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.
U Illinois Chicago to Lead Consortium of HSIs
The university recently announced its role as lead university of Crossing Latinidades, a new consortium of 16 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with the R1 designation in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Supported by a $150,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the consortium will feature four pilot collaborative working groups that will develop proposals of comparative research, scholarship, teaching and resource sharing built around the themes of material culture, language and identity, climate change and inequality, and poetry.
U North Carolina Charlotte Creates Scholarship for Social Justice
The new scholarship provides annual support to returning undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, potential for academic success in their chosen program of study and a record of service or social action either at UNC Charlotte, in the greater Charlotte community or in their hometown. Each recipient will receive a minimum award of $1,500.
Columbia U Announces Building Name Change
The university's president recently emailed the campus community alerting them to the renaming of Bard Hall, a dormitory for clinical students. The building was named after an 18th century physician, Samuel Bard, who owned enslaved people. A new name was not given, however at the president's behest, a group will convene to consider campus names and symbols associated with race and racism and provide recommendations.
U North Carolina Asheville to Change Building Names
The university's board of trustees recently voted to remove the names of two campus buildings, Vance and Hoey Halls, immediately. Zebulon Baird Vance was a Confederate military officer during the Civil War and owned enslaved people, and Clyde R. Hoey was a segregationist and actively opposed civil rights legislation. The resolution also requested that the university's chancellor appoint a task force to study and review all UNC Asheville campus buildings and to suggest renaming options.
Davidson College Issues Apology for Benefiting From Slavery
The college recently issued a public apology for its support of slavery during the college’s first 30 years and its embrace of the unjust laws and false ideas that upheld racist systems and practices after slavery was outlawed. In tandem with the apology, the college released a report from the Commission on Race and Slavery, which proposes funding and action steps for building name changes, anti-racism training, auditing admissions and hiring with a racial equity lens, and further research and public education about the college's history where intertwined with slavery.
U Pittsburgh Requires Racial Justice Course for First Year Students
The course, Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance, will be a required, asynchronous, one-credit offering for first-year students on the Pittsburgh campus starting this fall. Students at the regional campuses, as well as any other interested students, may also register.
U Virginia Opens 'Memorial to Enslaved Laborers'
Designed by Thomas Jefferson and built by enslaved people, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, recognizing Black workers subjected to slavery and racism and offers a place of healing as well as learning. The circular shape of the memorial echoes broken shackles and also the “ring shout,” a traditional dance of enslaved African Americans.
Insight Into Diversity Announces STEM Award
The 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, presented by Insight Into Diversity, recognizes unique and innovative programs for improving access to science, technology, engineering and math for underrepresented students. This year's accolade spotlights over 65 programs at higher education institutions.
U Oregon to Remove Murals With Racist Imagery
Four murals in the university's Knight Library that contain racist, exclusionary language and imagery will be covered by Oct. 1. Dating to the library's construction in 1937, the murals convey a racial hierarchy that places white people at the top through imagery and words.
Tuskegee U Receives $100K to Increase African American Access
The university’s Department of Architecture recently received a $100,000 contribution from the Cooper Carry Charitable Foundation, Inc., to increase access to the architecture profession for African American students. A need-based scholarship for undergraduate students will use $80,000 while the remaining $20,000 is designated for a student technology scholarship that will allow students to receive technology assistance by providing laptops and/or architecture design software.
U Kentucky Launches Civil Rights & Education Initiative
The university recently announced a collaboration between its College of Education and the NAACP to develop an education and research initiative focused on educational equity, civil rights and social justice. Advancing and protecting education for all students in preschool through higher education will be the initiative’s focus, with particular emphasis on race-based discrimination. The initiative will also focus on students who are marginalized in the education sector based on ability, gender, ethnicity, age, class, religion, sexuality, and other markers.
Bentley U Announces Racial Justice Initiatives
A set of strategic initiatives were announced recently that are aimed at overturning policies, practices and structures that enable systemic racism on campus. They include promoting diversity-based learning and development for faculty; assessing support for students of color; supporting professional development focused on racial justice, diversity and inclusion; expanding bias training in hiring; developing plans to avoid bias in admissions; launching a racial justice plan; and mandatory training for university police.
Cornell U Announces Racial Justice Initiatives
In a recent address to the campus body, the university's president asked the Faculty Senate to, as soon as possible, create and implement an educational requirement on racism, bias and equity for all students; create an anti-racism center; and launch an institution-wide themed semester focused on issues of racism in the U.S. through relevant readings and discussions. Additional announced changes include oversight of the university's police department; the creation new professional development programs with a focus on staff of color; make diversity, equity and inclusion part of the performance dialogue process; implement equity and cultural competency trainings for all staff; and make Juneteenth a permanent university holiday.
U Pittsburgh Creates Justice Initiative
Anchored in the university's School of Education, the PittEd Justice Collective is a three-year working group that will engage in anti-racist, justice-directed initiatives within the education community as well as the surrounding community. Year one is focused on definitions and clarifying the scope of work and will also include a school-wide book read focused on anti-racism, along with lunch and learns, professional development opportunities and a virtual series on justice.
