Lafayette is one of more than four dozen inaugural members of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, launched by the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center.

“We are committed to combating racism and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campus,” says Lafayette President Alison Byerly. “Membership in this alliance will facilitate the sharing of research insights and best practices, helping all of us to enhance our efforts at building stronger communities.” 

Participants in the alliance will have access to monthly synchronous online sessions delivered by 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 USC center. The sessions will focus mostly on strategies and practical approaches. 

Alliance members also will participate in three surveys—one each for students, faculty, and staff. The student survey will ask about belonging and inclusion, the frequency and depth of cross-racial interactions, students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, and related topics.

The faculty and staff surveys will focus on topics such as perceptions of equitable opportunities for promotion and advancement; sense of belonging; how different groups differently experience the workplace environment; encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other –isms at work; 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 alliance 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. 

For more background, read an Inside Higher Education article.

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