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.
U Buffalo Produces Map of Food Resources
Researchers at the university recently released a map of food resources in Buffalo to help people access food amid the coronavirus pandemic. The map includes grocery stores and sources of free food like food pantries, soup kitchens and schools offering meal pickup for students.
Clemson U Introduces Virtual Map of Food Resources
University faculty and staff, in coordination with the United Way and Ten at the Top, recently released an interactive map that provides information on different food resources for individuals and families facing food insecurity. The regional map includes nearly 400 providers across 10 counties complete with information on the type of assistance they provide as well as operating hours and availability.
Partnership Results in Student Emergency Aid Effort
A new initiative from an alliance of educational technology companies and education-focused nonprofits will distribute emergency aid to college students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, building on $1.1 million in initial funding. In the first phase of the initiative, Course Hero will work with five education-related nonprofits to raise awareness and distribute funds. The second phase involves a partnership with Edquity, which developed an app through which students can apply for emergency aid from their colleges and receive funds directly in their bank accounts, and the nonprofit organization Believe in Students, which focuses on alleviating poverty among college students.
Four Canadian Institutions to Enhance Support for Indigenous Students
A total of $380,000 from the Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Program will be evenly divided between Coast Mountain College, the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, and the University of Northern British Columbia to enhance support for Indigenous students and invest in technological solutions to improve access for remote education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous students studying at the four institutions can receive academic mentoring and mental health counselling to help navigate the barriers and challenges that come with isolation at home.
U Nebraska to Offer Free Tuition
In an effort to make higher education more accessible, the university is launching a program that guarantees a tuition-free education for all Nebraska students with family incomes of $60,000 or less. The program begins in fall 2020.
U California Santa Cruz Formalizes Land Acknowledgement
The recently released land acknowledgement was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program. University community members are encouraged to read the land acknowledgement at the beginning of gatherings and events.
U New Hampshire Creates Student Hardship Fund
The university's newest student assistance program helps undergraduate and graduate students dealing with a temporary or unexpected hardship. The Student Emergency Assistance Fund offers short-term assistance, ranging from $100 to $500, for such things as emergency travel, medical costs, safety and security needs, auto repairs and academic supplies.
Iowa State U Releases Land Acknowledgement
In collaboration with the university's director of American Indian Studies, the university developed and recently released an official land acknowledgement recognizing Indigenous Peoples that were stewards of the land on which the university now exists.
Emerson College Creates COVID-19 Emergency Fund
The college recently created an emergency fund to help students pay their rent, transport themselves back home, rent learning equipment and more. Every member of the board of trustees, including the president, made gifts and pledges, bringing the total to $72,000.
Pennsylvania State U Launches Student Emergency Fund
The university recently announced that all new contributions to its Student Care & Advocacy Emergency Fund will be used for those who are challenged to afford housing, transportation, basic needs and access to required resources for remote learning, or who are facing other unforeseen personal difficulties as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Western Carolina U Makes Emergency Funds Available to Students
University administrators are currently urging students who are suffering extreme financial distress because of displacement caused by the coronavirus to apply for financial assistance from the university’s Student Emergency Fund. The funds may be used for rent, utilities, car repairs, medical and dental expenses, gas and other unexpected financial emergencies, but not university-related expenses.
Georgia Tech Announces COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Students
The new fund has been established to support students who have a demonstrated financial need related to the COVID-19 crisis and campus closures. Funding is available to all enrolled Georgia Tech students and can be used to alleviate financial challenges, including travel assistance, housing assistance, medical expenses, moving costs, financial support, and food insecurity.
Emerson College Eco Ambassadors Launch Thrift Store Pop Up
In an effort to raise awareness for the college's clothing exchange store, now the Tiny Thrift Store puts on a pop-up once per month. The store and pop-up give students a chance to donate, exchange and/or pick-up clothing free of charge.
U Southern California Offers Free Tuition Based on Family Income
Students from the United States from families with annual incomes of $80,000 or less will be eligible for the full undergraduate tuition waiver starting in the fall. Additionally, owning a home will no longer be considered in the calculation used to determine a student’s financial need.
Bowie State U Opens Nutrition Lounge & Food Pantry
In partnership with Food Lion Feeds' hunger relief initiative, the university opened a new on-campus nutrition lounge that provides a place for students to relax, study and have a place to access and enjoy free, healthy foods.
Illinois State U Elevates Diversity & Inclusion
The university's president recently announced the creation of a new position to move diversity initiatives forward on campus, naming Professor Doris Houston as the interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. Houston currently serves as chair of the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
Thirteen Institutions Become 'Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers'
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) selected 13 institutions as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers. Organized around the five pillars of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation framework by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—narrative change, separation, law, economy, and racial healing and relationship building—the centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value.
ACE Produces Series on Race in Higher Ed
The Let’s Talk About Race interview series captures the voices of prominent higher education scholars and leaders as they share their perspectives and experiences on race and ethnicity in higher education.