Conn becomes inaugural member of Racial Equity Alliance
Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron has signed on to the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance—an initiative led by the University of Southern California’s (USC) Race and Equity Center.
Conn is one of 51 inaugural institutions who will benefit from a variety of resources and educational opportunities for faculty and staff, including monthly virtual professional workshops.
The workshops, called “eConvenings,” will consist of three-hour learning sessions, each dedicated to a specific topic relating to racial equity, and will be run by highly-respected leaders of national higher education associations, tenured professors who study race relations and people of color, chief diversity officers and other experienced administrators, as well as specialists from the Equity Center. The monthly workshops, which begin in January 2021, will be highly interactive and are designed to examine strategies and practical approaches to real-world, contemporary cases of equity dilemmas and racial challenges faced by liberal arts colleges. This will allow faculty and staff to develop actionable leadership strategies and share the tools they’ve picked up with their colleagues across their respective campuses.
“We are excited to be founding members of the alliance, whose mission will help us advance our goal of full participation—of creating a campus where all people can thrive, achieve their potential, and contribute to the flourishing of others. Our faculty and staff will benefit greatly from the alliance’s educational resources as we work together to build a more just and equitable community,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron and presidents of alliance colleges will hold quarterly meetings to share strategies and advice, and to identify new ways to enact collective change and greater racial equity in higher education. Member presidents will also speak with one voice and come together during times of crisis to offer rapid responses to urgent racial issues confronting America. They will collaboratively decide what actions are appropriate and how to communicate to their campus communities, policymakers and the media to present a united front.
The Equity Center is currently developing an online portal for resources and tools that will be accessible to alliance member colleges, including downloadable equity-related videos, case-studies, readings and conversation scripts. Every employee across all levels of the College will have access to the virtual portal once it launches in spring 2021.
Alliance members will also be given two separate campus work-place surveys that the Equity Center is developing.
“Our new membership in this alliance represents another step forward in our progress toward greater racial equity within the Conn community. Being a part of these kinds of consortia will help us stay at the forefront of national trends and promising practices for advancing equity and inclusion at the College,” said Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion John McKnight.