Emory U to Establish Civil Rights & Social Justice Center With $7M Donation

The university recently received a grant from Southern Company Foundation to establish the Emory University School of Law Center for Civil Rights and Social Justice and to support other student success and access initiatives. The newly established center will serve as a hub for interdisciplinary scholarship, research, teaching, evidence-based policy reform, and community outreach that improves the lives of individuals who have experienced violations of their civil rights and been impacted by social injustice.

Ryerson U to Change Name

The university's board of governors recently accepted 22 recommendations, which include renaming the institution, sharing materials to recognize the legacy of Egerton Ryerson, and providing more opportunities to learn about Indigenous history and Indigenous and colonial relations. The recommendations come from a task force who conducted research into the university's namesake's life and legacy, and the role of commemoration in the community.

Two California CCs Shift Toward Open Education Resources

With a goal of increasing access, Compton Community College recently announced a goal of using 85 to 100 percent open educational resources (OER), rather than textbooks, by 2035, while College of the Canyons is aiming for a third of its courses to eliminate textbooks over the next two years.

Hope College Pilots New Financial Model for Tuition

The college announced recently a new pilot program whereby instead of charging tuition before receiving an education, the college will ask students to give to the college after they graduate, paying-it-forward to future students. Called Hope Forward, the program will welcome a cohort of 22 students this fall whose tuition will be fully funded by an anonymous donor. In the future, the college aims to fully fund tuition for all students.

Virginia State U Clears Account Balances for Pandemic Period

The university recently announced that it will clear all unpaid tuition and fee balances for students enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic impact period of spring, summer, fall and winter 2020, and spring 2021 semesters. The payoff applies only to balances currently owed to the university.

Simon Fraser U Establishes Endowment for Indigenous Students

The university's publishing program has established a new endowment in recognition of its first Indigenous graduate of the Master of Publishing program (MPub). The Greg Younging Publishing Award Endowment aims to create a fully funded opportunity for an Indigenous student to complete the degree.

NC A&T State U Launches Free Textbook Program

A new partnership between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Barnes & Noble College will enable NC A&T to make textbooks available for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years free for all undergraduate students.

U Michigan Expands Anti-Racism Initiative Through Hiring Initiative

The university recently announced that it will hire at least 20 tenure-track faculty, versed in academic work on structural racism and racial inequality, over the next three years as part of its new anti-racism initiative. For this anti-racism initiative, the provost’s office will be partnering with the school’s National Center for Institutional Diversity and the Office of Research.

Howard U Receives $1M for Women & Gender Leadership Center

A $1 million gift aims to elevate women of color into leadership roles across all sectors through the launch of the Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership. The center's academic focus will include producing theoretically grounded research and creating a data center on issues of women and gender in the United States and the global Black diaspora.

U California Adopts Gender Pronoun & Lived Name Policy

Under the new policy, university students, employees, alumni, retirees, vendors, medical center patients and other affiliates completing university-issued documents may choose from man, woman or nonbinary gender identification options. In addition to gender identification, individuals may also state a lived name, i.e., a personal or preferred professional name, that differs from their legal name. Legal names will be kept confidential and not published on documents not requiring a person’s legal name.

21 HEIs to Receive $1M Each for Academic Success of Students of Color

In an effort to help students of color successfully complete the education and training necessary to be successful in today’s workforce, Bank of America announced in mid-November a plan to give $1 million each to 21 higher education institutions including community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions. Each partner institution will develop or enhance existing programs to meet specific skill gaps in their communities, while Bank of America will work alongside major employers to ensure these programs target specific hiring needs and create a clearly defined career pathway to future employment.

Six HEIs Launch Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

The presidents of Depauw University, and Macalester, Oberlin, Occidental, Pomona and Skidmore colleges are co-founding the Liberal Arts Colleges and Racial Equity Leadership Alliance to address racial inequities at liberal arts colleges. They have been joined by the presidents of 45 other institutions, and are collaborating with the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Southern California.

California Community Colleges Receive $100M for Students Facing Financial Hardships

The California Community Colleges chancellor’s office, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, announced a $100 million pledge over 20 years to help eliminate regional educational gaps by providing scholarships to students who are on their way toward completion of a certificate or degree at a California community college or transferring to a university. The pledge also provides emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected financial hardships. The initiative is supported by a donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.

Loyola U Maryland Creates Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice

Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Loyola College of Arts and Sciences are launching the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice to address racial inequities locally and nationally. The institute aims to provide a space for researchers, students, social justice workers and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate and explore answers to critical questions on inequality, injustice and racial inequity in the United States.

NCAA Hosts Diversity & Inclusion Social Media Campaign

The Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign, happening Oct. 26 - 29, is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness and engagement, and educating about importance of inclusive environments in college sports.

Haverford College Dedicates Funding to Address Racial Justice & Inclusion

New funding was recently allocated to justice and equity fellowships; to support for faculty research and teaching that engages students in the study of anti-racism, racial equity, and racial justice; and to support for staffing and resources to assist and celebrate students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender fluid, or nonbinary so that they can thrive in all aspects, including academics.

William & Mary Partners to Offer Scholarships

A recent partnership with The Posse Foundation will enable the college to provide full scholarships to diverse cohorts of students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college.

U California Los Angeles Develops Anti-Racism Hub Focusing on Asian Americans

A new website, the Movement Hub, was developed by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge to serve as a centralized platform to amplify on-the-ground activism and organizing by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The website offers resources for and by AAPI organizations to promote cross-racial unity.

Saint Louis U Establishes Institute for Healing Justice & Equity

A new institute at Saint Louis University has been established to help eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to promote healing. The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity will begin its work with a founding investment by SLU of more than $1.7 million. Through research, training, community engagement and public policy development, the institute will help build equitable communities by assessing and promoting best practices that foster healing from social injustice, trauma and oppression.

Villanova U Receives $5M Gift for DEI Curriculum Initiatives

A $5 million gift from the Lorenzini Family Foundation will support the new Intergroup Dialogue Center. The center will focus on curricular transformation and faculty training with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. The Intergroup Dialogue Center will also amplify the existing Intergroup Relations program, which teaches students to create meaningful dialogue and relationships among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups.

U Cambridge Adopts Divestment Proposal

(U.K.) The University Council recently endorsed a set of proposals articulated by the university's Investment Office that seek to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030 and ramp up investments in renewable energy. The proposal also says that the university will not accept funding from sources misaligned with its commitment to address climate change and achieve net zero emissions by 2038.

Miami U Names Building After First Black Graduate

Miami’s board of trustees announced in late September the renaming of the Campus Avenue Building to Nellie Craig Hall. The granddaughter of a Civil War veteran, Nellie Craig graduated from Miami University in 1905. She earned her two-year teaching certificate and was the first Black educator to student teach in the Oxford Public School system to a mixed-race classroom.

U Virginia Adopts Racial Equity Goals

The university's board of visitors recently endorsed goals recommended by the UVA Racial Equity Task Force. The goals include: doubling the number of underrepresented faculty by 2030; developing a plan for having the student population better reflect the racial and socioeconomic demographic of the state; reviewing policies related to staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion and procurement, in order to ensure equity; and developing a series of educational programs around racial equity and anti-racism, including leadership development programs.

Insight Into Diversity Recognizes 2020 HEED Award Recipients

The Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award went to 91 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada this year that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Specifically, this award seeks to measure an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

NC A&T to Rename Two Buildings

The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University board of trustees voted recently to immediately remove the names from Morrison Hall and Cherry Hall, both named for former North Carolina governors who, in different ways, blocked civil rights and racial equity. University leaders said they plan to recommend new names for both buildings in early 2021.