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Anti-Racism Action Plan

Anti-Racism Action Plan
June 19, 2020

Dear Members of the Campus Community:

In the past two weeks, we have seen ongoing protests across the country and the globe as we collectively respond to the racism and violence experienced by Black & African American people. Though we are marking Juneteenth and the end of slavery in this country, we recognize that we still have a long way to go to combat racism. We have heard from many of you - sharing stories of the ways in which you are contributing to these efforts, highlighting the ways in which the College can support these efforts, and encouraging us to do more. The commitment to social justice is at the heart of our institutional mission. We agree that in order to overcome the sin of racism, whether it be interpersonal or structural, we need to have a plan.

Today, we are affirming our commitment to be an actively anti-racist organization. We join the voices around the country and globe to proclaim that Black Lives Matter.

To further affirm this commitment, the Board of Trustees is establishing a permanent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Trustee members of this committee will receive ongoing updates on DEI work at the College, and will engage with students, faculty and staff directly on DEI priorities. Trustee Francine Rosado- Cruz '94 has agreed to chair this committee. More details will be forthcoming.

In April 2019, the College created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan (PDF) and appointed the DEI Implementation Team, which issued an update of its work in February 2020 (PDF). This work involved hiring new staff, committing resources and improving practices to support diversity and inclusion on campus. And that work continues.

But we need to do much more. The starting point for this work is a new 40-point Anti-Racism Action Plan, which can be found on our new anti-racism website. Through this plan, the College is dedicating substantial financial resources to the following areas:

  1. Creating a culture of anti-racism
  2. Training, education and anti-racist action planning
  3. Faculty and curriculum
  4. Civic engagement and national conversation
  5. Support, resources & ensuring equitable access
  6. Recruitment of diverse communities
  7. Accountability and structure

The plan recognizes the need for Holy Cross to create a culture of anti-racism. It is not enough to be non-racist, as an institution we must adopt individual, departmental and institutional strategies that promote and encourage efforts to dismantle racism.

A few important elements of the plan include:

  1. Devoting funds for faculty to develop new courses, or to significantly revise existing courses, around topics of race, racism and anti-racism.
  2. Continuing to enhance our efforts to recruit diverse communities of students, faculty and staff, with strategies including expanding the use of “Mission and Diversity Search Ambassadors” for student-facing and high-impact hires at the College.
  3. Providing new opportunities for training, education & anti-racist action planning for students, faculty and staff.

We heard a clear call that the burden of education and anti-racism work cannot fall on Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities, and therefore this plan will be broad-reaching across the College. We also recognize the detrimental impacts of interpersonal and structural racism on the physical, mental, financial, emotional and spiritual health of individuals. The Office of College Chaplains, Counseling Center, the Office of Multicultural Education are all planning to provide support and resources for those impacted by racism and those who put in the hard work for racial justice.

These are just a few examples of the work we are planning. We encourage you to read the entire plan to learn more. The work of anti-racism requires us to be accountable to one another and to the community. This plan creates structures and requires transparency that will allow this important work to move forward, and reflects and reaffirms our commitments to anti-racism. We look forward to working with all community members on these action steps.

Sincerely,

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., President
Tracy Barlok, Vice President for Advancement
Jane Corr, Chief of Staff
Margaret Freije, Provost and Dean of the College
Marisa Gregg, Interim Vice President for Communications
Dottie Hauver, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Michele Murray, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Amit Taneja, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion