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Skidmore College

Skidmore joins Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

November 9, 2020

Skidmore College has joined the University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Center’s Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance as a founding participant.   

“Skidmore’s membership in this Alliance is a key element of our Racial Justice Initiative, and we join other leading liberal arts colleges in full participation of the Center’s key projects,” President Marc C. Conner said. “We are also gaining access to deep expertise in assessing climates of inclusion for people of color and other marginalized groups." 

The University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, whose mission is to illuminate, disrupt and dismantle racism in all its forms, is the foremost research and consulting organization for racial equity work in the nation. The center conducts research and works with colleges and universities to better understand campus climate issues; to develop diversity, equity and inclusion goals; and to foster sustainable cultures of inclusion. The rigorous approach of the Center’s work is built on research, previous models of success and continuous feedback from college and university partners.   

Skidmore and other leading liberal arts college Alliance members will engage in full participation of the Center’s key projects, which include:  

  •  The “eConvening series,” a highly interactive monthly course focused on dozens of key topics surrounding racial equity.   
  • Use of the Equity Resource Portal, a resource for DEI best practices that will be accessible to all College employees.
  • Campus climate surveys designed to improve and inform DEI programming. 

eConvening Series 

The eConvening Series is a highly interactive monthly course focused on topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Skidmore will engage in topics such as meaningfully integrating race across a curriculum; fostering and sustaining inclusive classrooms for students of color; leading productive conversations about racism; hiring and retaining faculty of color; understanding and addressing implicit bias; and other important issues designed to improve the campus racial climate.   

Equity Resource Portal 

Additionally, all Skidmore employees will have access to the Alliance’s Equity Resource Portal, an online hub of best practices and resources including readings, case studies, videos and presentations designed to improve employees’ understanding and fluency around equity-related topics.   

Presidents United for Racial Equity 

Skidmore’s membership in the Alliance also provides the opportunity to partner and collaborate with peer colleges and universities in this work, thereby benefiting from a national alliance that is consonant with the goals and challenges particular to Skidmore. Presidents of all Alliance member colleges will meet to learn from each other and from the USC Race and Equity Center’s executive director, and to brainstorm ways to leverage Alliance membership for collective impact on racial equity across institutions of higher education.  

Campus Climate Surveys 

As an Alliance member, Skidmore will have access to rigorous quantitative campus climate surveys designed to measure belonging and inclusion efforts across campus, the depth of cross-cultural interactions within the community, and students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion. Results of these surveys will be reviewed by College administrators and used to design impactful programming with the goal of improving diversity, equity and inclusion for all campus community members.  

 “As a key element of Skidmore’s Racial Justice Initiative, we are eager to begin our work with the Alliance on Jan. 1, 2021,” Conner said. “We believe Alliance membership will be a critical resource as we continue to work together toward advancing racial equity and creating and sustaining a community of trust at Skidmore. “ 

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