glover praised the company’s “genuine commitment to progress through innovative reentry programs” and life-changing educational programs for the incarcerated.
TSU alumni and members of the community immediately lashed out at Glover’s initial decision.
Metro Council member Delishia Porterfield shared on Twitter that she was “deeply disappointed."
“You can be the change & partner w/them on educational opportunities w/o sitting on the board of an org that profits off of people’s pain & aids to the separation of families,” Porterfield tweeted. “I heard from dozens of alumni tonight who are furious.”
Tequila Johnson, co-founder of the Equity Alliance, said Glover’s decision would not end demands to end private for-profit prisons.
“Black people aren’t moved by one or two of us smiling with the oppressor,” Johnson wrote in a tweet. “I’m over being used to check the diversity box and I’m over our black elders being used to help harmful corporations appear to be more inclusive.”
After careful consideration and listening to voices I trust, I have declined the offer to join the CoreCivic Board. Change occurs in the boardroom and we are most often left out of the process. We will continue to develop collaborations that benefit our students and the community pic.twitter.com/5oB8Dxps3A— Dr. Glenda Glover (@gloverpres) February 19, 2021
In a statement on Twitter on Friday morning, Glover announced that she no longer plans to join the company as a member of the board.
“After careful consideration and listening to voices I trust, I have declined the offer to join the CoreCivic Board,” Glover wrote.
In a letter to the “TSU family,” Glover highlighted her efforts working with CoreCivic to create scholarships for TSU students, create an endowment named for George Floyd in TSU’s criminal justice department and provide educational opportunities for recently released individuals reentering society.
“As the daughter of a civil rights leader, it is my belief that I would be in a better position to help the population that needs it most by speaking from the boardroom where decisions are made,” Glover wrote.
Amanda Gilchrist, a spokesperson for CoreCivic, told Mainstreet Nashville that the company respects Glover’s decision and hopes to have other opportunities to partner with her in the future.
“Unfortunately, Dr. Glover is experiencing the impact of misinformation about our company and industry that we work hard to address every day,” Gilchrist said. “We had looked forward to having the benefit of Dr. Glover’s unique expertise and perspective. We respect her decision and continue to share her long-standing commitment to education and our local community.”