Wabash College has joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Equity Leadership Alliance, a group of 53 founding member colleges working with the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center focusing on all aspects of racial equity. DePauw University President Lori White was a driving force behind the formation of the Alliance.
“The founding members of this Alliance are working with the Race and Equity Center to learn about how to foster a more welcoming environment here at Wabash,” said President Scott Feller.
The Alliance is led by Dr. Shaun Harper, who has a strong connection to Wabash. In his research on college success for Black men, Harper has visited Wabash to interview members of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies.
The Alliance will allow Wabash faculty and staff to participate in a series of virtual discussions of specific aspects of racial equity led by respected leaders of national higher education associations, scholars who study race relations and people of color, and specialists from the Race and Equity Center.
“The resources provided through this Alliance and the Race and Equity Center will provide the tools we need to support our current students and the ‘new majority’ students who will enroll at Wabash in the years to come,” Feller added. “Wabash is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and rooting out systemic racism wherever it exists.”
Faculty, staff and students at Wabash will have access to the Race and Equity Center’s online repository of resources and tools, including equity-related readings, case studies, videos and slide decks.
The College will participate in the Center’s National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climate, which is a rigorous student survey that measures belonging and inclusion, the depth and frequency and depth of cross-racial interactions, and students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Wabash will also participate two workplace climate surveys — one for staff and another for faculty — which will focus on employees’ sense of belonging, how various groups of employees experience the workplace environment differently, and how each of us understands difference from our various perspectives.
This new partnership is made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and its Charting the Future initiative, a grant that will strengthen Wabash’s efforts to increase opportunities for first-generation college students, Pell Grant recipients, and Black, Latino and Native American students.