The University of the South is one of more than 60 inaugural members of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance.
The University of the South is one of more than 60 inaugural members of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA). Other member institutions include Amherst College, Davidson College, Oberlin College, and Washington and Lee University. The alliance will partner with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to host regular meetings, offer workshops for faculty and staff, and provide access to resources focused on racial equity solutions.
“On September 8, 2020, the Board of Regents of the University of the South committed our institution to ‘an urgent process of institutional reckoning in order to make Sewanee a model of diversity, of inclusion, of intellectual rigor, and of loving spirit in an America that rejects prejudice and embraces possibility’,” said Vice-Chancellor Reuben Brigety. “Our membership in LACRELA is an opportunity to establish relationships with other colleges and with experts who share our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. These resources will enhance our ongoing work to equip students to navigate challenging conversations on race with skill, empathy, and knowledge.”
Sewanee will have access to various resources including the monthly meetings focused on different aspects of racial equity and access to an upcoming 24/7 online collection of tools. Vice-Chancellor Brigety will join the presidents of the other LACRELA institutions at quarterly meetings to “share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.” Member institutions will also participate in three campus climate surveys and have access to the aggregated results.
Racial Equity eConvening Series
The USC Center will host monthly synchronous professional learning experiences. Three-hour learning sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered. These workshops have begun and will continue throughout the semester.
Equity Resource Portal
The Center is developing an online collection of resources and tools for Sewanee to use. Downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks, and conversation scripts will be included in the portal. Every University employee will have 24/7 full access to the virtual resource portal. The portal will launch in late spring 2021.
Campus Climate Surveys
The center’s National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) is an expert-validated quantitative survey that measures belonging and inclusion, and has been administered to more than 500,000 students. Using the student survey as a guide, new surveys will gauge the workplace climate on campuses. Sewanee’s undergraduate students will be surveyed later this month, faculty will take surveys in 2022, and staff will be surveyed in 2023.
These and other resources from LACRELA will help ensure a smooth transition for Sewanee’s inaugural vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, a national search that is scheduled to conclude by July.