Posted on Friday, November 13, 2020
Westminster College is one of 51 inaugural member institutions of the University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Center’s newly established Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues across the nation as we strive to achieve the historic vision of our founders, who in 1852 chartered an institution open not only to men but also to women and people of color without regard to their religious creed—a remarkable vision that still drives us today,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson.
As an alliance member institution, Westminster will benefit from a variety of resources and educational opportunities for faculty and staff, including monthly virtual professional workshops, workplace climate surveys and an online portal of equity-related tools and resources.
Beginning in January 2021, the Center will host a dozen eConvenings workshops, each on a particular aspect of racial equity. These live, three-hour sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered 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, and specialists from the Center.
These interactive sessions will use contemporary cases of equity dilemmas and racial crises on liberal arts college campuses. Emphasis will be placed on learning from situations that have recently occurred elsewhere; learning how to get ahead of situations and reducing risk of crisis; and learning actionable equity leadership strategies.
An online repository of resources and tools—including downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks, and conversation scripts—is being developed by the Center. Every employee across all levels at each member college will have 24/7 full access to the virtual resource portal, which will launch in late-spring 2021.
Workplace climate surveys will be administered by USC’s Race and Equity Center on a three-year rotational basis. A student survey in year one will measure belonging and inclusion, the frequency and depth of cross-racial interactions, students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, and other related topics. Faculty and staff surveys will be offered in years two and three, respectively, and will focus on employees’ perceptions of equitable opportunities for promotion and advancement; mattering and sense of belonging; how different groups of employees differently experience the workplace environment; employees’ encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other –isms at work; employee satisfaction with the College’s responses to reports of abuse, unfair treatment, and climate problems; and appraisals of the institution’s commitment to equity.
Presidents of member colleges will meet quarterly to share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.
Westminster joins the following institutions in the alliance: Allegheny College, Amherst College, Bard College, Barnard College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Carleton College, Centre College, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, Colorado College, Connecticut College, Davidson College, DePauw University, Dickinson College, Goucher College, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lafayette College, Luther College, Macalester College, McPherson College, Mount Holyoke College, Muhlenberg College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Oberlin College, Occidental College, Randolph College, Reed College, Rhodes College, Scripps College, Skidmore College, Smith College, Soka University of America, St. Olaf College, Susquehanna University, Swarthmore College, Union College, University of Richmond, Utica College, Wabash College, Washington and Lee University, Wellesley College, Whittier College, Williams College and Wofford College.
Visit the USC Race and Equity Center here.