Inventory of Anti-Racist Education, Actions, and Support Systems
As an institution committed to social justice, Hampshire insists that Black Lives Matter and aspires to be an anti-racist institution. While these commitments are real, we also recognize that our pursuit of these ideals consistently falls short and that we, especially those of us who are white, must do more and work harder to actively dismantle the structures that perpetuate institutional racism and advantage the privileged.
White supremacy is an ideology based on the colonial notion that white people and their cultural contributions, practices, institutions, and values are superior to those of other “races.” It is a belief, that though discredited in scientific terms, continues to structure our society at every level in ways that often remain invisible unless we work to make them visible. We understand anti-racism as the consistent implementation of behaviors and policies that lead to racial equity and that are based on the idea that all racial groups are equal in all their apparent differences (Kendi 2019: 20). Anti-racism involves both dismantling white supremacy and building racially equitable institutions that lead to liberation for all.
We currently stand at a historical moment that is urgent, and we are moved to respond to this urgency with timely actions. But the outrage that is fueled by this urgency must also generate lasting change. The changes that we pursue must be structural and institutional, as white supremacy and racism are structural and institutional. The transformation of our institution demands a deeper understanding of our own positionality and the ways we are implicated in systems of oppression, and this must also translate into changes to policies, practices, narratives, and norms.
In this spirit of attending to the moment while building lasting change, Hampshire is pursuing a two-tier strategy to engage in an anti-racist institutional practice. On the one hand, we will embark on building and implementing a long-term anti-racist plan. On the other hand, we have begun to take a series of actions aimed at dismantling white supremacy even as we build a more long-term plan. This second aspect of our plan is what we are calling an “Inventory of Anti-Racist Education, Actions, and Support Systems” and present in this document. It is intended to respond to the moment with concrete actions while taking stock of both what we are currently doing and what we are not yet doing to dismantle racism. Therefore, it is also an invitation for all of us to do more now.
In order to construct a comprehensive, long-term, Anti-Racist Plan of Action, we will embark on a participatory process beginning in the Spring 2021. In the Spring, the office of IDI will outline a planning process and disseminate it with the community. While ultimately drafting an Anti-Racist Plan of Action is certainly at the center of our objectives, we believe that the process involved in doing so is equally important. This process must be mindfully designed and take bold steps towards changing the culture of our institution. Together, the planning process and the Inventory--which we share here today as a work in progress—attend to both the present moment and the future we are moving towards.
- No Justice No Peace summer series sponsored by CoCo and IDI
- Open to students, faculty, staff
- Alumni facilitators trained in trauma informed praxis
- Common read—interwoven throughout the fall semester for everyone
- Facilitator training on having conversations about race
- 1619 related discussions during monthly forum and workshops
- Collaborating with Mt. Holyoke to share Nikole Hannah-Jones’ talk for the 5 Colleges
- Race & Power Component
- Revised CEL-1 and intercultural learning milestones
- Develop plan for implementing Race and PowerAnti-racist pedagogy—pilot and roll-out of workshops
- Curricular content
- Events, courses, pedagogy, and research undertaken by our faculty in all of the LCs. Some examples:
- Grant application submitted to NSF in summer 2020 to fund efforts to attract and support more diverse students in the environmental sciences
- Div I Seminar Unit on Black Lives Matter and Climate Justice
- Ongoing efforts to decolonize syllabi, include POC scholarship, and center African and African Diasporic history
- Courses offerings that mindfully incorporate anti-racist pedagogies in fields from philosophy to ecology; from American Studies to theater.
- Anti-racist pedagogy—pilot and roll-out of workshops
- Working with Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives to offer multiple workshops/vary emphasis
- Develop training to address faculty biases in teaching and mentoring
- Community orientation: Barbara Love/launch discussion highlighting intersectionality of racial injustice, pandemic and climate change
- Eqbal lecture: BLM in global perspective
- Panel of international scholars and activists on circuits of black lives matter organizing globally
- Other speakers: Highlight racial injustice in U.S. and global South
- Evelyn Hammonds (race in health and science)
- Cara Page (postponed)
- AfroResistance (dominant culture and the individual)
- Ignacio Rivera (sexual liberation & healing)
- Amelia Ortega (trauma in the body/consent)
- Rosa Clemente (social movement building and the elections)
- Revise student policies on anti-bias reporting
- Revise senior leadership job description to incude “creating a climate in which anti-racist principles are visible, regularly discussed, and evaluated” including accountability measures.
- Revise search and hire policies; compensation schedules; and evaluation process
- Ensure that when new or replacement positions are filled, the policies and practices for searches maximize the prospects of hiring staff, faculty, and administrators from historically underrepresented groups.
- Hampshire College will adopt clear hiring policies and practices that are actively anti-racist, and ensure they are followed.
- Establish a multi-division restorative justice task force
- (IDI, Student life, ECG, DoF, Res Life, Community Advocacy)
- ECG & IDI sponsored restorative justice fellow, facilitate college-wide definitional conversation about restorative justice
- Revise CCFRaP policies and procedures following recommendations from last year
- Anti-bias training for CCFRaP members
- Begin college-wide external anti-bias audit
- Increasing support for faculty and staff of color
- Working with academic deans to develop mentoring plan for faculty (to be implemented at time of hiring)
- Research funds—ECG Faculty Fellows Program
- Increase Visibility showcasing their work through 5 College Forums
- Invisible labor offsets (DoF working with AAUP’s Workload Working Group)
- Increasing support for SoC
- Hire culturally competent counselor for next academic year
- Strengthen areas that disproportionately serve SoC & underrepresented students (JB scholars, undocumented students, financial aid, etc)
- Prioritize faculty and staff of color hires & retention (mentorship & course selection is critical for student of color retention)
- Adequate staffing and budget for Cultural Center