LeMoyne-Owen College Receives $40 Million
The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis recently announced the college as the recipient of a $40 million endowment. The college will receive 5 percent of the average balance of the fund each year. With nearly 90 percent of students qualifying for financial aid, much of the money will be put toward scholarships as well as academic innovations that prepare students for the job market.
U Notre Dame Announces Anti-Racist Initiative
The university's Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights has announced a year-long initiative called Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary. The project seeks to educate students and members of the broader Notre Dame community, helping them explore and deconstruct concepts that support racism.
Shaw U Launches 'Center for Racial and Social Justice'
The purpose of the new Center for Racial and Social Justice is to enable meaningful social change by fostering engagement around civil and human rights, spiritual formation, discernment and social justice. Featuring research activities and academic programs that celebrate the university’s heritage of racial and social justice advocacy, the center will introduce a series of certificate programs that promote activism, strategic thinking and leadership development to confront the nation and world’s great challenges related to racial and ethnic differences.
Santa Monica College Establishes George Floyd Scholarship
The college announced on June 19 a new endowment in honor of George Floyd, called the George Perry Floyd, Jr. Scholarship for Racial and Social Justice. The scholarship was started with a $20,000 gift to the Santa Monica College Foundation from anonymous donors. The scholarship will offer a $2,500 award over two years to black students to help offset the cost of tuition, books and living expenses while attending the college.
Northern Illinois U Athletic Dept Enacts Social Justice Ed Plan
Geared toward student-athletes, coaches and staff, the social justice education plan seeks to create educational opportunities, support dialogue and encourage voting. The plan has already brought together African American student-athletes, a focus group of student-athlete leaders and an all-staff virtual town hall of NIU Athletics coaches and staff on the topics of social justice and race relations. Future sessions include a virtual meeting of all student-athletes led by NIU professors and individual team counseling sessions on the topic of race relations.
'Student Freedom Initiative' Addresses Loan Burden
Robert F. Smith—the billionaire who pledged during a commencement speech last year to pay off the student debt of the Morehouse College class of 2019—recently announced the Student Freedom Initiative to help ease the burden of student loans at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Student Freedom Initiative will launch in fall 2021 at up to 11 HBCUs, offering juniors and seniors who are science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors a flexible, lower-risk alternative to high-interest private student loans.
NCAA Expands Confederate Flag Policy
The NCAA Board of Governors has expanded the association’s Confederate flag policy to prevent any NCAA championship events from being played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence. Mississippi is the only state currently affected by the association’s policy.
Morehouse & Spelman Colleges & UNCF Receive $120M
Philanthropists Patty Quillin and her husband, Reed Hastings, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, are donating $120 million to Morehouse College, Spelman College and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Each will receive $40 million. The money will be used to fund scholarships so that students graduate with less debt and more opportunity.
U Nevada Reno Announces Actions to Address Racism
In an effort to respond to the anger and frustration expressed by its Black students, faculty and staff, the university recently announced measures aimed at supporting a more inclusive, safe and equitable campus. They are: review its African Diaspora Program, recognize prominent Black social justice pioneers on campus, explore test score alternatives, establish a living learning community focused on Black culture, and expand cultural competency education across campus.
Texas A&M Regents Create $100M Diversity Scholarship Fund
The university system's board of regents recently announced a $100 million scholarship fund to address diversity issues as well as concerns of students who are first-generation and/or from low-income families in the wake of economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19. The program provides $10 million annually over 10 years for scholarships to students from particularly low income, first-generation and geographically underrepresented regions of the state.
U Colorado Boulder Adopts Anti-Racism Actions
Immediate actions that were announced to transform the campus experience for Black students, faculty and staff, and for all students, faculty and staff of color and other marginalized individuals and groups include updating and enhancing faculty and staff hiring practices to achieve greater representation of persons of color; implementing mandatory bystander training for all campus members; examining its procurement practices with Colorado Correctional Industries, a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections; review campus police policies and procedures; and charge faculty with development of a first-year course in anti-racism.
U Kentucky to Remove Mural With Disturbing Imagery
The university's president in a recent message announced that a mural that has been the subject of years of debate will be removed. The mural depicts scenes from Kentucky's history and includes enslaved black people planting tobacco.
California CC Presidents Form Alliance to Combat Racism
More than 60 community colleges in California have joined the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance to actively combat racism on their campuses. The alliance will be managed out of the University of Southern California’s Race & Equity Center. Colleges in the alliance will each pay the center $25,000 a year to be part of the alliance. In return, they will have access to specialized tools, resources and guidance, such as racial equity strategic action planning and an equity resource portal with equity-focused rubrics, readings, case studies, slide shows, videos and conversation scripts.
Big Ten Announces 'Anti-Hate & Anti-Racism Coalition'
The Big Ten Conference commissioner, Kevin Warren, announced at the end of May the creation of the Big Ten Conference Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, an initiative that seeks to partner with campus diversity councils to create the conditions where student athletes possess their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.